How to Write the Texas Christian University Essays 2020-2021

Texas Christian University is a private university in Fort Worth, Texas. It is the biggest university associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), but its students represent over 60 different faiths. TCU has an acceptance rate of 41%. The middle 50% SAT range is 1150-1340 and the middle 50% ACT range is 26-30. 

 

TCU professors follow the teacher-scholar model, meaning there is a heavy emphasis placed on symbiotic student-faculty relations. Every year, the school hosts a free, multi-day Festival of American Song that promotes the work of living composers of every genre. With nationally recognized D1 athletic teams and more than 250 student organizations, Horned Frogs have ample opportunities to participate in engaging activities outside of the classroom.

 

If you’re interested in applying to TCU, read on to learn how to answer its two supplemental prompts. Want to know your chances at TCU? Calculate your chances for free right now. 

 

Want to learn what TCU will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering UNC needs to know. 

 

Texas Christian University Supplemental Essay Prompts

Prompt 1: What makes TCU a great fit for you? (100 words)

 

Prompt 2: How would you describe your personal character? (100 words) 

Both of TCU’s supplements have a maximum of just 100 words. This limits your response to a few sentences, and as such, there is no room for you to give a proper introduction or conclusion. Rather, your brief responses can be straightforward without too much elaboration. You should try to incorporate details and avoid chippiness, but should not place as much emphasis on maintaining a narrative-like quality. 

Prompt 1

What makes TCU a great fit for you? (100 words)

The “Why this college?” prompt is a way for admissions officers to learn more about your interest in their specific school. Because you only have a few sentences to demonstrate your desire to attend TCU, you should pick a couple of TCU-specific offerings that you genuinely look forward to experiencing. 

 

A common mistake many students make is mentioning the school’s accolades or generic qualities like a low student-to-faculty ratio. Instead, choose specific offerings like unique fields of study, research opportunities, and extracurricular sports and clubs. Whatever you choose to write about, be specific enough that your essay content can only apply to TCU.

 

Try connecting the school-specific elements to your current and future self to generate a comprehensive narrative that is easy to follow and interesting to read. Here is an example of a potential response:

 

“As the proud owner of two corn snakes and a Caiman lizard, I have been passionate about caring for reptiles since I was young. As a future veterinarian, TCU’s Human-Animal Relationships minor will help round out my knowledge of how animals enhance our world. I can help Dean Williams with local species preservation, driving out to the desert to play matchmaker for horned lizards. Furthermore, I know that TCU will nurture my love for nature. After volunteering at my city’s community garden, I look forward to opportunities like joining TCU’s Frog Camp and working in the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.” 

 

This response connects aspects of TCU to the student’s current passions, and then goes on to name specific resources that will signal to admissions officers that they have done ample research into the school. 

Prompt 2

How would you describe your personal character? (100 words) 

A common pitfall with this type of prompt is telling, rather than showing, admissions officers what your personal character is like. Though you may be tempted to start listing traits and explanations, there is no reason for you to try to encapsulate your entire character into this one response. Rather, describing one or two qualities in detail is a much more powerful approach.

 

Take a step back and think about what you really want to communicate to admissions officers. Try to isolate a specific instance or two that you feel really encapsulates your character, and then relay it in a narrative-like manner. A good starting point is to browse TCU’s core values on their Brand Central page. Though you should not copy these word-for-word, they can give you a better idea of what content should be included in your response. 

 

Here are two examples of potential responses: 

 

Weak: “I am very service-oriented and have been in Girl Scouts for ten years. Helping others has become a passion of mine, and I often volunteer at the senior center or my local food bank. I also am responsible and dependable. Whether it is a class or an extracurricular, I always seek out leadership roles and use my organizational skills to put forward the most efficient and quality work that I can. I also have a love of learning, so in my free time, I take online courses in subjects like coding and entrepreneurship to hone my skills in these areas.”

 

Strong: “Throughout my life, nothing has given me greater joy than being able to help others. As a Girl Scout, I often volunteered at my local soup kitchen. Seeing people there, especially those around my age, made me want to increase my impact. I organized an afterschool program at my high school where food insecure students could receive untouched, leftover food from our cafeteria. Organizing and implementing this large-scale project allowed me to hone my leadership skills for a good cause. At TCU, I plan to continue nurturing my love of service by mitigating community issues throughout my college career.”  

 

The first response reads like a list and tells, rather than shows, readers what the applicant is like. While they mention multiple activities, no detail is provided so the response lacks credibility. 

 

By contrast, the second response focuses on a single project that showcases the applicant’s character and leadership skills. Their service-oriented mindset is clear and lines up with TCU’s values. Though they don’t explicitly mention this, their compassion and problem-solving mindset shine through the response. This is the type of writing that will show admissions officers who you are in a unique and memorable way. 

 

Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. You can also get your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

Want more college essay tips?

We'll send them straight to your inbox.


Short bio
Our college essay experts go through a rigorous selection process that evaluates their writing skills and knowledge of college admissions. We also train them on how to interpret prompts, facilitate the brainstorming process, and provide inspiration for great essays, with curriculum culled from our years of experience helping students write essays that work.