The success of the university’s athletic programs is partially responsible for the increase in freshman applications, a university official said.
Ray Brown, dean of Admission, said applications have more than doubled since 2001 and increased by over 2,100 since last year alone.
Brown said being able to gauge the exact effect athletics had on enrollment is hard to quantify, however they do have an impact.
“It’s difficult to prove, but it is equally difficult to discount,” Brown said.
The great reputation of the university, combined with the positive press as a result of its successful athletic teams, has put TCU in a rare category of universities, he said.
“We’ve got an institution that is riding a wave like very few schools in this country ever get to ride,” Brown said.
Freshman nursing major Courtney Bogert said she put a good football team on her list of criteria when deciding which college was right for her. That, combined with her other list of requirements, made TCU a perfect choice, she said.
Brown said he has also seen athletics in the list of criteria students make when choosing a college. It is a definite topic of conversation, he said.
Chancellor Victor Boschini said he thought the accomplishments of the athletic teams have already begun influencing the campus application process. The university is gaining recognition among students considering colleges that it might not have had before. Last year the university received around 14,000 applications, he said.
Boschini said athletic programs bring attention to a university on many different levels other than just sports. Athletics, in some cases, are what creates an interest in a university and from there a student can get familiar with the different areas the institution has to offer, he said.
Both Boschini and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Chris Del Conte said they think of athletics as a front porch to the university.
For instance, the football team was recently televised on ESPN in its game against Oregon State University. The Horned Frogs got to compete as well as showcase the institution on a national level, Del Conte said. During the television broadcast commercials were aired promoting the university.
High-profile games, such as the one at Cowboys Stadium, create more and more interest for the university, he said.
“I must have had 50 to 100 e-mails from student-athletes around the country that said, “please pass this on to your coach, I want to go to TCU,'” Del Conte said.
Boschini said another way recognition for the university is created is by the renovations of buildings around campus. The soon to be renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium is one of the more prominent landmarks at TCU.
Del Conte said the renovation of the stadium is another way to let people know that this university cares about their students.
“They [the university} are spending the money to make sure we are not perceived as a tired institution,” he said. “We are cutting edge 24/7.”
Boschini said he thought the way the university has been promoting athletics has produced positive results as well.
“I think we’ll keep doing whatever we’re doing, because it seems to be a winning combination for us,” Boschini said.