Horned Frog Blog

Musings from the TCU Admission Office

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A Holistic Process

The Texas Christian University Office of Admission often receives questions from applicants regarding individual elements of their applications – how powerfully does one low score, one “off” grading period, one disciplinary infraction or even one poorly organized admission essay impact our admission decisions?

It’s a thoughtful question and deserves a thoughtful response – and as with any complex scenario, a measure of context is warranted.

As an institution of higher learning, TCU values academic achievement, personal freedom and inquiry, the dignity and respect of the individual, and a heritage of inclusiveness, tolerance and service. We take great pride in the personal and individual approach of our college admission process.


Our team reviews each application holistically, always considering the framework of an applicant’s overall story. We understand that neither a single variable nor a set of data points provides a complete picture. Through our careful evaluation of academics, we find students who take coursework that is both challenging and interesting to them, and who show diligence in pursuing top grades. We also learn about our applicants through their essays, resumes and letters of recommendation. Reflections of commitment to interests that are deeply personal and inspiring offer insights into future Horned Frogs who will carry forward that zeal and inspire others on our campus and beyond. In addition to these two-dimensional exchanges, we meet thousands of applicants in person during their college searches, adding texture and allowing us to see as many of their 360 degrees as they’re willing to share.

TCU has a rich history of encouraging a vibrant and diverse community, particularly through our student admission process. TCU was the first college in Texas to enroll a female seeking a bachelor’s degree, and the first in the Southwest Conference to sign an African-American athlete. When discussing the early coeducational status, one key TCU administrator called it “a sign of progress” and “a bold adventure.” Though more than a century has passed since that statement was made, this heritage of inclusiveness remains a key tenet of our university values. It’s a spirit thriving today at TCU as we continue enrolling students who pursue their passions and academic interests with fervor and dedication.

Making an admission decision, either positive or negative, based on a single element – be it a transcript, test score or disciplinary record – counters our philosophy of holistic review. We encourage any applicants who have questions or concerns about their status to reach out and begin a dialogue with their admission counselors. We also encourage our applicants to seek bold academic and personal adventures.


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Surviving A College Fair

The first time you step into a college fair can be intimidating. Hundreds of conversations swirl around you, creating an indecipherable din. Dozens of schools line your high school gym or cafeteria, each bright banner advertising a different college, a different experience, a different life. Walking down the aisles, you see all sorts of marketing materials: pens, lanyards, buttons. And, of course, topping it off are all of those brochures, each one showing the same images: a science lab, students having class outside, scenes from a football game. How can you manage all that chaos in order to use a college fair to help find the perfect school for you?


Know what you’re looking for

The biggest key to success is to have an idea of what you’re looking for. This will help you pare down your search before the fair even begins. If you’ve always dreamed of going to a school in an urban location, you can focus on those types of schools. If your goal is to become an engineer, ask the counselors at each table if their school offers an engineering degree. While it’s possible to stumble on your dream school at a college fair, you can learn more by doing online research. A bit of work before the fair can go a long way towards making your time useful.

Have questions

What’s important to you? Know what you’re looking for in a school and ask questions about it. If you really want to live on campus, ask about a school’s residence life. If you value the opportunity to conduct independent research, ask! By knowing a couple of specific things you’re looking for, you can get those most out of your time.

Do your research

You can find the answer to a lot of basic questions online. Use your college fair to ask the deeper questions that aren’t so easily found on the internet. Every school has scholarships and financial aid, and you can find basic information about them on pretty much every school’s website. But your college fair is a great time to ask more about how those scholarships and grants work together. A website can tell you if a school offers a nursing degree; use the fair to learn about what the clinical look like.

Admission counselors are people

To go off my last point, the counselors on the other side of the table at your fair are people. More importantly, they’re people who might have gone to that school, and have definitely been trained by their institution. This means that we’re the experts on what the school is actually like. Ask us questions about what the college experience is like! You can get great information from many sources, but admission counselors can tell you much about the culture of a school. Ask questions like, “what’s your favorite part of this school”, or “what are the actual classes like” and you’ll learn more than what a brochure or website can tell you.

