What are some tips regarding video essays?

Application Process

Our counselors answered:

What are some tips regarding video essays?

James Montoya
Vice President of Higher Education The College Board

What are some tips regarding video essays?

Here is my video response to the question.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

Remember that it's about you...

Focus your video on you telling your story. The video is just another mode of communicating your human-ness to the admissions committee -- so you don't want to sully that opportunity by including silly embellishments and video graphics. It's the person not the medium that they are looking for!

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Video Essays

Just like written essays, these require a lot of thought and planning--developing an idea, a script, filming and then editing and perhaps choosing or creating a musical score to accompany the essay. For some students, this opportunity can be really fun and challenging and provide a welcome relief from the stress of the application. For others, it simply adds to the stress. Choose wisely where you want to spend the time.

Carita Del Valle
Founder Academic Decisions

Look into the camera!

Make sure you are looking into the camera and not down at your notes, don't have your pet on your lap and make sure no interruptions from family members.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

What are some tips regarding video essays?

My first tip and central tip would be to avoid them. While the increasing amount of help that is too often a part of modern essay preparation has reduced the role of the essay as a way to assess writing, the essay still retains considerable value as a vehicle to show one’s thinking process as well as an opportunity to showcase a still relevant and important academic skill. In contrast, at least at this point in time, videos are more apt to reflect a particular technology based skill set and it may make the “essay” less about the substance than about the skill. If you want to “say” things use the interview, but don’t let production values overshadow either the value of the essay to your application or your prospective value to the college.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

What are some tips regarding video essays?

Make sure the school will accept one, follow whatever guidelines they have and rehearse until it's as perfect as possible. If there's no mention of one, call the school and get ALL necessary specifics before submitting one.

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

What are some tips regarding video essays?

Video essays for Tufts or anywhere else, should be given as much thought and preparation as a written essay. Do not dash off an impromptu extemporaneous video. Be authentic, but plan what you want to say to make your application most compelling.

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.org

What are some tips regarding video essays?

Be creative. Be unique. Don't spend lots of money on it or have your best's friend filmmaker dad do it. Colleges know that kids have lots of video experience but make it real. Use this opportunity to show them what makes you so wonderful. Go online and see some samples. You can even ask the college for some samples. Good luck.

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

What are some tips regarding video essays?

Video essays are very new in admissions. You may want to contact the admission office and ask about video essays if they do not have a policy clearly explained. Keep in mind your video should be as polished as an essay. Sound and video quality should be clear. Be yourself – not overly stiff, but not so relaxed that the video shows you in your old sweats speaking in slang. Video length, like that of an essay, should be long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting. Finally, have a trusted mentor, teacher, or counselor look over your video to make sure your message is clear.

Ronald Harris

What are some tips regarding video essays?

When submitting an optional video essay, first view some recent video submissions. 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.