TCU Supplemental Essays 2022-23
Located in Fort Worth, Texas, TCU is one of the top 100 colleges in the nation. So, as you prepare to apply, you should think carefully about your TCU supplemental essays. Depending on how you apply, you’ll write 1-3 TCU essays—we’ll expand on each of the required TCU essay prompts in this guide.
Overall, the TCU essay prompts are designed to help you show the admissions team what makes you unique. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to write Texas Christian University supplemental essays that highlight your strengths.
Keep reading to learn more about TCU admissions, the TCU application requirements, and the TCU supplemental essays.
TCU Essay Prompts: Quick Facts
- TCU Acceptance Rate: 54% – U.S. News ranks TCU as a moderately selective school.
- Texas Christian University supplemental essay requirements:
- TCU Admissions site: 1 required essay
- Common App: 2 required essays, 1 optional
- Texas Christian University Supplemental Essays Tip: In your TCU supplemental essays, highlight how you connect with the school’s mission and values. Do your research to learn more about TCU, and use those notes as you consider the TCU essay prompts.
- Texas Christian University Application: Students can submit their TCU admissions application through the Common App, Coalition App, ApplyTexas, or the TCU Application.
- Texas Christian University Application Deadlines:
- Early Action: November 1st
- Early Decision I: November 1st
- Regular Decision: February 1st
- Early Decision II: February 1st
Does TCU have supplemental essays?
Yes, TCU admissions requires two TCU supplemental essays on the Common App and one supplemental essay on the TCU Admissions website. Note that overall, the university only requires students to submit a single essay. However, certain application portals may ask for further information. So, be intentional about which platform you use to complete your application.
As stated, unlike at most other colleges, the TCU supplemental essays vary by platform. Logically, many students who are applying to several schools choose to use Common App. However, applying for college directly on the school’s website is another secure and simple way to submit your TCU application and Texas Christian University supplemental essays.
No matter what application platform you use, it is important to understand all the TCU essay prompts and required TCU supplemental essays prior to submitting your application. However you submit them, your TCU essays are a critical part of the TCU admissions process.
How the TCU essays fit into the application process
The Texas Christian University admissions committee describes the TCU application process as selective, personal, and holistic. This means the TCU admissions committee looks at all components of your TCU application to better understand who you are. This includes your GPA, course rigor, extracurricular involvements, and, of course, the Texas Christian University supplemental essays.
Strong TCU supplemental essays are a critical component of a successful college application. The TCU essay prompts are specifically designed to let you show why you belong on campus. Overall, your TCU essays should highlight your values, creativity, and commitment to TCU.
What are the TCU essay prompts?
Students interested in TCU can submit their TCU supplemental essays and apply through the Common App or the TCU admissions application (TCU’s own portal).
If you use TCU’s portal, the TCU application requirements include just one essay. Students applying through the TCU admissions application have four TCU essay prompts to choose from.
The Common App requires two TCU essays and offers a third optional essay. The TCU essay prompts on the Common App don’t give you a choice—instead, you’ll find standard essay prompts to complete. There are no additional TCU essay prompts to choose from.
TCU Supplemental Essays – Common App
At TCU, it is our vision to be a world-class, values-centered university. We value academics, intellectual inquiry, creative expression, leadership, service, diversity, and the appreciation of the human experience. With which one of TCU’s core values do you most align and why? (200 words)
TCU is committed to creating an inclusive campus culture for all people. We have a shared responsibility to enhance our community by encouraging inclusive environments through learning opportunities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Describe how you have already contributed to creating an inclusive environment in your community or how you plan to contribute to an inclusive college environment in the future. (200 words)
Prompt 3 (Optional)
TCU values individuality and believes that students are more than just a GPA and test score. To help us get to know you even better, consider this opportunity to further express yourself. The only limitations are the boundaries of your imagination. Please upload an essay, poem, work of art, or a URL that showcases another side of you.
TCU Supplemental Essays – TCU Portal
At TCU, our mission statement is very important to us. “The mission of Texas Christian University, a private comprehensive university, is to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community through research and creative activities, scholarship, service, and programs of teaching and learning offered through the doctoral level.” This is integrated into all aspects of the TCU experience. If you were to write a mission statement about your life, what would it be and how does this mission direct your life and goals?
Tell us about the most significant person, experience, or circumstance which has shaped your life thus far. How has he, she, or it influenced your character? How might you use what you have learned to achieve your goals?
Those we call great will usually point to some failure in their lives as a pivotal moment leading them to their successful path. Tell us about a time in your life in which failure propelled you toward success.
In her best-selling novel The Secret Life of Bees, TCU alumna Sue Monk Kidd wrote, “The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.” What matters to you?
In this article, we will focus on how to approach the Common App TCU essay prompts rather than the prompts on the TCU portal. However, if one of the TCU essay prompts on the school’s portal seems like a better fit, consider applying through TCU’s website instead of using the Common App.
Next, we will cover each of the TCU essay prompts for the Common App in detail.
