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7 Strategies for Making the Most of Brown’s Video Introduction

October 5, 2022
By AdmissionSight
A computer science student

7 Strategies for Making the Most of Brown’s Video Introduction

When students apply 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 a respective school’s alum community member or a current student volunteer to discuss the applying student’s goals in the future.

Though schools clarify 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 an excellent 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 to participate in the Brown video introduction. While it is not required, much like the interview process at other schools, it should be seen as a requirement for students who consider Brown their top choice.

Young woman learning how to nail Brown’s video profile.

At AdmissionSight, we have worked with some of the world’s most intelligent and dedicated students to help them overcome the historically low acceptance rates at Ivy League 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 gets rejected from top schools, there are many other important factors to keep in mind.

Believe it or not, while Brown is the only school not to offer optional interviews, its optional video introduction may be the most important for the group! The simple reason is that it is made available to all students.

Unlike interviews, where many students don’t get to participate because there are not enough volunteer interviewers, the video introduction is available to all students. So, how important is Brown’s video profile? Rather important.

The video introduction offers students the chance to let admissions officers at Brown get to know who they are as people, not just students. Therefore, taking advantage of this significant and unique opportunity is crucial!

Young woman using a laptop in a library.

The truth is that AdmissionSight consultants’ job involves 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 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 considering applying to Brown and want to know how to nail Brown’s video profile, you have come to the right place!

Brown’s acceptance rate

Before we get into the essential tips and strategies when making your video introduction at Brown, we wanted to review the current status of Brown’s acceptance rate. We’re not doing this to dissuade anyone from applying to Brown, but we think it’s essential for students to know just how competitive this school is. In the end, having that information will help you determine that the optional video intro at Brown should not be considered optional 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).

These significant increases in applicant pools in top schools nationwide are believed to be primarily because many of these schools (including Brown) have decided to make either ACT or SAT scores a necessary component of a student’s application.

Young woman looking at a laptop while smiling.

Of those 50,649 students, just 2,546 students were admitted in total. Only 3.6 percent of the Regular Decision applicants and 14.6 percent of the Early Decision students got in. Overall, the acceptance rate for the graduating class 2026 was just 5.0 percent, making Brown one of the most competitive schools in the United States.

So, what can that tell us about how vital is Brown’s video profile? The most important lesson from these numbers is that as a future Brown applicant, you must be prepared to take advantage of all opportunities available to you to stand out. An actual argument can be made that behind your essays, the video introduction is the best place to do just that.

How vital is Brown’s video profile?

There are two sides to this question that are important to remember. The first one is simpler, 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.

Deciding not to send a video intro as part of your Brown application will send a message to the admissions committee that you may not take your application to Brown as seriously as you should.

You may see Brown as a backup option if 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 they are.

Male student doing a video introduction in the living room.

Aside from that, the Brown video introduction gives students the chance to show admissions officers at the school who they are, their passions, 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 allows you 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, we hope to see no specific topic or format 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 when you were moved by music or art or tell us 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 let us know what makes you happy. This is 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 to serve its purpose and help the admissions officers at the school understand who you are and what you are about!

Here are some essential tips from the school regarding what students should do to ensure 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 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 sure 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. Students can learn more tips and strategies when nailing your Brown video profile. We thought we would list the most impactful below so 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 thinking about applying to Brown via Early Decision and having Brown at the top of their wish list in terms of schools they want to attend, figuring out how to make the most of your video profile should be a fundamental goal for you.

So, we want to break down the tips 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 uncomfortable with recording themselves and sending that video in. However, the best way to show Brown who you are is to show them, including your fabulous face.

a female student in an online AP class

While you can include clips and images that you’ve already filmed in the past, don’t forget to spend a fair amount of time on the 2-minute video speaking directly to the camera and the viewer on the other end, which is essential in learning how 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 essential 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 better to shoot using landscape – or horizontal – orientation. The viewer will likely watch it on a computer screen even if you are hitting your video using your phone (which is acceptable). Shooting for their benefit is ideal.

Tip No. 4 – Focus on your personality and share your passions

Some students who are unsure what to discuss end up spending a fair amount of their video simply going over experiences and accomplishments they have already discussed in other aspects of their application.

However, this is not the best use of your time, and 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 be 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 volunteering in your community? Anything under the sun that gets you excited and engaged can be a topic you discuss during your video introduction.

Tip No. 5 – Try to tell a story and be creative

When students don’t know where to begin with their video introduction for Brown, they risk simply listing things they care about. Even if those things are extraordinary and unique, the delivery attempts boredom. Instead, try to find a way to tell a story that sucks the viewer in and keeps them engaged for the entire video duration.

Tell a story about a life event that significantly impacted your life. Talk about your family’s history, culture, or religion and how that affected who you are today. Talk about a big dream you hope to one day accomplish and what you’ve done to prepare yourself to achieve that goal.

Moreover, you have to remember that the admissions committee at Brown receives tens of thousands of admissions per year, and finding a way to present yourself and your video creatively 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 want to have a general plan for your video’s appearance. Consider breaking up your clips of talking to the camera with footage or doing the activities you discuss in your video. This also allows you to break up what you’re saying into different bits to 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 your video’s audio quality. 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 be the make or break factor of your application to Brown, but it can help you rise above the typical applicant and stand out for the better.

If you are curious about learning more about improving your video introduction or your chances of getting into Brown in general, consider contacting AdmissionSight today to set up a free consultation.

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