http://chronicle.com/blogs/headcount/for-applicants-who-send-videos-goucher-college-will-be-grades-optional/38933

There are a small number of schools looking to enter the territory beyond transcripts, grades, and essays. Is this a reflection of an increasingly multi-media centered culture, or a way to allow students (and only students) to speak for themselves? I was certainly curious reading through this article, and wondered about what narratives or cliches video-watching admissions counselors might grow to dread (another story about taking a toaster apart and putting it back together?)

I’m not even going to get into the many biases, conscious or subconscious, that could occur from listening, watching, and interpreting a student talking about themselves.

Then I got to the key line in the article. It’s even in parenthesis.

Students who use the Goucher Video App also must complete a short application form, sign a statement of academic integrity, and submit two scholastic works (including a graded writing assignment) by the college’s December 1 early-action deadline. (Those applying for merit scholarships will have to send transcripts.)

Writing is still a part of these applications, and for all of the speculation on how student created videos might level the playing field by removing the “transcripts and grades” from the application picture…. if a student is looking for that highly valued “free money award” that is a merit scholarship, the transcripts are back in. Granted, it sounds like SAT and ACT scores would remain optional, but this is certainly not an unheard of trend.

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