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Celebrating 10 Years of the TDC Mission

To Make Debate Available to Everyone

What is the Texas Debate Collective?

The Texas Debate Collective was created in 2009 to allow low-income students to access the highest levels of competitive debate. Expensive training camps are often where top debaters learn and practice their skills over the summer in preparation for the next season. But, students without significant financial resources are shut out from those opportunities. These financial barriers to participation are also unequally distributed; students of color are more likely than their white peers to be unable to participate in debate for financial reasons. TDC’s mission is to make debate available for everyone. In its first year, TDC had no budget and housed all students and staff in the homes of generous members of the debate community. Since then, TDC has become one of the top debate camps in the country for students at the highest levels of competition while also giving the majority of its students scholarships.

Debate is expensive.

One of the major obstacles that low-income students face when trying to compete in debate is that they usually lack access to learned, experienced, and competitively successful debate teachers. Historically, successful debaters attend multiple debate camps each summer, hire personal coaches, and travel to tournaments across the country where they will interact with other learned debate judges and coaches.

Estimates of the year-round costs of participating in high school debate range from $2,000 to upwards of $12,000.

None of that comes cheap: top-tier debate camps typically charge $2000-$2500, which does not include travel costs, and hiring a coach with knowledge of philosophy, political science, and debate strategy costs $4000 or more

Clearly, for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, these costs are a huge barrier to accessing the benefits of debate. Yet, it is disadvantaged students who have the most to gain from participating in the debate community. After school debate programs, weekend tournaments, and summer camps all serve to create a longer school day and school year, which research shows significantly helps to close the achievement gap. Click below to learn more about why debate matters. 


Summer Institutes

TDC 2019 will take place July 28-August 10th


Student institute

TDC’s Student Institute is taught by some of the best teachers and coaches in the country, who forgo high-paying jobs at other camps because they believe in TDC’s mission of allowing low-income students access to the highest levels of competitive debate. 


Teacher Institute

Running concurrently with the student camp, TDC’s teacher camp is designed to be the premiere intensive professional development for LD debate teachers. In line with TDC’s mission, the camp is free for teachers of low-income students. Hungry for the chance to learn from some of the most competitively accomplished coaches in LD debate? TDC’s teacher institute is for you!


2019 Registration Timeline

March 16, 2019 - Registration Closes.
March 19, 2019 - Scholarship Decisions E-mailed
March 23, 2019 - Deadline for Accepting a Scholarship
March 23, 2019 - Deadline to Request Being Considered as a Paying Student*
(*only applies to people who applied for a scholarship but were turned down)
March 25, 2019 - Admission Decisions for Paying Students E-mailed