7 Strategies for Making the Most of Brown’s Video Introduction
When students are applying to many of the top colleges and universities in the United States, a big part of the application experience for many students is taking part in the admissions interview Keep reading to know how to nail Brown’s video profile.
In the admissions interview process at schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and more, students get to meet with either member of the respective school’s alumni community or a current student volunteer to discuss the applying student’s goals going forward. Though schools make it clear that not getting the chance to interview (as not all applicants are offered the opportunity for various reasons) does not negatively impact the student’s chances of getting in, there is no doubt that a great application interview can help.
However, in the case of Brown University, the situation is somewhat different! Does Brown have an admission interview? No, instead of offering an interview to a portion of applicants each year, every student gets the chance to take part in the Brown video introduction. While it is not required, much like the interview process at other schools, it should absolutely be seen as a requirement for students who consider Brown to be their top choice.
So, if you’re wondering how to nail Brown’s video profile, then you have absolutely come to the right place!
At AdmissionSight, we have worked with some of the most intelligent and dedicated students in the world to help them overcome the historically low acceptance rates at Ivy League schools and other top 10 schools and get in! Though a student’s academic record and success outside of the classroom factor in heavily when it comes to who gets in and who ends up, sadly, getting rejected from top schools, there are many other important factors to keep in mind as well.
Believe it or not, while Brown is the only school to not offer optional interviews, its optional video introduction may be the most important of the group! The simple reason is that it is made available to all students.
Unlike interviews, in which a lot of students don’t get the chance to take part because there simply are not enough volunteer interviewers to go around, the video introduction is available to all students. So, how important is Brown’s video profile? Rather important, actually.
The video introduction offers students the chance to let admissions officers at Brown get to know who they are as people and not just students. For that reason, it’s really crucial to take advantage of this big and unique opportunity!
The truth is that the job of AdmissionSight consultants has to do a lot with taking advantage of those (big and small) opportunities to help our students get a leg up on the competition and stick out from the crowd.
As the application pools at top schools get larger and larger with each passing year, it is becoming harder and harder for students to really separate themselves and make it clear that they are amongst the best applicants in their cycle. The tools and strategies that we offer the students that we work with have worked to incredible effect, and 75 percent of the students that we work with have ended up getting into either an Ivy League school like Brown, Columbia, or Dartmouth or a top 10 school that is not in the Ivy League such as Stanford, MIT or UChicago.
So, if you are thinking about applying to Brown and want to know how to nail Brown’s video profile then you have come to the right place!
Brown’s acceptance rate
Before we get into the important tips and strategies to take when making your video introduction at Brown, we wanted to quickly go over the current status of Brown’s acceptance rate. We’re not doing this to dissuade anyone from applying to Brown, but we do think it’s important for students to know just how competitive this school currently is. In the end, having that information will help you determine that the optional video intro at Brown should not be considered optional at all for you!
In total, 50,649 applicants applied to Brown’s undergraduate program in the 2021-22 application cycle. It makes the second highest application pool total in the school’s history (the highest total coming in the previous year). The reason for these major increases in applicant pools in top schools all over the country is believed to be primarily due to the fact that many of these schools (including Brown) have decided to no longer make either ACT or SAT scores a necessary component of a student’s application.
Of those 50,649 students, just 2,546 students were admitted in total. Only 3.6 percent of the Regular Decision applicants got in and 14.6 percent of the Early Decision students got in. Overall, the acceptance rate for the graduating class of 2026 was just 5.0 percent, making Brown one of the most competitive schools in the United States.
So, what can that tell us when it comes to how important is Brown’s video profile? The most important lesson to take away from these numbers is that as a future Brown applicant, you need to be prepared to take advantage of every and all opportunities that are available to you to stand out from the crowd. A real argument can be made that behind your personal essays, the video introduction is the best place to do just that.
How important is Brown’s video profile?
There are two sides to this question that are important to keep in mind. The first one is the simpler one, so we will start with that. It has to do with what kind of message a student sends to the admissions officers at Brown if they decide not to send a video introduction.
Basically, deciding not to send a video intro as part of your Brown application is going to send a message to the admissions committee that you may not be taking your application to Brown as seriously as you should. Perhaps, you see Brown as more of a backup option in the event that you don’t get into schools like Harvard or Princeton. However, as the acceptance rate at Brown clearly shows, it’s not a backup or “safety” school for any student, no matter how impressive he or she is.
Aside from that, the Brown video introduction gives students the chance to show admissions officers at the school who they are, what their passions are, and why they would be a fantastic addition to the Brown campus community.
Here is what the school itself has to say about the opportunity that the Brown video introduction provides to applying students:
“The video introduction gives you an opportunity to tell us more about yourself, in your voice, beyond the information you provided in your application,” the school says on its official site. “Sharing a two-minute personal video is a helpful way to show us who you are and why you are interested in attending Brown.
