Horned Frog Blog

Musings from the TCU Admission Office

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The End of an Era

By: Kyle Cochran

There are many signs of spring having sprung on TCU’s campus. Students can be seen tossing a football in the campus commons, tulips are planted seemingly every day in the flower beds, and group projects, tests, and papers all come to a close in preparation for the end of the year. While most students on campus approach summer with a sense of excitement and relief, what with study abroad trips, internships, and some time away from the classroom right around the corner, another group approaches it with a much greater sense of anxiety: the seniors.

As April comes to a close and May quickly approaches, seniors’ minds are more occupied with the ideas of solidifying a job, finding living arrangements, and finally leaving the place that they have called home for the last four years. Having graduated not twelve months ago, I can certainly understand the uncertainty that students have of transitioning from the student role to that of an alumnus.

With this, though, the end of a student’s undergraduate career is obviously a time to celebrate, as well. Students deserve to look proudly upon their TCU accomplishments and reflect on ways in which TCU has prepared them to be successful throughout their careers. TCU certainly understands the idea of celebrating during this time of year and has prepared many events and ceremonies to send the senior class out in the right way. Here is a look at what students can expect in the weeks and days leading up to graduation.

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Celebration of University Leadership – Tuesday, April 28

TCU blog

The Celebration of University Leadership is an event designed to honor student leaders who have made an impact on campus and in the community. Awards are given out to students and to student organizations around campus who truly exemplify TCU’s mission statement by embodying ideas of “ethical leadership” and “responsible citizenship.” While a plaque and another bullet point on a résumé may be nice touches to end a student’s senior year, the real value in the event comes from student leaders being able to come together and recognize each other’s achievements. As TCU aims to connect students to each other throughout their time on campus, students not only get to see their classmates, but also their close friends honored at the event.

Senior Toast – Wednesday, May 7


The Senior Toast is one of the less sentimental events during this time, but is centered on having fun! The entire senior class is invited to the lawn between the Alumni Center and the football stadium to eat delicious Tex-Mex food and drink purple margaritas (yes, they do exist). During the event, Chancellor Boschini speaks, thanking the students for their contributions to the TCU community. Throughout the event, prizes like iPads, diploma frames, and TCU football tickets are raffled off so students can take home a little something more than a full stomach. With beautiful spring weather in Fort Worth, the Senior Toast is always a highlight for the graduating class and yet another time for friends to come together to celebrate.

Honors Laureate Ceremony – Friday, May 9


Each year on the night before the all-campus Commencement, the John V. Roach Honors College holds is own ceremony for all students who have graduated with Honors from TCU. With a much more intimate ceremony, each Honors College graduate walks across the stage and receives his or her Honors stole to wear as part of the graduation regalia the next day. Each student actually gets to choose the professor or staff member who will give him or her the stole in an act called “hooding.”  In addition to this, students are able to sign the giant purple tome housed in Scharbauer Hall that has the signature of every Honors Graduate from TCU. Honors faculty and staff members speak at the event as well and help students reflect on what they got out of their Honors College experiences.

Spring Commencement – Saturday, May 10

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Finally, the day arrives. Each student in the graduating class comes together to walk across stage and receive his or her diploma. Family members and friends aim to hold their applause until the final student has walked (yeah, right) as students finally put a cap (get it?) on their TCU career. Normally, two commencement ceremonies take place in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (DMC), TCU’s basketball arena, but this year, due to the DMC construction, all seniors will walk in one ceremony for the first time in Amon G. Carter Stadium, the home of TCU’s football team. This class will likely be the only class to ever graduate at Amon G. Carter, so while the Texas weather is uncertain, the memories created by the graduates and their families will be indelible!

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Texas “Construction” University

by Kyle Cochran

If you have ever attended an official information session at TCU, you have probably heard the hilarious joke that the “C” in our name should actually stand for “Construction.” And, if you have ever taken an official visit to TCU’s campus, you probably know why.

