Video Applications For College Are Now A Thing At Goucher College, So Elle Woods Had The Right Idea
Let's be honest, who among us didn't watch Legally Blonde and get slightly miffed, knowing that there was no way college admissions officials (let alone Harvard officials) would ever accept a video application, no matter how artsy (read: naked) it was? But we live in the selfie age, and one college sure knows it. Goucher College is now accepting two-minute video applications in place of admission essays, SAT scores and transcripts. Is this the next stage of education?
Got a D in biology and bombed your SATS, but super-handy with your iPhone cam? As of 2015, you may yet get a dandy liberal arts education. Here's how it works: Instead of going through your standard Common Application, you simply click on a link to Goucher's Video App ("app" as in "application," not a downloadable app, sadly).
In lieu of test scores and school transcripts, you answer a few questions to do with your financial background and future plans (e.g. "What is your main academic interest?"), and then you upload three files. Two of these have to be high school works (although only one of them a writing assignment), and the third is a two-minute long video. Of you, by you, about you.
The prompt for the video is appropriately self-reflective: "How do you see yourself at Goucher?" You're not judged on the quality of the video, though you're encouraged to be "creative" (be inspired by Elle! Get into the swimming pool and wink suggestively! No, on second thought, don't do that). You can be as casual as you want, the only thing they need is for you to open with, "Hi, my name is (whatever your name is) from (wherever you're from)."
Whether this is genius or the doomed selfie-cation of our educational system, I'm not entirely sure. It's definitely important to recognize that not everyone assesses the same way, and that genuinely clever people can get really awful grades. Different ways to express oneself and be evaluated are certainly necessary, and it's about time they are recognized as such. The role of technology is shifting, and growing ever-more crucial to the learning process. But how much can be shown in a two-minute video? And if you can't handle the application process, then how well will you manage a full-time college education, albeit a liberal arts' one?
Nina Kasniunas, an adviser in the video application’s development, said in a press release:
In the revolution in media and higher education occurring today, colleges will inevitably need to use all tools at their disposal to encourage students to apply and assess their potential. This innovation in admissions is a natural step for Goucher because we are looking for students who embrace the challenge of sharing their intellectual passions and interests with the power of video.
Goucher, founded in 1885 in Baltimore, is the first college to replace the standard application process entirely with a video. The former women's college (which has more men than women now), has already got a pretty high admittance rate of 73 percent, but of the roughly 2,600 who are admitted, less than 400 enroll. Maybe, at the very least, the video app will go some ways in changing those numbers.
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