2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Percentage of students who submitted a video portfolio to Brown and UChicago

I’ve noticed that it’s becoming a bit of a trend to eliminate interviews in exchange for video portfolio submissions at some selective colleges. Does anyone know if there are published statistics on the percentage of students who were accepted to brown and/or UChicago that chose to complete this optional part of the application?


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1 answer

2 years ago

Hi @Anonymous110,

Thanks for your question.

Simple answer - No one is publishing this or keeping stats on this for any public dissemination.

Longer Answer:

I do not think that it's a trend to eliminate alumni interviews but more a public health and safety concern not to expose alumni to the possibility of catching a COVID-19 variant by meeting their applicants in public places like Starbucks, Malls, or other venues. In addition, there were concerns that having to meet with alumni who may not live in an applicant's zip codes or within close driving distance would not be equitable to the applicant. So if you live in rural Montana and the closest Brown or UChicago alumni meet-up was in Billings, or Flat Head Lake, that might put undo transportation problems with the applicant to fulfill that part of the application.

Since alumni interviews are not inherently equitable, some colleges have eliminated them entirely. At Brown and UChicago, you are given the option to submit a 2-minute video introduction, which is not a zoom call interview. It's an additional piece of data that allows the admissions readers to better understand who you are, what your drivers are, and how you intend to contribute to your future college campus.

Whenever a top college gives their applicants the option to do something that is additive to their application, it's more helpful to comply than ignore it. For example, the Harvard optional essay is only optional if you want to get rejected. The Dartmouth optional Peer Recommendation is something not to ignore. And if you are applying to Princeton or Carnegie Mellon for art, theater, dance, music, you should submit the arts supplement using SlideRoom.

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