Video Essays Play as Auditions for College
Skeptics of the Approach Worry It Could Overshadow Academic Achievements
Rosemary Mwaura says she’s a quiet, thoughtful student who listens a lot but talks just a little—and even has a little bit of stage fright.
But in an optional video essay as part of her application to George Mason University, Ms. Mwaura shakes off her shyness, dancing and rapping about her Kenyan heritage, American lifestyle, and Capital Beltway dreams in a two-minute YouTube spot.
“It was different for me,” said Ms. Mwaura, a senior at Nashua High School South in Nashua, N.H., who was recently accepted to George Mason but was still considering her options in March. She was one of nearly 100 GMU applicants for 2010-11 who submitted videos to the admissions department. About 25,000 high school students applied to the 2,500-student...
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