Student Institute


The TDC 2019 Student Institute will be held July 28-August 10 in Austin, TX.

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. Check out the page on our incredible staff to learn more. Students from TDC succeeded every year at the best local and national tournaments, including finals of the Tournament of Champions (’15) and the finals of Valley, Big Bronx, Yale, Princeton, St. Marks, Dowling Catholic, the Glenbrooks, Crestian, and dozens of others across the country.

Sign Up Information

The tuition for the student institute is $1800, which still leaves TDC well below the cost of LD camps that are comparable in quality and proven success.

Camp Structure

Students of all experience levels are welcome. Students attending the institute will learn through several curricular components to hone their debate skills and knowledge of politics, philosophy, and law. Each student will be assigned based on skill level and experience to a lab of approximately 12-14 students led by (at least) two experienced camp instructors, plus a first-year instructor who can contribute insights as a more recent debate competitor.

Pioneering Commitment to Quality Teaching

Most camps use a combination of small groups and lectures to teach content. Starting in 2014, TDC pioneered the use of small groups with a 4-1 student-teacher ratio to teach every aspect of the curriculum. We believe students learn best when they receive individual attention. We can hire enough staff to make this possible because our staff generously agree to teach with us because they believe in our mission, even though they could make far more working for a for-profit camp.

TDC is also unique in dedicating two seasoned instructors to the role of instructional coaches. Common in high-performing schools but beyond rare in debate camps, our instructional coaches observe lessons and work with staff members to constantly improve their teaching craft.

TDC is committed to teaching all students, even those whose families can’t afford this cost. In 2015 we awarded $64,000 in need-based scholarships so do not let the tuition price stop you from applying to TDC!

Register Here

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