Reflections From our Applicants: Discovering Their “TCS Why”

By Nicole Victor, Director of Enrollment Management

Throughout the application process each year, prospective families consistently articulate what I’ve come to call “The TCS Why.” It’s their own sense of personal connection with our school and why they feel TCS is the right match for their family long before they’re even admitted or choose to enroll. I’ve come to cherish these conversations with prospective families as some of the most fulfilling parts of my job. In fact, I often share my own “TCS Why” with visiting families and I enjoy witnessing prospective families realize this is their community, too.

Who Are Our Applicants?
As you might remember, the TCS application process is thorough and includes tours, “See Us in Action” events, screening visits, teacher recommendation forms and transcripts, and even one-on-one meetings with prospective parents. It’s an intentional process designed to give us an opportunity to get to know all applicants as people and as learners and to give prospective families an opportunity to get to know TCS. Our Admission Committee gives careful consideration to every applicant to ensure we are thoughtful about how we choose to add to our vibrant school and community.

It continues to be our pleasure getting to know this year’s applicants. They are talented, passionate, and curious. They are thinkers, do-ers, and collaborators who want to help shape the world for good. Applicants come from all across Atlanta and as far away as Spain. They represent the broad diversity that is a hallmark of our TCS community. In short, we are thrilled that our applicant pool is full of students and families who are a strong match for TCS! We also know from past experience that the majority of families we admit will choose to enroll at TCS in return. This is an ongoing reflection of the strength of our academic program; the vibrancy of our community; the quality of our students, graduates, and teachers; and how deeply the TCS Way resonates with all of us.

What Do Applicants Say about TCS?
The more new families learn about the TCS Way, the more they discover their own “TCS Why.” Here are common themes I’ve heard from families discovering their “TCS Why” this year:

  • Learning in action. One group of parents realized TCS was the right school for them after witnessing a complex classroom conversation on the difference between human and civil rights. They saw firsthand how TCS classrooms are highly engaging learning environments and shared their hope their own child will have the opportunity to learn the way TCS students do: challenged to think deeply, ask probing questions, work collaboratively, and connect to their learning. 
  • Opportunities to lead are everywhere. Another visiting parent stepped into a classroom where big buddies were helping their little buddies with a reading assignment and said: “The world needs more of this – I want my child to grow up in a school like this.”
  • Our diversity is our strength. Prospective families are in awe of our uniquely diverse community and consistently site our diversity as one of their top three reasons for choosing TCS. One visiting parent shared: “I’ve always wanted my daughter to be unapologetic about who she is. The more I learned  about TCS being a community where everyone can show up as their authentic selves, the more I knew my family had come to the right place.”
  • We both nurture and challenge our students.Our description of learning as “hard fun” recently resonated with a prospective parent: “I teach design thinking principles to college students and that’s what you’re doing even in Kindergarten here. This is how learning should be everywhere!” 
  • Our students are confident, curious and courageous. Visiting parents don’t just take our word for it – they interact with our Student Ambassadors, visit our classrooms, and come away most impressed with our students themselves. “Our student tour guide was amazing,” a prospective family shared recently. Often applicant families know of our students personally. “My friend sends her kids to TCS – she can’t imagine sending her children anywhere else.”

What is Your TCS Why?
February marks our final round of “See Us In Action” events and our priority application deadlines for admission and financial aid. We invite you to continue to share your “TCS Why” with friends and family who would thrive at TCS. We continue to receive interest every day from families who want to join our community next year, and we do our best to accommodate right-match families who discover TCS even after our application deadlines pass. 

You – our current parents – are our best cheerleaders, ambassadors, and representatives of the TCS Way. You bring our school to life every time you tell someone why you choose TCS for your own family and you are the most compelling reason new families want to join our community each year.