TCU admissions are more selective for Class of 2026

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The Brown-Lupton University Union (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

By Brooke Gianopulos and Cate Thompson

With the May 1 college decision deadline less than a month away, TCU’s Office of Admission is bracing for the Class of 2026.

The goal is for 2,200 to 2,300 first-year students to matriculate, but last year 2,560 applicants took TCU on their college offers.

The largest class in TCU’s history sparked a housing crisis this year, pushing most juniors and seniors off-campus and sophomores into apartments traditionally meant for juniors and seniors, while first-year students took over sophomore housing, including the Campus Commons.

On Friday, the Board of Trustees is expected to move forward on plans to add residential halls to the east side of campus, but instead of one residence hall and a dining hall, they will be building two residence halls. 

The new residence halls will be double rooms with communal bathrooms and only for first-year students, according to Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Kathy Cavins-Toll. “We’re hoping to tie in the living environment with some learning objectives.” 

The new halls will be built across the street from Neeley School of Business and Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Chancellor Victor Boschini said the new housing can become a study hub for nursing and business students. 

In the past 10 years, TCU’s undergraduate population ballooned 24% to 10,222 students from 8,229 students. The university added more housing but still hasn’t been able to keep up with the growth. 

This year’s spring housing lottery saw some sophomores waitlisted, rather than assigned a room. Sophomores are guaranteed housing, but rising juniors and seniors aren’t. 

Craig Allen, executive director of housing and residence life, said upperclassmen should have a backup plan because housing is not guaranteed for them.

For upper-division students who want to live on campus, the lack of housing can be frustrating.

“We were given a specific time slot when we could pick our housing and got onto the portal right when the second hit,” said Stockton Ashley, a junior communication major. 

Ashley said, when she was a first-year, she was waitlisted for sophomore housing.

Despite the crunch, Boschini said there are no plans to relax the requirement that first-year students and sophomores must live on campus.

It is crucial for students to live on campus for two years in order to thrive in their environment at TCU, he said.

TCU has become more selective as its enrollment has grown. 

Although official numbers won’t be available until next fall, Dean of Admission Heath Einstein, said that there were 2.6% more applications this year than last year. There were 19,782 applications for the Class of 2025, according to the Office of Institutional Research. There were over 20,000 applications for next year’s class. 

“Because the entering first-year class in fall 2021 was larger than anticipated, we intentionally admitted fewer students for fall 2022,” Einstein said.

With more applications and fewer students admitted, TCU’s acceptance rate will decrease from the 54% it was last year.

Victoria Gonzalez contributed to this report.