Sign up for information

Many schools will have prospect cards that you can fill out. These will put you on the mailing list where you can get more information from different schools. If you find a school that catches your eye, put your name down and schools can continue to reach out. Additionally, a lot of schools do track demonstrated interest, so fill out a prospect card even if you’re already getting information, just to let them know that you were there and talked to them. It helps!


The biggest piece of advice I can give in regards to attending a college fair is simple and applicable to your entire college search: enjoy the process.

Applying to colleges can be stressful and there will be times when you want to pull your hair out. But just remember, you only get to go through the process once, so try to relax, enjoy it, and enjoy the moment. And if you’re at a college fair and you see someone from TCU, please come say hello!



Dalton Goodier is a Freshman Admission Counselor. He works with students in Arkansas, Oklahoma, the greater Austin area, East Texas, and a few parts of Houston. 

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Application Fee to be Waived for First Generation Applicants

Beginning August 1, the start of the application season for Texas Christian University’s Class of 2022, the application fee will be waived for all first- generation applicants. First-generation has been defined as a student whose parents have not received a four-year college degree. Heath Einstein, Dean of Admission, said, “As we endeavor to create an even more diverse campus, opening pathways to underserved students is critical. The application fee, which is nominal to much of our applicant pool, is a barrier to entry for others.”

TCU’s application fee has been $40 (for domestic students) for many years, which places us on the “reasonably priced” side compared to most peer institutions. Still, Einstein said, it’s onerous for some.


A new question has been added to the application that will direct first-generation applicants to waive the application fee. An additional benefit to asking this question is that we will have the data on how many first-generation students enroll at TCU. The Office of Admission will share this data with Student Development Services, which will prompt an invitation to these students to participate in the Leaders 4 Life mentorship program established a few years ago.

Einstein said, “More than merely signaling to underserved communities that TCU is an inclusive environment, waiving the application fee will broaden this campus’s vitality.”

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Student Submission: Perks of Being an Orientation Leader

Phat Do spent last summer as an Orientation Leader, welcoming all of our incoming freshmen to TCU. These are his hilarious and unexpected
perks of being an Orientation Leader:

  1. You’ll never be late for your 8AM again

I’ll admit it. I have a love-hate relationship with my 8AM class (assuming my 8AM loves me). But fear not, for I’ll no longer be late for my 8AM again. Orientation always starts at 7AM, and believe it or not, after two months of crawling out of bed (sometimes falling out of bed, on purpose of course), I now already master the art of waking up at 6:30 even without an alarm.

  1. You can lost longer through lectures

I used to have an attention deficit problem. And I used to complain that my two-hour chemistry lecture was brutal. Now I chuckle at my own naivety. After Orientations, no way can I fall asleep to long lectures anymore. I’ve been trained to open my eyes when my soul left me after 12 sessions of the same (SAME!!!) lecture materials in just one month. Even better, I have to stay awake to walk around and pat the shoulders of equally struggling people in the ballroom. And if you ever receive a pat from me, don’t be embarrassed, because I totally feel you. And if you feel overwhelmed, trust me; your OL was feeling the same way too. But however tired we may feel or however repetitive the lectures may be, we were putting on a brave face, just for you!

  1. You’ll get free musical theater lessonsol

For artistically UNinclined people like me, I’ll never dare to put my face on the stage. I’m scared of anything to do with art, from drawing to dancing. Even my little nephew told
me my stick figures looked ugly, and my chicken dance was as confused as Psyduck. Yes, I am that bad, and now, I had to perform on stage, to a group of more than 200 people, not once but twelve times?! I am more than prepared to play a role in the skit, to sing my guts out, and to stand tall and proud as my name was introduced to the students and their family. Because of Orientation, I can finally put stage fright behind me.

