At TCU, we have what we call a “holistic” review process for each and every application. This means that no one piece of the application will make or break our decision and we definitely aim to get to know the students as best we can through the different required application materials. With this, students can stand out throughout the process in a variety of ways. Here are some things we specifically look for as we review each student’s file:
Take AP, dual credit, IB, and honors classes. Taking a challenging schedule will not just let us know that you are a hard worker, but it will also help you knock out a bunch of Core Curriculum classes along the way.
Play to your strengths. If you’re funny, be humorous. If you’re poetic, write a poem. If you’re musical, submit an mp3 of your vocal styling.
Be yourself when writing your essay and answering the short questions. A trained admission representative will know when a student’s writing is genuine and from the heart, as opposed to something they’ve written that is just technically correct.
Challenge yourself. Challenge yourself in your classes, in your involvement, in your volunteering, and in your relationships. Really push the limits and think outside of the box and make sure that shines through in your application.
Take tough classes and work hard to get good grades. It’s as simple as that. The other pieces (essay, resume, recommendations, tests scores, etc.) are all very important, but nothing is as impressive as seeing a good schedule with multiple AP, dual credit, or IB classes with good grades.
Students who pursue a challenging curriculum and take advantage of the academic opportunities available at their high school will stand out most to me. In addition to impressive academics, your personality can truly shine through your essay. Whether it is a serious or funny topic, be yourself and share something that I wouldn’t get to know from other parts of your application.
Be yourself. This means that your application should reflect your personality. If you are funny, your essay can be funny. Remember this process is about you. This is the one time that it is all about YOU!
Spend quality time on your essay and resume. We do read ALL of them and we want to get to know you better!
John Andrew Willis
Be genuine and expressive. Be yourself, but don’t leave anything out. If you have a tendency to brag, you might need to tone it down. If you have a tendency to be humble, you may need to elaborate. Err on the side of more information, rather than less. Essays, for example, can be too long. However, more often than not, they are too short.
Also, take a look at our application checklist to find out more about what we require!