When Chancellor Victor J. Boschini joined the TCU community in 2003, he had a vision of change. He wanted TCU’s academics, athletics, campus life, and all other internal aspects to improve in numerous ways to propel TCU as one of the most desired universities in the country. One of the ways in which he hoped to achieve this was to, simply, change the campus. He had aspirations of completely making over TCU’s campus to foster his ideals of improving the university as a whole. Since his plan was put into action, we have had construction projects that have led to a new student union, a new recreation center, new residence halls, new academic buildings, a much much more. Because of the constantly changing campus, students grew to expect one (or several) new pieces of construction to be seen on campus around the calendar. While cranes, bulldozers, and cement trucks may not be the most attractive things to have on campus, students have, of course, reaped the benefits of having very nice places at TCU in which to live and to learn.

Chancellor Boschini’s plans for a revitalization of TCU’s campus have not yet ended (and likely never will), as there are currently several construction projects taking place on campus. Below are the details of six different projects that are currently in progress to give you an idea of the directions TCU is heading in the near future.

An artist’s sketch of the new Mary Couts Burnett Library, facing University Drive.

An artist’s sketch of the new Mary Couts Burnett Library, facing University Drive.

Mary Couts Burnett Library
The one-stop shop for all things knowledge at TCU is the Mary Couts Burnett Library. It is (or at least should be) graced many times throughout the year by each student on campus as they look to explore the over two million resources available in the form of books, periodicals, academic journals, and much more. One thing that students do find in somewhat short supply, though, is available study space. Especially during mid-term and final exam season, students will scramble to find a table in the quiet section or a group study “Frog Pod” in the loud section to study for exams or work on projects.

TCU is aiming to end these woes, however, by moving the vast majority of the books housed in the library to an offsite warehouse and renovating the space to allow for more technology-focused learning and group study areas. Because the library is open twenty-four hours per day during the week, students will have as much accessibility as possible to study alone or with classmates. All of the books that will be moved will also still be available via a shuttle that will run twice daily to pick up and drop off any materials. Renovations will be completed in the next academic year.

Rees-Jones Hall

The new look of part of the academic side of campus after Rees-Jones’s completion.

The new look of part of the academic side of campus after Rees-Jones’s completion.

Rees-Jones Hall is a new project being built from the ground up between the Library and Smith Hall on the academic side of campus. Rees-Jones helps fulfill Chancellor Boschini’s ideas of the “Academy of Tomorrow” which hopes to yield a new look for the academic side of campus, similar to what the Campus Commons did for the residential side. Rees-Jones will house some of the newest academic programs on campus, such as the Institute of Child Development and the TCU Energy Institute.

Two growing fields will not only be given their own place to call home, but will, as a result, be given the resources for expanded academic offerings and areas of study. Rees-Jones will be open for the fall of 2014.

A sketch of the new addition to the Bass Building, between the existing building and Tandy Hall.

A sketch of the new addition to the Bass Building, between the existing building and Tandy Hall.

Bass Building
The Annie Richardson Bass Building is located on the southeast corner of the academic side of campus and houses programs offered within the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the most prominent of which is Nursing. Students are able to learn about the ever-changing healthcare field and currently, much of their lab-work takes place off campus. With an addition to the Bass Building being completed for the upcoming fall semester, TCU will provide students with ample on-campus lab-space to provide even more direct hands-on learning within Harris College.

Upper-Class Residence Hall

The new residence hall on TCU’s campus, evoking the style of the other upperclassmen halls.

The new residence hall on TCU’s campus, evoking the style of the other upperclassmen halls.

The phrase “If you build it, they will come,” might be mostly associated with Kevin Costner and a baseball field, but it can also be applied to TCU’s approach to residence halls. With a two-year living requirement and the option to live on campus all four years, the demand to live on TCU’s campus is higher than ever. With this being the case, there is a limited number of spots available to juniors and seniors on campus with only a handful of residence halls not reserved for freshmen and sophomores. In response, Chancellor Boschini plans to continue to build residence halls until the demand has been satisfied. In the Worth Hills area of campus, two new upperclassmen residence halls opened in August 2013 and one more will be available to students in August 2014. This yet-to-be-named residence hall will contain suite-style living where students will have their own bedrooms and share one or two bathrooms and a living space with up to three friends. This way, students can avoid trying to sleep through their roommate’s fourth snooze of the alarm clock on a daily basis.

A mock of the dining facilities available to students in the multi-purpose building.

A mock of the dining facilities available to students in the multi-purpose building.