TCU Essay Prompts #1: TCU’s Values
Prompt 1: At TCU, it is our vision to be a world-class, values-centered university. We value academics, intellectual inquiry, creative expression, leadership, service, diversity, and the appreciation of the human experience. With which one of TCU’s core values do you most align and why? (200 words)
In many ways, the first of the TCU essay prompts is a “why TCU” essay. As a “why school essay,” you should use the first of the TCU supplemental essays to highlight what makes TCU the perfect school for you. In this case, your “why this college essay” for TCU should highlight your connection to TCU’s values.
“Why this college essays” or “why school essays” are a common type of essay prompt. These prompts allow the admissions committee to learn what makes their school the right fit for a particular student. In this case, strong TCU supplemental essays will highlight why TCU aligns with a student’s core values.
Unpacking the prompt
The prompt begins by telling the applicant exactly what TCU values on its campus. Additionally, you can see these values reflected on the TCU admissions website—a good reminder to do your research. Then, this TCU essay prompt asks explicitly about which of TCU’s values most appeal to you.
Strong TCU supplemental essays will make a connection with a few of the values listed in the essay prompt. These include academics, intellectual inquiry, creative expression, leadership, service, diversity, and the appreciation of the human experience.
Don’t feel pressured to address all of these values in your TCU supplemental essays. After all, you only have 200 words. Instead, identify 2-3 values that you find most compelling. With such a limited word count, you may benefit from picking a set of values that you can discuss in tandem.
For example, TCU values both diversity and intellectual inquiry. A student who also holds these values might discuss how diversity is a necessary component of true intellectual discourse. In your response to the TCU essay prompts, you can also highlight how you’ve displayed these values within your own life. This can add dimension to your TCU application.
Overall, you should use the TCU supplemental essays to highlight your values and beliefs. Next, let’s discuss the second TCU Common Application essay prompt.
TCU Essay Prompts #2: Creating Inclusive Environments
Let’s look at the second of the Common App TCU supplemental essays. Like the first, this prompt asks you to highlight how your values align with those of TCU—but this time, it focuses on inclusivity.
Prompt 2: TCU is committed to creating an inclusive campus culture for all people. We have a shared responsibility to enhance our community by encouraging inclusive environments through learning opportunities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Describe how you have already contributed to creating an inclusive environment in your community or how you plan to contribute to an inclusive college environment in the future. (200 words)
This prompt asks applicants to speak directly about diversity equity and inclusion. Specifically, TCU wants to know how you’ve enriched your community—or will enrich their campus—by promoting diversity and inclusion. Diversity in this context includes race, ethnicity, religion, gender, region, academic interest, and varied learning styles.
Defining diversity and inclusion
When approaching the TCU supplemental essays, you should first reflect on how you define and see diversity equity and inclusion. Think about your family, your high school, and your community. Remember, your answer doesn’t have to address all areas of diversity and inclusion. Once you understand what diversity and inclusion mean to you, it’s time to start looking for examples.
Centering your experiences
In your TCU essays, the admissions team wants to see concrete examples of how you’ve helped create an inclusive environment.
Review your resume and Common App activities list, and look for things you’ve done that reflect these ideals. Remember, your TCU supplemental essays don’t need to revolve around specific leadership roles or lines on your resume. You may have contributed to an inclusive environment through classroom conversation or a simple interaction with those around you.
Overall, for both of the required TCU essay prompts, you should highlight how your values manifest in your interactions with the world around you. There’s no right or wrong answer to the TCU essay prompts— the TCU admissions team just wants to learn more about who you are and what you believe.
Optional TCU Supplemental Essay
The final TCU supplemental essay is optional. At CollegeAdvisor, we always recommend that students complete all optional essays to stand out. However, this final prompt is not technically part of the TCU application requirements.
Check out the optional TCU essay prompt below:
Prompt 3 (Optional): TCU values individuality and believes that students are more than just a GPA and test score. To help us get to know you even better, consider this opportunity to further express yourself. The only limitations are the boundaries of your imagination. Please upload an essay, poem, work of art, or a URL that showcases another side of you.
Unlike the other TCU essays, the last of the TCU essay prompts gives you a bit more freedom. In fact, it’s not an essay prompt at all—it’s an invitation to share your creative work.
The last of the TCU supplemental essays can help you stand out in the TCU admissions process by showcasing a side of you that the admissions team may not otherwise see. You won’t find any word limits in this prompt—instead, you have full creative freedom.
However, you should still think carefully about your response to the last of the TCU essay prompts. Look for things to share that would add genuine value to your TCU admissions application.
TCU Essays and the Admissions Process
The TCU admissions team uses a holistic review process. As mentioned in the TCU Quick Facts, the TCU acceptance rate is 54%, which makes this school relatively selective. While the TCU acceptance rate can change each year, you can expect the TCU acceptance rate to remain selective. This makes the TCU supplemental essays even more important.
However, don’t let the TCU acceptance rate intimidate you. In addition to the TCU essay prompts, you can use plenty of the TCU application requirements to highlight your strengths.
In addition to the TCU essays, the TCU admissions team requires the following:
- Application fee
- Official high school transcript
- Counselor evaluation
- Teacher evaluation
Each of these TCU application requirements will contribute to your admissions outcome.
