Higher admissions standards mean more competition for fall applicants

With an increase in applicants to TCU comes an increase in admissions standards, said the chairman of the TCU admissions committee.Jim Atwood, the chairman, said TCU now has the ability to be more selective in who it admits because higher standards of academic preparation are expected.

“One factor given increased emphasis, certainly at TCU, is leadership experience, which is seen as an important complement to academic preparation,” Atwood said.

According to the College Board Web site, an online source that provides guidance to prospective students in their college search, the average SAT scores for admitted freshmen at TCU are 1080 – 1250 and the average ACT scores are 23 – 28.

In the last five years, the average SAT composite scores of admitted freshmen have increased from 1050 – 1240 in 2001 to the current 1080 – 1260. ACT scores, however, have remained constant since 2003, according to TCU’s Institutional Research Web site.

The average incoming freshman is in the top 18 percent to 20 percent of his or her class, Atwood said.

Wes Waggoner, director of freshman admissions, said that in order to maintain the overall enrollment of 7,200, the cap for entering freshmen for the 2006-2007 academic year is set at around 1,600.

Atwood said, “This year, it is likely that about 800 students will be offered a place on our waiting list in the event that a place in the entering class might later become available.”

To determine the approximate number of freshmen needed to fulfill the target number, TCU works backward based on historical data, Waggoner said.

“So far, we have admitted a little more than 5,000 students from an applicant pool of about 8,700 – the largest in TCU’s history,” Waggoner said.

Of course, Waggoner said, more students must be accepted than actually expected to enroll because almost every applicant has applied and been accepted to more than one university.

A major trend that has been seen across the country is that high school students are being more selective in where they apply, Atwood said. Students are applying to upward of six schools, he said, whereas in the past, they might have applied to about three universities.