Worth Hills Multi-Purpose Building

With the new residence halls and plans for the fraternity and sorority houses to be renovated on campus over the next five years, the Worth Hills area of campus will begin to see significantly increased traffic from students. To assist with this, a new multi-purpose building is in the beginning phases of construction to house four micro-restaurants, as well as spaces for meetings, study groups, or time to just kick back with fellow students! It will be available to students in January of 2015.

Worth Hills Parking Garage
Next on the list for the Worth Hills area is a parking garage that will cater to all students across campus. This will not only assist with parking for students who live in the nearby residence halls, but will also help relieve some of the congestion found on campus during different athletic events throughout the year. It is targeted to be completed in the summer of 2015.

There you have it: six new construction projects for the ever-changing look to TCU’s campus. If you want any more information on the vision behind some of the projects, check out this video.

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Tips from My First Application Reading Season

By: Kyle Cochran

I am now seven months into serving as an Admission Counselor for TCU. While I still have endless amounts to learn about how to effectively perform this role, I have now seen most of the major responsibilities for the job, specifically travel and application review. I highlighted some key takeaways from my first travel season in previous blog posts and I would like to do the same with my first reading season. This information, however, should be much more relevant to prospective students as I will frame it around what really stood out to me on various applications and what could help an applicant position himself or herself to be competitive for admission to TCU.

When reviewing an application at TCU, we consider all pieces of the application in order to get to know our applicants as much as possible. This holistic process helps determine if he or she is a good fit for TCU, as opposed to simply being able to hold his or her own in the classroom. This differentiator is very important to us – we really want to admit students who will contribute to the culture of TCU’s community by getting involved on campus, being excited about meeting new people, and challenging themselves throughout their time as a student. We would never be able to determine this about a student by simply glancing at his or her transcript, so it is essential for us to look at all pieces of an application.

Through examining all of the documents, there are a few of them that consistently prove to be the most valuable. A student’s transcript, test scores, resume, and essay are typically my go-to pieces of an application that initially help me determine if he or she is ready for a TCU education. I will often turn to these first before moving onto the other pieces to get a better picture of what the student is like. With this in mind, I am going to give you a few tips and tricks of what I look for with each of these documents to hopefully put you on the right track when time comes to apply!

Stacks and stacks of applications

Stacks and stacks of applications

Transcript: Succeeding in the Latter Half
When analyzing an application, of course a transcript is one of the most important pieces. If a student has been successful in high school, he or she will likely be successful in college. If a student wasn’t, he or she likely won’t. However, this isn’t dependent solely on his or her overall GPA. Some students are concerned about poor performance in their freshmen or sophomore years affecting their chances of being admitted to TCU. While we, of course, like to see success throughout all of high school, students’ latter years tend to carry much more weight than their former. We feel as though if a student is on an upward swing, this trend is likely to continue into college. If he or she is on a downward swing, however, a solid freshman year in high school may not be enough to merit admission.

Also, I always appreciate students who take a heavier course load in both junior and senior years. Schools sometimes limit the number of AP or IB classes students can take, or preclude students from taking them until junior year, so students tend to ramp up their schedules. On the other hand, some students feel content coasting in senior year by taking two off periods and classes like Basket Weaving and Cat Juggling. If students aren’t going to challenge themselves in high school, why would we think they would challenge themselves at TCU?

With all of this considered, my recommendation to you is to not slack off junior and senior year. In some high schools, there is little accountability to prevent students from coasting by, but there is also a relatively low expectation of performance. In college, however, while there is also little accountability for students, they are expected to perform at their highest level day in and day out. Don’t get in the habit of coasting now, as that will be a habit you will be forced to break in college.

Test Scores: The Ultimate Trial and Error
Another important piece of our application contains two of your favorite three letter acronyms: SAT and ACT. Yes, those dreaded standardized tests that college applicants take do play a big role in the decisions we make in our office. While GPAs can sometimes be a bit difficult to interpret (due to varying grading scales, course offerings, and that chemistry teacher who gives everyone Cs!), students’ SAT and ACT scores help us evaluate them on a national scale. The word “standardized” can sometimes sound negative, but for us it literally means that we have a “standard” by which to compare students.

At TCU, we accept either the ACT or the SAT. I would recommend taking both to see which exam more closely aligns with your learning style. We also “superscore” both tests where, if a student takes a test multiple times, we will take the top score from each section of the test and combine them to provide the highest possible composite. This way, a student doesn’t have to knock the ACT or SAT out of the park each time he or she takes it.

