A few years ago, Brown University transitioned away from offering alumni interviews to all their applicants and took a more innovative approach: allowing applicants to submit a two-minute introduction video as an optional component of their application.
The video allows prospective students to showcase their personalities, interests, and other details as an addition to their application. This provides applicants the chance to come alive off the page as admission officers can attach a face to the application. For the most part, the video introduction is unstructured, which can be intimidating. The video could be about anything: a day in your life, things that make you happy, or even a discussion of how your life relates to your favorite movie. Because of these loose requirements, students shouldn’t take this to mean they can put minimal thought into the optional video introduction.
Here are seven tips to make a memorable Brown University admissions video.
Tip 1: Begin Early
Crafting a well-thought-out video requires time and planning. Depending on the creative direction of the video, you might include childhood videos, pictures of extracurricular activities, or scenes from various aspects of your life. Digging through your video or photo archives might take a few days or even weeks, necessitating assistance from friends or family to help you find the best media to use.
Drafting a script beforehand allows you to maximize the allotted two minutes to impress the admission officers. Treat the video introduction with the same level of consideration as your essays; you will likely need to go through several drafts before you are satisfied with the result.
Tip 2: Follow The Instructions
Each video should be no more than two minutes and begin with “Hi, my name is (insert name) from (high school)”. From there, you have total creative freedom with what content you want to cover in your video.
Brown also recommends creating your video in landscape orientation, as the admission officers will be viewing the videos on a desktop computer.
Tip 3: Highlight Your Top Selling Points
Identify your unique qualities and passions that will be appreciated by the admissions officers. Diversify from what you have already included in your supplemental essays or personal statement—Brown University wants you to “tell us more about yourself beyond the information you provided in your application.” If you have already told them about the non-profit you have started or the research you spent two summers doing, you don’t need to reiterate it here unless you are adding significantly more details.
Instead of repeating, think about what else might be worthwhile to mention. Do you have hobbies that are unique? What about your personality would make you a stand-out applicant? By considering these questions and more, you can create a video that helps to enhance your application.
Tip 4: Show Why Brown
Brown also says this video is a “helpful way to see why you are interested in attending Brown.” Make the video about something more than you by showing the admission officers how you might fit on campus as a first-year student. At Moon Prep, we’ve seen students do this in creative and memorable ways. A few students found clubs they would like to join and photoshopped themselves into a group photo of the participants. Others have found research labs in their area of interest and talked about how they would contribute to the lab. Try to add a new dimension to it to underscore your passion for the school.
Read the full article and the rest of the tips on Forbes here.