  1. You can lose some extra pounds

Being on the Orientation Staff is like winning an Unlimited Pass to the Rec Center. If you are still finding it hard to believe, I’ll show you our daily workouts. Like a routine, the staff always started off the day with a cardio exercise called “Smash It.” It’s a signature dance aka workout move invented by some genius Horned Frogs who felt the need of destruction: “I say we smash it, and flip it and rub it down…”

(Watch the crazy cheer here: https://www.facebook.com/TCUTexasChristianUniversity/videos/10156966899205065/

Honestly, I still have no idea what the lyrics mean or why there’s a destruction song in the first place, but hey, bouncing around did get my blood pumping in the early mornings. And as a complement to the cardio, long-distance walks to various buildings on campus helps trim down the excess fat. I can guarantee you from personal experience, the fastest way to lose some pounds, beside Brexit, is joining Orientation. After just one month, I lost 2 lbs, an incredible and unprecedented feat that has never occurred before. It’s like magic.

  1. You’ll learn how to always wear a smile

An OL is always smiling, like a Disney character. An OL’s role is making everyone happy, and that process begins with a smile. Admittedly, it is very hard to smile 24/7 every hour every day. So I thought of a personal way to inspire me to smile everyday however the circumstances: I always assume myself a Disney character each of my Orientation session. For example, on the day I overslept, I thought I was Goofy, with his typical “lost” expression, head-scratch, and dreamy eyes. Thinking of myself a fictional character who is lovable despite his goofiness lets me forgive myself and my mistakes and start my day anew! In the rainy days, smiling to lost students can be harder. So in one particular downpour, I looked to a lost student, thinking myself a Nemo showing Dory on where to go. For the other parts of my summer, I was Jimmy Cricks, the rock star version of Jiminy Crickets. Like Crickets, I walked around the campus singing, whistling and smiling to everyone I walked by. Whatever weather conditions, the entire Orientation staff including myself tries our best to welcome you on this amazing campus we call home.

I hope through this blog post, you get a glimpse of your Orientation Leaders’ daily life. I hope you will love Orientation as much as we do, and I so look forward to seeing y’all on campus this Fall semester, Class of 2021!


Phat Do is a sophomore biochemistry major from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In addition to being an Orientation Leader, he is the President of the GO Center, a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Program, a peer writing consultant, and a member of the Vietnamese Student Association.

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Student Submission: Praise to thee, TCU

My family is made up of Horned Frogs. My mom and dad met at TCU thanks to my aunt who was also here and was my mom’s “big” in Tri Delta. My uncle came to TCU a few years after his brother and sister graduated, and my mom’s youngest sister attended. I have a real-life Horned Frog family, and yes, we definitely bleed purple.


Claire Allen, Lynn Drury Allen (mom, class of ’88), me, Emily Cox (cousin, class of ’15) and Melissa Allen Taylor (aunt, class of ’86)

During work week with Tri Delta for recruitment my sophomore year, my mother took her life after a long, hard-fought battle with depression. It was because of the events that followed that I really realized and felt how close we are as a TCU community.


My Tri Delt sisters made a huge poster for me saying, “We love you, Madelon!” with little notes from members. My big and grand-big recorded themselves singing a song that makes me cry every time. Some friends in Alpha Chi Omega sent me flowers, Kappa Alpha Theta took a picture of our chapters together captioned, “we love you!” and friends I hadn’t seen since freshman year sent me well wishes and condolences.

When it came time for the memorial service, there weren’t enough seats in the church as almost every single one of my Tri Delt sisters lined the walls. Chancellor Boschini and Vice-Chancellor Kathy Cavins-Tull attended and gave me the biggest hugs. My mom’s roommate from her TCU days was there and introduced herself to me. People wrote such nice notes and memories on her obituary. Donations were made to Delta Delta Delta in my mom’s name.

momFast forward to now, where my mom’s friends from Tri Delta are donating money in her name to fund our new Greek houses and members of the TCU community check in with me to see how my day/week/semester is going.

No matter where you go, if you see someone in a TCU shirt and let out a “Go Frogs!”, you’ll get a smile and a “Go Frogs” right back. You can make instant connections because of the colors purple and white and placing your hand in a folded peace sign. That’s the Frog Factor; that’s the Horned Frog way.