Resume: No Fillers Added
A student’s resume is one non-quantifiable piece of an application that is very important to us at TCU. I mentioned before that we really want students at TCU who are going to get involved in student organizations on campus, so seeing a student’s involvement in high school is valuable.

The TCU Ambassadors make up one of the many awesome student organizations on campus.

The TCU Ambassadors make up one of the many awesome student organizations on campus.

Students might be tempted to fill their resumes with relatively insignificant activities to give the illusion of being very involved. However, there are many ways to see through this by looking for two key aspects to each activity on a resume: duration of the activity and presence of a leadership role.

When a student spends more than one or two years in an extracurricular activity, it seems to me as though he or she is committed to not only learning from whatever that activity offers, but also to improving the club or organization. This is especially true when a student pursues a leadership role in the organization in order to truly make a difference. TCU provides many opportunities for students to leave their legacy.

These students look like they’re having a ton of fun proofreading, am I right?

Essay: Yoo Reely Shuld Proofreed
The essay is another absolutely vital piece of an application. I saved it for last because it absolutely SHOULD NOT be poorly put together. I could (and probably will) write an entire other blog post about how to write a compelling essay or at least how to write one that isn’t a disaster.

When looking at each piece of the application, most of them are representative of a student’s success over time. A GPA encompasses four years of work, test scores are bolstered with years of practice tests and test prep courses, and a resume looks at involvement in activities over a long period of time. The essay is the ONLY piece that is constructed at one point in a student’s life. Nothing about the past (aside from maybe the topic itself) has any bearing on it and nothing in the future can bring it down. A student has a completely clean slate on which to write the essay. With this being said, all essays that I have read have been pristine, right?

I have definitely read some great essays, but some look as though the students wrote them in sixty seconds and pressed submit immediately after. I have seen glaring grammatical errors such as a singular lowercase “i.” I have seen run-on sentences that expanded into tomorrow. I have even seen a questionable discriminatory comment. These mistakes and many more could be easily avoided if the author would simply take the time with an essay that is expected of a TCU student.

You might be thinking, “I’m just not a good writer! What should I do?” My suggestions to you would be a) work on it because writing is INCREDBILY important and b) have one of the thousands of people you know look over your essay before you submit it. Whether it is a parent, counselor, teacher, mailman, hairdresser, flight attendant, or anyone else, let a second set of eyes see that essay before submitting. There is literally no reason you should not.

There you have it: four takeaways I have from my first season of reading applications. I hope that you have taken these suggestions with more than a grain of salt (ideally with an entire salt shaker) in order to position yourself well for admission to TCU. Good luck!

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TCU Horned Frogs vs. The Polar Vortex. Frogs win BIG!!

By Jill Sangl

On the evening of January 8th, the Polar Vortex continued to be a major news topic. According to The Weather Channel, the temperature was 16 in Atlanta, 28 in Austin, -6 in Chicago, 39 in Dallas, 15 in Denver, 38 in Fort Worth, 40 in Houston, 18 in Kansas City, 47 in Los Angeles, 9 in New York, 41 in San Antonio, 44 in San Diego, 15 in St. Louis, and 14 in Washington D.C. Not only did these fourteen cities experience frigid temperatures, but they also reported an increase in Frog Frenzy – Horned Frog networking activity, that is.

Elisabeth Diamond '17, Krista Moore  '17, Whitney Landman  Class of '16

Elisabeth Diamond ’17, Krista Moore ’17, Whitney Landman Class of ’16

TCU alumni, parents, donors, and students gathered on January 8th in these aforementioned cities to meet and make connections while promoting the TCU Career Network mission – Frogs networking with Frogs and Frogs hiring Frogs. While early January is typically not the best time of year to plan an event (especially in snowy Chicago), the date allowed current TCU students who were home on holiday break an opportunity to participate in these off-campus events. While most of the student participants chose to attend the affair closest to their hometown, others opted to attend in a city they hope to move to after graduation.

