Upload Your Essay to YouTube? Goucher Tries Video Essays


The New York Times reported on an experimental application evaluation method by Goucher College where students can present a video of themselves rather than submitting the traditional high school transcript. Creativity and personality vs. grades? It seems like an interesting concept, and while not a new one since other schools like Tufts have given students the option of submitting videos in the past, this method is strongly supported by their new President. Goucher College‘s admissions site says, “We understand you want to go to a college where you feel you belong and where you will be able to excel as a student and grow as a person.” It seems like the college thinks that the videos will lead to students presenting themselves more authentically.

The article presents many different views from teachers thanking Goucher for reducing the stress placed on students regarding admissions, to presidents of other institutions saying that videos are cannot be an adequate replacement for a four year transcript of school work.

I remember when I worked in the admissions office, creative students could submit an arts supplement to show special talent. It seems to me like some students could submit both a video and academic transcript, but on the other hand, that may increase the level of stress and create yet another application section to increase the pressure on high school students. I also feel like there is a lot of room for “packaging” and outside help, much like an essay now. What is to say that students can’t hire a production company to shoot an award winning video masterpiece to represent themselves?

What do you think about colleges turning to social media ready videos to evaluate students? What’s next? Present your Instagram feed for evaluation?


About "Asian American Admission Officer"
I'm a education professional with many years of highly selective admissions experience at a small East Coast liberal arts Ivy as well as a med-sized research institution. After reading many personal statements from Asian American high school students with the phrase "I'm not just another Asian American...(fill in the blank with stereotype)," I decided to write about Asian Americans in higher education. My goals are to 1) educate readers about issues related to Asian Americans in higher education, 2) offer college admission advice to high school students and parents, and 3) serve as a resource for students with questions about applications, college life, and related issues.

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