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TCU Class of 2025- Pre-Orientation Parent & Family News

Dear Horned Frog Parent & Family Members, 

What an exciting time it is in the life of your family! Whether your first or your fifth student is going to college, it is the first time for this student. This newsletter is intended to provide you some helpful Pre-Orientation information. We want to talk about the time leading up to, during and after Orientation in hopes that anticipating the next stages and having the strategies to handle them will make the summer pleasant and your student’s transition to TCU particularly smooth.

First of all, you may have asked, “Should I go to Orientation?”  The answer is a resounding, “ABSOLUTELY!” Clearly, due to work schedules, young children at home or finances, it may not be possible for a parent or family member to attend Orientation with your student. If you possibly can, however, please do. Your student will be happy you are here and so will we. Due to COVID restrictions, we’re limited to one family member per incoming student. We will provide many online orientation experiences for parents and family members which may be revisited throughout the year, even if you are not able to come to campus for Orientation.

During the comprehensive family and student orientation program, you will meet other family members, faculty, and staff and will gain a great deal of information that is intended to encourage you to feel an increased confidence in the university your student and you have chosen. The education of your student is a partnership between the student, the parent/family, and the university. It is our goal that after Orientation you will be confident in TCU and how we see our role, and therefore you will feel comfortable encouraging your student to navigate answers/solutions on their own.

I have some suggestions to help Orientation be a better experience for everyone:

  1. Pack for Texas weather. The hotter it is outside, the colder the buildings are inside, so we recommend bringing a sweater. Comfortable shoes will help you get around campus easier, and an umbrella is helpful for those occasional summer downpours.
  2. Don’t stress! Stress is contagious. Students get it from their family. We’re all in this together.
  3. Remember that all students MUST spend the night on campus at Orientation, even if they live in surrounding areas. Part of the Orientation experience is in the residence hall – talking to new friends in a casual environment, sharing a space with a roommate, and feeling comfortable on campus as a member of the TCU community. Family or guests attending Orientation may stay on or off campus. For families that might be unable/uncomfortable traveling, doing in-person events, or staying overnight on campus due to COVID, Orientation Session 5 is a virtual option. 
  4. Trust your student and the process. Your student cannot make any permanent missteps at Orientation. We build time into Orientation for students to meet each other and their Orientation Leaders. Academic schedules can be changed. Each semester is different and comes with increasing priority for courses.
  5. Go to sessions. Orientation is not even a 20-hour program and it has a lasting impact over the next four years of your student’s life, and really an influence into “forever.” Twenty hours is not much time to cover some of the information and resources that you don’t know you will want to know in the next four years.

Sometimes, families come to Orientation planning to spend half of the time with friends or family in the area, saying they didn’t know it was going to be “all day.” It’s all day, and half the night! The first evening ends for families around 6:30 p.m., but much later for students. Plan for day two to end at 5:00 p.m. even though it can end sooner.
(Transfer Orientation sessions are 1-day and will conclude by 4:30 p.m.)

Beginning June 16, to see the Orientation schedule and learn more about the First Year Experience, Download the Guidebook App on your phone, select “find a guide”,  and search for TCU First Year Experience. Click “download guide” to view the full Orientation schedule and other information.

In addition to our in-person Orientation, we have prepared some online modules for parents and family members. The 2021-22 Parent/Family Orientation Modules will be available after your students’ Orientation session and will be sent via email. No worries if you are not attending Orientation with your student. Your student will also receive the link to the Parent and Family Orientation modules to share with you.

  1. Nothing about Orientation is worth crying over. If tears start, hug your student till they stop. Remember: Fall semester is a quick 17-weeks of your student’s life! Then let us know how we can be helpful.
  2. Make new friends. New friends are not just for students! There will be family members at Orientation from all over the US and the world. You can exchange names, phone numbers, and email. When in doubt about something, call your new friend. If you really pick well, you might meet your new best friend for life!
  3. Don’t over prepare for Orientation. We’ve got it all planned out for you starting with your student completing their Pre-Advising modules online (give them a nudge) so they are informed about advising and course selection. There are a (very) few things you might consider doing to be ahead of the game. Students might take time to review credit by exam (AP/IB/CLEP) here.  If your student requires accommodations, they can review that process here. If your student needs to change their major at this point, go here and scroll down to the frequently asked questions. Family/Guests will have a dedicated session at Orientation titled Academics at TCU.
  4. FROG CAMP! YES! Frog Camp will allow new students to get to know each other, returning students, and TCU faculty and staff. All Texas camps are FREE! Over 80% of our entering class attends Frog Camp every year. It’s what Horned Frogs do! All camps are fantastic, do not get hung up on attending a certain camp and risk missing the opportunity altogether.
  5. As the summer progresses, if you want to know what other students are doing or what experienced parents think about a subject, you will want to like/follow the TCU Parent & Family Programs page and join the TCU Parents Association group. (Both on Facebook. You can view the TCU Parent & Family Programs page without joining Facebook if needed)!
  6. Tuition Refund Plan. TCU wants to be certain that you have an opportunity to protect your financial commitment in case of illness or accident. Undergraduate students are automatically enrolled in the Tuition Refund Plan for the fall and spring semesters. TCU has arranged with A.W.G. Dewar, Inc. to provide an insurance program that will reimburse the student if medical problems (physical or mental) require withdrawal from school before a semester ends. This Insurance plan provides coverage for tuition charges.

The Tuition Refund Plan (Plan) is a private insurance plan administered by A.W.G. Dewar, Inc. that complements and enhances the University’s published refund policy. Students are assured, in most cases, of an 80% refund of tuition throughout the semester even after the University’s refund schedule has expired.

TCU offers the Tuition Refund Plan as a service to our students and their families. Undergraduate students are automatically enrolled in the Tuition Refund Plan for the fall and spring semesters. The charge for the Plan will be included in the first bill of each fall and spring semester. Students who do not wish to participate in the Tuition Refund Plan can opt out of the Plan by waiving coverage through the online Tuition Refund Plan waiver process. Even though you may choose for your student to waive coverage by opting out of the plan, we urge you to carefully consider the suitability of the Tuition Refund Plan for your family since University refunds due to medical withdrawals are not processed by TCU outside of the University’s standard refund policy.

If you have questions about the Tuition Refund Plan, you may contact A.W.G Dewar, Inc. on the contact page of their website. 

  1. TCU Health Insurance requirements will be discussed with you and your student at Orientation. However, you may click here for a summary of the information prior to your arrival, as well as other helpful health information.
  2. Recently, Vice Chancellor Kathy Cavins-Tull sent a welcome email sharing some helpful information about Fort Worth, our ongoing Protect the Purple efforts, TCU traditions and the availability of COVID-19 vaccines on campus for students and family members. You can view the email here.

Finally, I hope the information in this Pre-Orientation newsletter is helpful. We eagerly anticipate meeting you and are excited to know your student and your family. If you have questions or think of things that should be included in these communications, please email


TCU Parent and Family Programs