TCU welcomed students home amid the pandemic. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)
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TCU has reached a new high in first-year retention, increased overall enrollment and accommodated the largest first-year class to date, according to the 2020 Fact Book.

The TCU Office of Institutional Research compiles the Fact Book each year. It contains information about the current makeup of the university. All data is comparable from year to year and is based on figures collected from the twelfth class day and onward. 

The most notable change was a lower percentage of first-year students living on campus this fall compared to prior semesters. 

These numbers reflect the pandemic and the fact that students were given the option to choose an online option of study before the semester began.

Despite the smaller numbers on campus and in first-year housing, this is TCU’s largest first-year class ever. These numbers are closely monitored throughout the summer months, and the outcome was not surprising to TCU faculty and staff.

“[These high numbers of first-year students] was the result of a very concerted effort and lots of work by faculty and staff and an investment of financial resources over late spring and summer to make it possible for TCU to offer an in-person experience this fall to the best of our ability,” said Cathan Coghlan, the director of Office of Institutional Research.

Graph shows the total first-year class sizes from 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

One challenge was ensuring that all new students, both at home and on campus, still had a great first-year experience.

Kate Bently, a coordinator for Student Development Services, said SDS made creating strong connections within students a priority. 

“Although creating connection over Zoom is not the same as creating connection in-person, we felt that it was really valuable to maintain consistency in providing those opportunities for our community,” Bently said. “But we will continue to advocate for students in overcoming these challenges by emphasizing time management, new study strategies, and of course, self-care!”

For more information on the 2020 Fact Book and data on past years at TCU visit the Office of Institutional Research homepage

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