According to the Office of Institutional Research, the university's acceptance rate is up seven percent from last year’s mark of 40 percent. This begs the question: is TCU becoming less selective?
Not only did fewer students apply this year than last, but of those who did, a greater number were accepted. Additionally, the percentage of admitted students who eventually chose to enroll elsewhere was higher than in previous years, according to the Office of Institutional Research.
Heath Einstein, director of freshman admission, said it is tough to draw conclusions from data taken over such a short period of time.
Over a longer period, Einstein said, the university displays a trend toward increasing selectivity. Only a generation ago, the university routinely admitted the vast majority of its applicants, he said.
“In recent years, while the percentage rate has fluctuated, the acceptance rate is consistently below 50 percent, defining us as a selective university,” Einstein said.
Einstein said he sees the drop in admitted students actually enrolling at the university as an effect of this increased selectivity. As selectivity increases, Einstein said, so does the quality of the applicant pool. Students interested in attending TCU are considering other excellent universities as well, he said.
The university saw an eight percent increase in its female acceptance rate this year. According to the Office of Institutional Research, the university has historically had more female than male applicants, which has helped create the existing gap in gender representation.
Einstein said the university strives for gender balance in its incoming classes but not at the expense of other objectives.
“One of the challenges TCU faces is two of our elite programs, nursing and education, are disciplines that historically attract more women than men,” he said.
However, he also said these numbers have little bearing on the future course of the university.
“TCU has an exceptionally strong brand,” Einstein said. “We continue to see brand recognition in emerging markets, and we expect to continue to bring in classes each year that reflect the broad experiences of our country's young men and women.”