TCU alumna  Carrie Wright Brown, Beatriz Gutierrez,   Jasmine Quezada and Lauren Poey (left to right)

TCU alumna Carrie Wright Brown, Beatriz Gutierrez, Jasmine Quezada and Lauren Poey (left to right)

At each of the fourteen locations, alumni and TCU staff members opened the program with general remarks about the career development opportunities available for students, as well as alumni. TCU graduates are encouraged to continue using the Career Services resources beyond graduation – once a Frog, ALWAYS a Frog! Depending on the number of individuals at each gathering, participants introduced themselves in a small group format or to the group at large. Business cards were exchanged and internship and employment opportunities were discussed.

This was the second year TCU has coordinated the event which was sponsored by TCU Career Services, the TCU Parents Association and local TCU Alumni Chapters. TCU selected cities with strong alumni chapters, but hopes to expand the event to even more cities for the January 2015 event. Hopefully, you’ll be one of many Frogs attending the next TCU National Networking Night. Until then, check out the TCU Career Services Pinterest site to read about new job trends, cool office spaces, etc. at: http://www.pinterest.com/tcucareerserv/

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Oh ye with gilded degree

by Liz Rainwater (guest blogger)

Guess what? College loan debt has surpassed credit card debt. Wait, what? You already knew that? And you’re appalled? Where do these fancy schmancy colleges get off – asking for so much money? It’s obscene! Who do these elitist smarty-pants think they are? Waving their gilded degrees in the air like they own the place.

It’s a conversation I hear on the news and in person with great regularity. I pick up on it more than the average person, probably, because I’m in the higher-ed biz. There is a nugget of truth to it – college is expensive. But that’s just about where the truth stops and the ranting begins. When did the news get so noisy? And un-newsy? I’d like to break down some facts and figures, and offer a perspective that I have yet to hear on the radio waves. (Buckle your seat belts – I’m about to throw out some original thoughts.)

Google “College Loan Debt Infographic” and you’ll get loads of slick-looking images showing you how desperateTCU blog the college loan situation is. Take a look at the one I pulled from yobucko and you’ll see that dire (and gigantic) loan amount. Jinkies – it’s in the trillions (you know you’re counting back from thousands, to millions, to billions, to trillions. Yep – there it is)! But this number is arbitrary with no context.

Approximately 84,780,000 Americans have completed a degree (census.gov). 37 million Americans have student loans, and the average loan size is $23,200 (thanks yobucko). A whopping 27 percent are delinquent in paying back that loan.

At first blush, it would be prudent to think that the 37 million who have loans are part of the nearly 85 million who have a degree. That idea is incorrect.

There’s this magical number in higher ed called retention rate and it’s connected directly to graduation rate. You can take a look at TCU’s magic numbers at www.ir.tcu.edu. TCU retains over 90% of our students from their freshman year to their sophomore year. In addition, TCU graduates more than 76% of our students within six years of starting school (six years is the industry standard for measuring – but if you ask my dad, it’s four years and not a penny more). Both of these figures are among the best and highest in American schools. When we admit a student, we take on the responsibility to say that we believe they can obtain a degree from TCU, and we will do everything we can to make sure that they do. The retention and graduation graph demonstrates our numbers from 2003. We get better every year. That’s our job. It’s our duty to get better all the time. It’s our duty to make sure the students we admit are nurtured and educated and walk away from this place with a gilded degree and a bright outlook. It’s not just our duty, it’s the duty of every university in this nation.

Unfortunately, they don’t all seem to see it that way.

Let’s go back to the yobucko graphic and check out that bar graph. Of the students who default on their college loans, those from for-profit institutions do so at more than triple the rate than those from private institutions. If I were to make a bar graph demonstrating retention and graduation rates from private institutions versus for-profits, it would be inverted from the default rate.

That is not a coincidence.

Here’s my original thought. While college loan debt is an important consideration, graduation and retention rates should be evaluated with equal consideration. When a school (like TCU) is judged for our high tuition, and compared to schools all over the nation, we should also be critiqued for how many students we graduate and how many of them go into default on their loans (next to none).

Is a student who takes out loans to attend a university with lower tuition and graduation rates making a better choice than a student who takes out more loans to attend a university with higher tuition and graduation rates? Who’s better (or worse) off – the college dropout with lower education loans, or the college graduate with higher education loans?

