February 19, 2004
give applications special touch, officials say
admissions officers reviewing as many as 2,000 applicants
a region, staff members say pictures of TCU applicants
can help admissions get to know applicants better.
Optional photos on applications help admissions officers
remember certain students as they sort through the submissions
of thousands of prospective TCU students, university officials
Sending in a photo is up to students. It will not eliminate
consideration for admission nor count against them in
any way, Chancellor Victor Boschini said. Other schools
Boschini said he has been at request a photo as well.
Students dont have to send in a picture,
Boschini said. However, its to the students
advantage to have it because it helps us to remember them
out of 7,000 applicants.
Each admissions officer reviews more than 1,000 applications
a year. Of these, many applicants are contacted for a
one-on-one interview with the admissions officer in charge
of reviewing applicants from the state in which they reside.
Due to escalated application numbers, being remembered
is an advantage, Boschini said.
I have mixed emotions about it because I dont
want anyone to think physical appearances are what students
are remembered or considered for, said Ray Brown,
dean of admissions.
Brown said the admissions office received its highest
number of applicants for next fall, torpedoing past last
years 7,654 applicants. He said photos have always
been part of the optional section of applications.
Though the admissions office has received more applications,
the number of pictures sent in with those applications
still remains roughly 20 percent, Brown said.
Brown said he and other admissions officials review pictures
but do not profile students in any way. He said he hardly
even looks at them.
I get to meet so many students, as many as 2,000
a year, so having a face to go with a name is helpful,
Brown said. However, we really want to know what
is in their head and hearts, not what they look like.
Some students questioned the practice.
I think its unnecessary to judge an applicant
in any way based on what their profile looks like,
junior marketing major Erin Kreider said. If a student
fits all requirements for TCU, what does it matter what
they look like?
Photos give students an additional opportunity to show
creativity and distinguish themselves, Brown said. Students
can send in whatever picture they want. The most memorable
are funny or creative photos, but high school senior pictures
are the ones normally sent, Brown said.
I always admire those that take risks, and those
who send in creative pictures are a rarity, Brown
The most original pictures make it on the admissions application
board in the office, Brown said. The admissions office
has received group pictures with the applicants
face circled, students with their pets and even those
superimposed onto a glossy with Hollywood celebrities.