“As with any aspect of the admission process, there is no specific topic or format we are hoping to see in your video introduction. Perhaps you’ll take us on a tour of your hometown, or talk to us about your favorite place. You might share a time that you were moved by music or art, or tell us about something you could talk about for hours. Maybe you’ll discuss how your friends would describe you, or how you feel about the Oxford comma. You could describe how you were influenced by a book that changed your perspective, or you could let us know what makes you happy. This is absolutely not an exhaustive list, and you are welcome to discuss any of these topics or anything else that will allow us to get to know you better. No two Brown students have the same story, and we don’t expect that any two video introductions will either.”
From this quick breakdown, it should be abundantly clear that the video introduction does not need to be some professionally shot or edited piece of footage in order for it to serve its purpose and help the admissions officers at the school who you are and what you are about!
Here are some key tips from the school in terms of what students should do to make sure their video introduction is up to snuff.
- Your video should begin with you in front of the camera saying, “Hi, my name is [insert name] from [high school].” After that, what you choose to say and how you choose to say it is up to you. Simple and unrehearsed is fine, and you are welcome to be creative.
- We recommend you dress casually as you would for a school day or school event.
- Videos will not be evaluated for production quality; we recommend sitting in front of your laptop/camera/tablet/phone and speaking directly to the audience. Make certain you are visible and audible during your video. Check the lighting and listen to your video after you have recorded it to ensure you are happy with the final product before submitting it.
- Limit your video to no more than two minutes.
- Be sure your video is in landscape orientation so your finished product will not require viewers to turn their heads to the side when viewing on a desktop computer.
But those are just the basics. When it comes to how to nail your Brown video profile, there are a lot more tips and strategies that students can benefit from. We thought we would list the most impactful below so that you can start preparing for your eventual stab at this exciting and unique aspect of applying to Brown.
How to nail Brown’s video profile?
For students who are thinking about applying to Brown via Early Decision and have Brown at the top of their wish list in terms of schools that they want to attend, figuring out how to make the most of your video profile should be a very important goal for you.
So, we want to break down our own tips that we have seen to help students create fabulous and unique videos. Take a look, below!
Tip No. 1 – Show your face!
This might seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people are made uncomfortable by the idea of recording themselves and sending that video in. However, the best way to show Brown who you are is to show them, and that of course includes your wonderful face! While you can definitely include clips and images that you’ve already filmed in the past, don’t forget to spend a fair amount of time of the 2-minute video speaking directly to the camera and the viewer on the other end which is essential in learninghow to nail Brown’s video profile.
Tip No. 2- Speak clearly
While you do not have to rehearse or memorize a specific speech for your video, it is really important to speak clearly and annunciate so that you can be sure that the viewer can understand what you’re saying.
Tip No. 3 – Film in landscape orientation
As many of us are used to taking selfie pictures or videos with our phones, you may be inclined to shoot the video vertically, however, it is definitely a better idea to shoot using landscape – or horizontal – orientation. Even if you are shooting your video using your phone (which is totally acceptable), the viewer will likely be watching it on a computer screen. Shooting for their benefit is ideal.
Tip No. 4 – Focus on your personality and share your passions
Some students who are not totally sure what to talk about end up spending a fair amount of their video simply going over experiences and accomplishments that they have already discussed at length in other aspects of their application. This is not the best use of your time, however, and really the primary focus should be on you not what you’ve done in high school. Talk about yourself, your passions, your goals, and other aspects about you that make you unique and special! While you don’t want to come off as self-involved, you can certainly show off what makes you stand out from a crowd.
On top of that, think about discussing your other passions that you didn’t get to discuss in your application. Do you love to read? Have you spent hours of time volunteering in your community? Really anything under the sun that gets you excited and engaged can be a topic that you touch on during your video introduction.
Tip No. 5 – Try to tell a story and be creative
When students don’t really know where to begin with their video introduction for Brown, they run the risk of simply listing things that they care about. Even if those things are truly special and unique, the delivery runs the serious risk of being bored. Instead, try to find a way to tell a story that sucks the viewer in and keeps them engaged for the full duration of the video.
Tell a story about life event that had a big impact on your life. Talk about your family’s history, culture, or religion and how that played a role in who you are today. Talk about a big dream that you hope to one day accomplish and what you’ve done to prepare yourself for ultimately achieving that goal.
Moreover, you have to remember that the admissions committee at Brown received tens of thousands of admissions per year, and finding a way to present yourself and your video in a creative way is the best shot that you have to stand out from the crowd.
Tip No. 6 – Plan out your video ahead of time
While you don’t want to rehearse your video and risk making it sound stale and boring, you do want to have a general plan for what your video will look like. Consider breaking up your clips of talking to the camera with footage or you doing the activities that you discuss in your video. This also gives you the chance to break up what you’re saying into different bits so that you can speak more naturally and not worry about messing up your “lines.”
Tip No. 7 – Consider including close captions
Finally, you may want to consider including close captions to improve the understandability of your video. This is especially true if you are worried about the quality of the audio of your video. On top of that, it doesn’t hurt that close captions make your video more inclusive!
How to make the most of your video profile?
How to nail Brown’s video profile? The video introduction may not end up being the make or break factor of your application to Brown, it can absolutely help you rise above the typical applicant and really stand out for the better. If you are curious about learning more about how to improve your video introduction, or your chances of getting into Brown in general, consider contacting AdmissionSight today to set up a free consultation.