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The Safest University in the Country

By: Kyle Cochran

When reflecting on my time as a TCU student, I always think of TCU as a very safe campus, however, not in the way that one may think. When people think of the word “safety,” images of campus police, ID access to residence halls, or light poles along the campus’s sidewalks come to mind. While all of these are valid, I am more specifically talking about a sense of safety that is seen internally for each and every student, rather than physically on the campus. I am speaking to the level of comfort and the level of acceptance that students at TCU have in the ability to express themselves and truly be who they are. College is, of course, a time for students to explore new ideas, challenge themselves, meet new people, and push themselves beyond their comfort zones and none of this can be achievable if students don’t feel comfortable in expressing who they really are. This level of acceptance, honesty, support, and overall safety at TCU makes our school a fantastic place to do just that. This type of safety is seen in the philosophies in which TCU was founded and continues to be seen in how the university functions from day-to-day.

In attempts to understand the defining characteristics of TCU, one can simply look to our mission statement to see what the university aims to do, both in the short-term and in the long-term. The mission statement at TCU is “To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.” Now, this may seem like a bit of a hodgepodge of words, but it really shows how TCU focuses on being a very safe campus. Let’s look at a few pieces of the mission statement to really show how.

To educate individuals to THINK

At TCU, we aren’t simply educating individuals; rather, we are educating individuals to think, which allows students to feel safe in expressing their opinions and ideas. By educating individuals to think, we are not just allowing them to learn, but rather giving them the tools to learn what they choose. This starts with the Core Curriculum at TCU, which contains the number of classes that a student must take in the core subjects at TCU before he or she graduates and is representative of our Liberal Arts. In the Core Curriculum, a student is never required to take any specific class and is, rather, given the flexibility to choose whatever class he or she wants, as long as it satisfies the credit requirement of Religious Traditions, Cultural Awareness, Natural Sciences, Written Communication, or other obligations. With this level of flexibility, we allow students to cater their education to what they want to learn, so they can have a much richer academic experience.

Small class sizes at TCU are essential to encouraging open discussion among classmates.

Small class sizes at TCU are essential to encouraging open discussion among classmates.

Furthering the Liberal Arts mindset (and thanks to the average class size at TCU of twenty-seven students), many classes offered at TCU are discussion-based. Students have the chance to develop and argue their own points of view, while hearing the pros and cons of those from other students. Because there is rarely a “right” answer in any of these discussions, students feel confident in being able to share and support their own ideas without being negatively evaluated by classmates or professors. With these tools in place, students feel safe to explore topics both new and old and express their ideas without holding back. This further enables them to (back to the mission statement) think, as well as feel safe as they do.

ETHICAL leaders…

TCU students are encouraged to pursue countless leadership opportunities so they can become effective leaders both professionally and personally after graduation. This sense of leadership, though, is always emphasized in the most ethical of ways so that values are never sacrificed for control or power in any situation. One of the strongest ways in which ethicality is emphasized is by students being inclusive of others. TCU serves as a cross-section of the great American melting pot by combining people of varying ethnic, religious, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds under one roof. Students will not only interact with those different from them in classes, in student organizations, and during campus-wide events, but they will also develop lifelong friendships with them. While opening up to people different from oneself might be easier for some than it is for others, TCU provides the opportunities for it to happen by, again, being a very safe place.

Students in the International Student Association get together for a weekly meeting.

Students in the International Student Association get together for a weekly meeting.

Only when students feel confident in their ideas and their identities can they be open to interacting with people different from them and again, TCU fosters an environment that allows this to happen. One way in which this is evident is through the Office of Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services (IIS). IIS holds events and provides services for students to help anyone feel more acclimated to the TCU community. The Minority Student Leadership Conference, veteran services, LGBTQ resources, and much more is found within IIS which allow students at TCU to truly be themselves.

…responsible CITIZENS

Another way in which TCU builds this sense of safety on campus is by ensuring that all students are fully engrained within the greater TCU community and in doing so, they become not only students, but citizens of TCU. By being citizens of the TCU community, students are constantly brought together so they continue to feel as though they belong, which is something that is achieved in a variety of ways. One of the simplest ways is at Market Square, the primary dining facility on campus. While there are a variety of places to eat on campus, TCU has only one main cafeteria where students with an unlimited meal plan can swipe in as many times as they want throughout the day. While only having one cafeteria may not seem that important, it significantly contributes to that sense of community by presenting one fewer way in which students can be segregated on campus. Instead of students eating at the dining hall closest to their residence hall, everyone comes to Market Square and is able to further experience that sense of community at TCU. And, as mentioned before, with community comes belonging, and with belonging comes a sense of safety. Neat how that works out, right?

