For TCU Community Scholars Program, Community is the Most Important Word

Texas Christian University believes that a vibrant, diverse community is essential for a quality education. The Chancellor’s Council on Diversity established the Community Scholars Program in 2000 as a way to increase diversity on campus. The immediate goal was to attract students to TCU who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership skills, and to provide the funding and support they need to succeed. The long-term goal is to encourage those students to pursue advanced degrees and help them grow into community and business leaders.

Since 2000, the TCU Community Scholars Program has recruited top candidates from urban, low income public high schools and offers more than $6 million in scholarships each year. The Community Scholars Program is unique and life changing, and it has transformed the nature of TCU.

In Fall 2000, 12 freshmen were enrolled in the first TCU Community Scholars Program. This year, 50 students from13 high schools in four districts (Arlington, Dallas, DeSoto and Fort Worth independent school districts) were selected – the highest number to date. Students in this program have a more than 90 percent four-year graduation success rate.

Photo of Community Scholars from O.D. Wyatt High School

Five students at O.D. Wyatt High School are awarded TCU’s Community Scholars scholarship. Timeka Gordon (L), director of Community Scholars Program, and Victoria Herrera (R), associate director of Admission and director of minority recruitment, flank the students (Amy Peterson)

For a student at one of these participating schools to be considered, he/she must first gain acceptance to TCU. The process also includes required essays, resume, official SAT or ACT scores, teacher and counselor evaluations and more.

To date, more than 400 students have graduated or are currently involved in the Community Scholars Program. The scholarships are just the beginning of the story. Besides succeeding in the classroom, these students will participate in cultural experiences, community service and leadership development and have the opportunity to study abroad.

For more of this exciting story, see this video by Community Scholar alumnus Abel Perez-Arita.