Narrowing down your choice of a dream college is not easy. Then comes the challenge of competing with students from around the world who are also trying to get their foot in the door of that prestigious academy. If you are a high-achieving student looking for a faith-based private school education, you may wish to consider Texas Christian University. Students may choose from 130 undergraduate programs. Admission to TCU is selective, but the school does not have GPA requirements or test-score cutoffs that automatically disqualify an applicant from consideration. Reviewing entrance requirements can tell you a lot about the caliber of students admitted after submitting a TCU application.

Understand the TCU Requirements

Texas Christian University looks for motivated applicants prepared to handle a rigorous college curriculum, which is why the SAT or ACT is required. While GPA and college entrance exams are factored into admissions decisions, TCU does not automatically admit or reject students based on GPA or test scores. Many factors are considered in judging whether a student is ready for TCU.

If you are still in high school, you may wish to consider taking classes that show you are college material. For instance, doing well in Advanced Placement classes or enrolling in college classes that are open to high school students can be impressive on a college application. Texas Christian University also looks at the difficulty of subjects taken, class rank, extracurricular activities, volunteerism or religious participation and strength of teacher recommendations. Personal essays are required to assess the student’s writing ability, creativity, personal values and moral reasoning.

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Review the TCU Acceptance Rate

Texas Christian University carefully reviews each application to determine which students are most likely to thrive at TCU. Less than 50 percent of students who apply are accepted. For instance, 41 percent of the students who applied for fall 2017 admission were accepted, according to U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

The TCU acceptance rate also correlates with performance on college entrance exams. According to TCU's website, 75 percent of students enrolled at TCU scored at least 1160 on the SAT. Possible scores on the SAT range from 400 to 1600. Similarly, 75 percent of enrolled students scored 26 or higher on the ACT. The highest ACT score possible is 36. Some students seeking admission to TCU retake the SAT or the ACT because the school “super scores” test results. Super scoring means that TCU uses the student’s top subject scores of each exam taken when calculating a composite score.

Submit the TCU Application

Students interested in attending TCU may apply via the school’s undergraduate admissions website or by submitting the common application, also linked to the TCU undergraduate admissions URL. The application fee is $50, but the fee can be waived under certain circumstances, such as being impacted by a recent natural disaster. Students must also submit supporting documents including high school transcript, personal essay, resume, counselor recommendation, teacher evaluations and ACT or SAT scores. Applicants also have the option of submitting material that displays their individuality, like original poems or artwork.

Does TCU Have Early Decision?

Early admission is an option for students who know that TCU is their top pick of places to study. The TCU application for early admission is reviewed using the student’s grades through the junior year of high school. As part of the early admission application process, students sign a contractually binding Early Admission Agreement form stating that they will enroll if accepted. Applications to other schools must be withdrawn if the early admission application is approved. An early-decision TCU application must be submitted by November 1. College placement tests must be taken by November 30. TCU notifies early-decision applicants of their admission status by January 1, and admitted student deposits are due January 15.

About the Author

Dr. Mary Dowd is a dean of students whose job includes student conduct, leading the behavioral consultation team, crisis response, retention and the working with the veterans resource center. She enjoys helping parents and students solve problems through advising, teaching and writing online articles that appear on many sites. Dr. Dowd also contributes to scholarly books and journal articles.