College Admissions: The Rise of Personal Videos and Video Reporting for Scholarships and Acceptance

College Admissions: The Rise of Personal Videos and Video Reporting for Scholarships and Acceptance

College Admissions: The Rise of Personal Videos and Video Reporting for Scholarships and Acceptance

When it comes to the college application process, students and parents often focus on academics and test scores. However, for some parents, content isn’t everything. With an increasing number of students opting to produce videos about themselves and their talents, it is possible that in the near future, personal videos will become the primary form of applications for the class of 2020.

The Rise of Narrative Video

According to McGraw-Hill Education, with 25% of all American high school students using personal video content in their schoolwork each year, personal videos are taking on a new role as tools for college applications. More and more high schoolers are choosing to make a video or two for their college applications, and the number is only set to rise. In fact, college guidance counselors from more than 30 schools are now reporting that they are using personal videos in their application counseling to “enhance students’ applications”. McGraw-Hill’s infographic features chapters that report on various benefits of the personal video. According to this infographic, the future of the personal video will more than likely be similar to the popularity of eBooks in education.

Personal video applications in college admissions are not new, but experts say that they are starting to evolve and expand in terms of their use. As an example, McGraw-Hill reports that a decade ago, guidance counselors would write a paragraph for each applicant describing his or her academic, extracurricular, and personal strengths. Today, the most common scenario is where guidance counselors will ask students to create a few hundred words about themselves and who they are as individuals.

The Rise of Video and Communications Program

As more and more students are likely to begin to incorporate personal videos as a form of colleges admissions, it is becoming important for colleges to develop successful communication programs. According to McGraw-Hill, more than 1,000 colleges require video reporting/students to submit short videos as part of the college application process, up from 250 in 2000.

The Institutional Response

How are colleges responding to the rise of personal videos as part of college admissions? In some cases, colleges are asking students to make personal videos for a few hours on a given weekend during a specific time of the school year. In other cases, colleges are being more generous by allowing students to apply in a personalized way.

According to SMU Associate College Admission Counselor Brian Howe, “emotional essays aren’t necessary. Some students have, however, grown to rely on positive personal statements as a key part of their individualized admissions presentations. We’ve had students submit longer essays explaining all the games, hobbies, etc. that help them get through their days and get through their weekends.”

The point is that it is becoming more and more common to see colleges asking for a personal video as a means of in-depth communication with prospective applicants. McGraw-Hill cites that colleges are asking for data visualization, how-to videos, humor videos, and personal stories to help the application process run more smoothly. For this reason, many colleges are now accepting personal videos as a part of the admissions process. As seen in the chart below, college guidance counselors from more than 30 colleges are now reporting that they are using personal videos to “enhance their students’ applications”.

For more information on the rise of personal videos in college admissions, watch the video below.

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