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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 18, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Blogs

Colleges move toward accepting video essays

I hated applying to colleges. Actually there was only one step that I really hated in the process: the personal essay. I never could figure out how to describe myself in just 500 words. And how those 500 words would make a college pick me.

But these days, the kids seem to be much more creative. A recent story in the Washington Post reported that George Mason University is giving high school students the option of submitting a video essay. The videos (which reminded me a whole lot of Elle Woods’ video essay to Harvard Law School in the popular movie Legally Blond) obviously show more personality than an essay does. And with video equipment and technology being not so expensive anymore, videos are no longer solely for arts and communication students.

What worries is me, though, is that this may be more evidence of the education system moving away from traditional learning. These students still need to know how to write. And while the videos that I did see obviously showed me who the students were, they all seemed to be a bit … well, too informal. What’s going to happen when a college receives a video of a prospective student floating around her pool in a pink bikini? Meh, I’m sure she could write a strong essay, too.