The entire TCU community comes together for the annual fall concert.

The entire TCU community comes together for the annual fall concert.

Another way in which students are brought together comes from the many campus-wide events that occur at TCU. I have detailed some of these events in a previous post, which you should definitely check out! By providing opportunities for everyone at TCU to come together like a concert, a late-night pancake feed, a Christmas tree lighting, or something else, TCU students have the chance to interact with one another and build that sense in each student that he or she belongs. As long as students feel as though they truly are citizens of the TCU community, they will feel much more able to express who they are.

…in the GLOBAL community

The last piece of the mission statement elaborates the sense of safety on campus that we are preparing students not just to be effective in the TCU community, nor in the Texas community, but rather in the greater community. Our world is, of course, becoming much more internationally focused, so we want to prepare students for many of the international opportunities available to them. This isn’t meant specifically in the realm of professional opportunities – although we do send students to many countries around the world for jobs after graduation – but rather in opportunities to exchange ideas and interact with those who originate from other nations. Students can only be prepared for such global opportunities, however, if TCU invites these global ideas into its own community, something that TCU achieves in two key ways.

One way is by welcoming a large number of international students to TCU. The TCU student body represents over ninety different countries, with students coming from East Asia, South America, Western Europe, Africa, and nearly everywhere in between. Being a student in the Neeley School of Business at TCU, I had the chance to work in group projects and in student organizations with students from France, Vietnam, El Salvador, and tons of other places. It was always so interesting to hear the perspectives that international students brought to TCU as they had both obvious differences from and surprising similarities to my own.

TCU students studying abroad in Paris, France.

TCU students studying abroad in Paris, France.

In addition to bringing other countries to TCU, TCU also sends students to countless other countries. The Center for International Studies: TCU Abroad Office at TCU exists solely to allow for students to have an international experience before they graduate. TCU sends students to 193 different programs in 43 different countries around the world, so essentially if a student wants to go somewhere, TCU can make it happen. Students can spend a few weeks over the summer or an entire semester long in places like Italy, Ghana, Chile, Australia, China, and virtually anywhere a student can imagine!

By being so internationally focused, TCU shows that it is a university that accepts and encourages all ideas, beliefs, and worldviews. No student at TCU will be persecuted for his or her beliefs and is therefore encouraged to continue to express them throughout his or her time in the TCU community. This, along with the other reasons I detailed above, continue to encourage this overarching sense of safety found on TCU’s campus. Without it, TCU wouldn’t quite be the special place that it is.

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A Change is Gonna Come

By: Heath Einstein

Change is never easy. Even minor adjustments sometimes feel monumental.  Our admission cycle has taken on a semblance of predictability through the years.  From our application deadlines to release of decisions to the May 1 national candidate reply date, we know when the ebbs ebb and the flows flow.

This year, however, is different. For the first time in TCU’s illustrious history, we offered a binding Early Decision option for our students.  There have always been students whose first choice is TCU; Early Decision gives them an opportunity to stand up and declare themselves.  Going into this uncharted territory, we were unsure how many students would take the risk of committing themselves to us early in the admission calendar.  After all, they pledge to withdraw applications from all other colleges if admitted.  That’s a serious commitment. A quick Google search reveals that many selective colleges bring in a sizable portion of their freshman classes under a binding Early Decision plan. That has not nor will it be our goal. If we had received a couple of hundred applications we would’ve consider ourselves fortunate.  In fact, over 400 students applied via Early Decision and on Wednesday we mailed offers to 241 students from all parts of the United States and even a handful overseas.  We anticipate welcoming about 1900 students on campus next August as part of the Class of 2018.

Bo Puckett from Highland Park High School in Dallas, TX, celebrates becoming the newest member of the Horned Frog family.

Bo Puckett from Highland Park High School in Dallas, TX, celebrates becoming the newest member of the Horned Frog family.

We still have thousands of wonderful applications to review.  Between Early Action, Early Action II, and Regular Decision, we have – to paraphrase Robert Frost – “miles to go before we sleep.”

It’s an exciting time to be a Horned Frog.


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