Few states go big like Texas when it comes to public universities. But Texas Christian University (TCU) might be an attractive alternative for someone who want to pursue a major they are more likely to find at a very large school, buts prefer a smaller, less intimidating setting. I gathered a few photos on Pinterest to show that to you, since I could only take a virtual visit.
This school has 116 majors, more than many large public universities, in nine undergraduate schools. You can even gain an advantage in medical school admissions, if you do well here. The university partnered with the University of North Texas to open a medical school in July, 2019. While the school will welcome only 60 candidates each year. But one-third of them will be TCU alumni. You’re not likely to see as many large-lecture classes as you might see at UT-Austin or Texas A&M. But about a third of all classes taught at TCU in 2019-20 had more than 30 students. For those cross shopping TCU against schools in the South, Southwest and West, this number was 22 percent at Baylor, TCU’s main sports rival in Texas and the Big 12 Conference. The students who choose Texas Christian University also stick around. TCU graduated 70 percent of the freshmen who arrived in 2014 on time. Ninety-two percent of the freshmen who arrived in 2019 returned for their sophomore year.
Nearly half of the student body lives on campus. Greek life is relatively popular at TCU, attracting over 40 percent of the men and more than half of the women. It’s easy to see why after watching YouTubes. This school built a beautiful Greek Village that first opened in August, 2017. Like most other schools, students could probably live without Greek life. But the campus is about a half hour by bike from downtown Fort Worth. Buses are available, to get around. But TCU appears to be a place where access to a car is quite helpful. Parking downtown is free.
Fort Worth is America’s 12th largest city
I had always thought of Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington as one metro area, especially hearing it described as the ‘Metroplex.’ However, Fort Worth is a city with around 875,000 people, more than San Francisco, Seattle or Denver. American Airlines is headquartered in Fort Worth. So are Pier One Imports and RadioShack. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Lockheed Martin also have a significant presence in the city. Known as the “City of Cowboys and Culture,” Fort Worth has a large arts community, including an impressive Cultural District. While I don’t know the transportation network of the city, it is definitely possible for students to find more than enough to do off campus and secure internships and jobs. I found that approximately half of the 62,000 alumni registered in LinkedIn.com were still living and working in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
The Horned Frogs face traditional football powers such as Oklahoma and Texas every year–and pay nothing to go to home games. The Horned Frogs have not won a National Championship since 1938. But TCU ranks fourth among private colleges in football success behind only Notre Dame, USC, and Miami. The Horned Frogs are also one of only four teams to have played in all six College Football Playoff Bowls, winning all but the Fiesta and Orange. Since joining the Big 12 in 2012, TCU has shared a conference title (2014) and appeared in six bowl games, winning four. Aside from football success, TCU has won three NCAA Rifle titles since 2010, the last coming in 2019. The Horned Frogs have also had one of the more successful baseball programs in the Big 12 since 2015. I had not heard of a school offering stipends to members of a marching band, until learning about TCU. Band members get paid $3,000/year.
The University accepted less than half of the prospective freshmen who applied to become part of the Class of 2023. If you like what TCU has to offer, apply early. Nearly 80 percent of the Class of 2023 was admitted through Early Action or Early Decision. Admissions are test optional. The average SAT for the Class of 2023 was a 1250, around the same as many state schools. However, the experience may be too expensive for many prospective students. TCU’s estimated cost of attendance can exceed $67,000, higher for some because of the costs of going home. However, while TCU is not likely to undercut Home State U for many families, the more generous scholarships might make it more attractive than Neighboring State U.
Like Villanova, TCU welcomes students of all faiths, without forcing students to take a course in Catholicism or Christianity to fulfill a religion requirement. But Villanova rallies far more around basketball instead of football. Villanova is also further from a major city. However, mass transit by train makes the journey go faster.
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