College Advice: Video Essays

“What are some tips regarding video admissions essays?” — Andre Reese, Charlotte, NC
When submitting an optional video essay to Tufts, St. Mary’s in Maryland, George Mason, or the College
or William and Mary, first view a few some recent video submissions. One example is the popular ‘Math
Dance Girl’, submitted to Tufts, which can be viewed on You Tube. This might help you generate ideas. The
main tip, though, is to be you: be original. Next, as with any production, write a script that incorporates
the idea you want to get across. Third, pull together your resources and props before producing your
video. Lastly, review your product and edit it thoroughly.
Ralph Becker — Owner & Director - Ivy College Prep LLC
A: 7 Steps to Making a Great Video Admissions Essay
Using Tufts University, the best-known college to offer college applicants a video essay option, the first
thing to do is 1) Identify the question and any directions. Tufts says, “Prepare a one-minute video that says
something about you. What you do or say is totally up to you.” 2) Next, brainstorm ideas about what you
want to say. 3) Then, write a first draft script. Make it exceptional. 4) Collect visuals that help explain what
you say. 5) Edit. 6) Get feedback. 7) Finally, record your script until it’s nearly perfect. DON’T FORGET:
make it one-minute, no more or less.
Marjorie Shaevitz - Author, Founder - adMISSION POSSIBLE
If a school encourages video essays; great, go for it. Do not do this, however, unless you are SURE that the
school wants to see them. Many schools have growing numbers of applications, but the number of
counselors reading them hasn't necessarily changed, and they are jammed for time to get through them
all by the deadlines. Anything beyond what the school specifically requests may not be seen at all, or it
may be considered a hassle to retrieve and view in the time allotted to get through each file. Be mindful of
the counselor's time constraints and edit tightly for brevity!
Carol Morris - Regional Director of Admission - Southern Methodist University
Source:The Unigo Expert Network Column