Skip to main content

Undergraduate Admissions

Frog Blog

female student smiling while raising hand

Dean Einstein and Director of Admission Mandy Castro answered questions about elements of the application process in a live chat. Watch the entire video or check out tips on applying to TCU.

Stand out by being authentic
We're looking for a well-rounded class and while we want you to be academically well-rounded, we're not looking for you to be completely well-rounded. That means it's OK to be angular in your application. If the majority of your involvement is in band because that's what you're passionate about or you have limited involvement because you've been working to help your family, that's great. Tell your story in only the way you can. The essay questions are your opportunity to tell us about yourself in your own words. So be your authentic self, don't try to write something you think we want to see. The essay is a chance for us to get to know you in a way we can't glean from reading other parts of your application.

A freedom of expression piece is another optional way to tell us more about yourself that we haven't been able to read in your application. This can be a written piece, a video of you doing something you've been passionate about in high school or a photo of an original work you created. Just make sure we're able to view any links you send.

Academic performance is key
That includes your transcript(s) and optional test scores submitted. We value the strength you've challenged yourself with when it comes to curriculum. We prefer to see first-year applicants who've stayed in a math and science class for all four years in high school and who've taken at least two years of a language other than English. Check out our blog about choosing courses for application.

We also take into account co-curricular activities, essay and teacher and counselor recommendations, but these make up a smaller piece of the pie.

Apply in a way that's accessible for you
We continue to waive application fees for first-generation students, free and reduced lunch students and current and former military service members. We accept four different types of applications and we don't prefer any one type over the other. For more information on deciding which application to use, check out this blog post.

We also no longer require interviews as part of the application process. You can reach out to your counselor many different ways to chat and ask questions, but this is for your benefit only. If you don't reach out to your counselor, it won't hurt your chances of admission.

Lastly, we added a new application round called Early Decision II. We did this because we know there are students who decide that TCU is their top choice after Nov. 1. Maybe they can't visit before then, or just have their "aha" moment a little later. We wanted to give students another opportunity to raise their hand and say TCU is their top choice, even if they can't visit early on. 

Optional really means optional at TCU
We went test optional during the pandemic and extended that policy. We've found that this policy has allowed our counselors to focus even more on other parts of the application and admit a broader range of students. 

During the 2020-21 application season we received more than 20,000 applications, which is typical of the past five years. Test scores weren't used for 51 percent of admitted students. And test scores weren't used for 73 percent of scholarship recipients.

And only 7 percent of applicants and 8 percent of admitted students submitted the optional freedom of expression.