TCU likely to remain test-optional for first-year applicants


The Mary Wright Admission Center. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

By Sarah Walter, Staff Writer

The SAT and ACT will continue to be optional for first-year applicants to TCU.

TCU first made the exams optional in April 2020 during the pandemic. In July 2022, this policy was extended to include 2023 and 2024 high school graduates.

At an Oct. 26 town hall, Provost Teresa Dahlberg said the policy will be reevaluated when the class of 2024 graduates, but it will likely remain in place.

“This first class that came in as test-optional, as they start graduating, we want to be sure that the students are actually being more successful,” Dahlberg said. “And if it is, then I expect that we’re going to make it permanent.”

The provost said this policy reduces barriers for prospective students.

“The great thing about it is it brings us a more diverse student population,” Dahlberg said. “High test scores have been correlated more to wealth than to actual intelligence or ability to get through college, and so that’s the really great thing about it.”

Chancellor Victor Boschini said as a “poor kid,” standardized testing “worked against” him when applying to college.

“It just shows you what you did in those four hours,” Boschini said. “I’d rather see your high school grades, and did you get better from freshman year to senior year? Did you work hard? What courses did you take? That tells me how you’ll do in college more than that test.”

TCU welcome event
TCU welcomes students back for the fall 2021 semester. (Esau Rodriguez Olvera / Staff Photographer)

Test scores are not required to receive scholarships or acceptance into the Honors College, according to the Office of Admissions.

Avery Leeper, a sophomore social work major, said not having to submit test scores made her feel valued by TCU.

“There’s a lot more to a person than their test scores,” Leeper said. “Test anxiety is real and people struggle with that.”

Dahlberg said being test-optional creates more work for the Office of Admissions.

“It makes them have to think more and look more at each application,” Dahlberg said. “Admissions officers have to look more at the classes that the kids took in high school and just look more at their overall package. It may be more reflective, and that takes time, but the outcome is worth it.”