The professors really care about you and your well-being, as do the staff. If you meet Chancellor Boschini once, he’ll remember your name and where you’re from. TCU is a connected culture of passionate purple-loving people. No matter what you want to do, you’ll find a place at TCU. You’ll make friends with people all over campus, don’t be surprised if you find yourself a step or two late to class because you were chatting with them.

When we sing the alma mater, it’s hard to not feel something because the words ring so true.

“Hail all hail, T-C-U

Memories sweet, Comrades true,

Light of Faith, Follow Through

Praise to Thee, T-C-U!”

I’m a junior and every single day I hear these notes echoing from Robert Carr Chapel on the hour – I just can’t get enough of it. My memories are sweet, and I have so many more to make. My comrades are true, they’ll walk with me through anything. My faith keeps me walking, and my comrades and memories help me along the path. I’m just so thankful that path doesn’t stop at the graduation stage. We’re Frogs for life. Praise to thee, TCU. I couldn’t have done it without you.

dadMadelon Allen is a junior strategic communication and psychology double major, born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. She is an Athletics Communication Intern for TCU Athletics and she also serves as the Director of Wellness for SGA

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Student Submission: How to Get the Most Out of a Campus Visit

As a junior and senior in high school, I remember going on a lot of campus tours while I was applying to college. I think visiting campus gives you some of the best insight into a school and its community, so it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. As someone who has been through campus visits and now gives campus tours, I have some pro tips for all of you prospective students.

  1. Do Some Research—Most colleges and universities have a section on their website that has fast facts about the campus, student body, academics, and more. Give this a read so you have a basic idea of what to expect.
  2. Be On Time—I feel like this one is self explanatory, but I included it just in case.
  3. Wear Shoes You Can Walk In—Most people probably think this one sounds silly, but going on a 90-minute walking tour in heels is super uncomfortable. Seriously.
  4. Speak Up If You Can’t Hear—I’m a pretty loud person, but I always tell my tour groups to let me know if there comes a point where they can’t hear something I’m saying. Even if it’s only for a second, you never know what important information or corny joke you might be missing, so holla at us if we need to turn up the volume.
  5. Ask Quality Questions—Don’t ask questions you can find the answer to on the school’s website. Ask your tour guide about their college application process, why they chose their school, and their favorite classes, activities and places to eat near campus (mine is Rodeo Goat, in case you were wondering).
  6. Stay Connected—If you’re substantially interested in the school after the tour, get your tour guide’s contact information. Admission counselors are really helpful, but sometimes you just want a student’s perspective. It’s totally not weird to ask for your tour guide’s email; in fact, we’re flattered when you do. We give tours because we love our school, and we’re happy to help you learn about it any way we can.



Sophia Coussoule is a Spanish and Strategic Communication double major from Chattanooga, Tennessee. She is currently a junior and is involved with Leaders for Life, Frog Camp, Delta Gamma, and Student Foundation



Faculty Feature: Darryl Wyrick, M.Ed


My name is Darryl Wyrick and I am a new Horned Frog in the Student Development image1Services department here on campus. I came to Texas Christian University this past summer in June as the Coordinator and it has been a decision I’m thankful for daily. Between the interaction with the students, supportive colleagues, and most importantly the feeling of comradery you get in every area on campus, I think this is the best place to be! Beginning my professional journey at TCU is something I am thankful for but the interactions that I’ve had with the students thus far have been the most rewarding and impactful.

I did my undergraduate and graduate coursework at the University of Texas at San Antonio. With UTSA being a public, large institution I was concerned about the transition to a private, smaller institution. What has tcu47745made the transition helpful is making connections across campus. Whether its meeting colleagues in Admissions, the Health Center, Athletics, and Financial Aid, all have been extremely helpful in my transition. In the same way that they have been helpful in my transition, I know the same people will work just as hard if not harder in making sure their students transition as effectively as possible. That’s what makes this campus the supportive place that it is!



Darryl Wyrick earned his B.A. in Sociology and M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He joined SDS in June of 2016 and his primary responsibility is Leaders for Life (L4L). Darryl has experience in Athletics, Student Programming, Greek Life, Housing, and Orientation.