Additionally, some applicants may need to submit additional materials. For example, international applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test, and Early Decision applicants must submit an Early Decision agreement.
Does TCU care about essays?
Yes, Texas Christian University cares about TCU essays. In fact, the TCU essays play a major role in the admissions process—so don’t neglect the TCU essay prompts.
Beyond your Common App Personal Essay, applicants must complete 1-2 TCU supplemental essays (depending on how they apply). These essays ask applicants to highlight how their values align with those of the TCU admissions team. So, in your Texas Christian University supplemental essays, you should foreground how your values inform your interactions with your community. Then, expand on your past experiences to discuss how these same values would help you enrich campus life at TCU.
Remember, well-crafted Texas Christian University supplemental essays are a great way to increase your admissions odds.
TCU supplemental essays and the holistic review process
In any holistic application process, supplemental essays can make a major difference. Therefore, your TCU supplemental essays are your chance to speak directly to the TCU admissions team and highlight why you’d be a good fit for their school.
For selective colleges like TCU, essays can serve as a key way for students to stand out. So, look at each of your Texas Christian University supplemental essays as an opportunity to set yourself apart.
5 Tips on How to Write the TCU Supplemental Essays
How to write the TCU Supplemental Essays
1. Get organized
Want to write strong TCU supplemental essays? First, get organized. Before you sit down to write your TCU essays, take some time to brainstorm. This can help you flesh out your thoughts.
After you have an idea of the topics you’d like to discuss, make an outline. This will help you respond to every aspect of the TCU essay prompts thoughtfully and thoroughly—and make it easier to write a draft.
2. Perfect the why school essay.
The Texas Christian University supplemental essays don’t look like conventional “why this college essays.” But, make no mistake, at their core, the TCU essays want you to highlight what makes TCU the perfect place for you.
This one may seem obvious, but many students fall victim to not answering the why school essay prompt. In these essays, you should steer clear of stats like the TCU acceptance rate or college rankings. Instead, you should draw clear parallels between your interests, accomplishments, and values and Texas Christian University.
For example, if you’re interested in biomedical research, you might discuss how TCU’s unique approach to this field engages you. Don’t just focus on TCU—instead, highlight how TCU directly serves your needs.
3. Establish “fit”
You’ve probably heard the term “fit” before. Essentially, college “fit” is about finding the right school for your needs—where your values, interests, and achievements align with the school’s ethos and offerings.
So, use the TCU essay prompts to highlight how you would be a good fit for TCU. In your TCU supplemental essays, look for specific examples of programs, values, and opportunities that make TCU the right match for you. Then, focus your Texas Christian University supplemental essays on these factors.
4. Get creative
Texas Christian University values creative expression. To that end, TCU allows students an opportunity to share their creative work as part of their application. This is one of the more non-traditional TCU essay prompts, so feel free to submit a nontraditional answer to these TCU essay prompts.
Whether you submit an essay with a satirical tone, an art portfolio, or a video of a musical performance, the last of Texas Christian University supplemental essays lets you show a different side of yourself. If this optional prompt resonates with you, don’t hesitate to highlight your creativity.
5. Find a proofreader
After you have strong Texas Christian University supplemental essays, it’s time to proofread.
Strong TCU essays will be well-structured, with proper use of grammar and spelling. Find someone you trust to proofread your TCU essays for clarity and syntax. You might ask a parent, teacher, counselor, or college advisor for help.
Lastly, refer to this Texas Christian University supplemental essays guide often to help you craft competitive TCU essays.
TCU Essays and Additional Resources from CollegeAdvisor
Looking for more essay resources? Before you write your TCU supplemental essays, check out some of our other content designed to assist you with your TCU admissions application and TCU supplemental essays. You can also check out some of TCU’s resources including this webinar with TCU’s Dean of Admissions, Heath Einstein.
Want to write the perfect “why school essay”? This guide can give you more tips on tackling the first of the TCU supplemental essays. At their core, “why college essays” look for one thing—a strong argument as to why you belong at a particular school. Check out our guide for tips.
Looking for other Texas colleges for your list? Check out our Best Colleges in Texas guide for insights on top colleges around the state.
The more research you do, the stronger your Texas Christian University supplemental essays will be. Remember, writing a successful “why this college essay” requires you to understand what makes each school unique.
TCU Essay Prompts – Final Thoughts
When reviewing your TCU supplemental essays, keep these tips in mind. The TCU admissions team wants to see how your profile aligns with TCU’s academic resources, university values, and campus culture. So, use your TCU essays to show them—and get one step closer to an acceptance letter.
Do some thorough research on TCU, starting with the TCU admissions website. Setting up a campus visit can also be a great way to explore TCU and learn whether you can envision yourself on campus. It can also give you some details to include in your TCU supplemental essays.
The more you know about your college of choice, the better your supplemental essays will be. However, you shouldn’t just research TCU—you should also think critically about your own interests and goals. The more you know about what you want in a college—and how you can make your chosen college a better place—the stronger your essays will be.
This TCU essay guide was written by AO, Chelsea Holley. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.