Aug   2011



Not Your Typical Admission Essay

Market Research Senior Analyst, Carnegie Communications

Multimedia essays are a new trend in the college admission process. These pieces are a new way for prospective students to express themselves and impress college admission counselors.

Most of these essays take the form of YouTube videos that can range from short films, extensively edited with background music, to simple videos with a student explaining why they want to attend the college or university.

Most of these essays are for a college or university to learn more about the student and help put a face to a name on an application. According  to the director of admissions at St. Mary’s College, Richard Edgar, in an interview with The Washington Post, "essays make a student memorable." Which can be great, but only if you have a good multimedia essay. If not, it may not help your admissions process.

One example of something I do not recommend is Elle Woods using a video application to get accepted to Harvard Law School in Legally Blonde. Although being clad in a bikini and sitting by a pool worked for her, I do not advise it! Use these multimedia essays to express yourself, but remember you are trying to impress college admission officials.

Texas Christian University  is just one of many schools now offering an optional multimedia essay. Their “Freedom of Expression” admissions piece encourages applicants to submit a video or use a sheet of paper to express themselves. George Mason, encourages prospective students to submit a video application since they “allow students to convey their energy, enthusiasm, and creativity directly to the admissions committee,” says Dean of Admissions, Andrew Flagel.

Although these essays can help you get into your favorite school, your SAT or ACT scores, grades, and activities are still important! These multimedia essays are just a piece of the admissions puzzle. 

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About Rebecca Pilloni

Rebecca Pilloni

Rebecca is a Market Research Analyst at Carnegie Communications. She has worked exclusively with colleges and universities, both public and private, on branding, positioning and curriculum viability projects. Rebecca graduated from Bentley University last year, with a double major in Marketing and Global Perspectives. In college, she was actively involved in women’s rugby, Colleges Against Cancer, and Relay for Life. Thinking back to her own college search and admission process, she regrets not doing more research! Rebecca is an avid sports fan, traveler, and loves spending time outdoors. She is looking forward to sharing some of the things she experienced to make your college search a success!


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