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Technology has changed the landscape of college admissions. Nowadays, many schools offer the option of including a self-introduction video to accompany a college or scholarship application. In some cases, you can even submit a video instead of a written essay! But does this really add value?

The answer depends on you. When deciding whether to include a self-introduction video in your application, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you comfortable on camera?

    The video format clearly values some candidates over others. If you come across as socially awkward, then a video might not be a good idea. You also want to be sure that your English is clear and fluent.

    Of course, you are not obligated to show your face in a self-introduction video. However, making a collage of images or video clips requires skill. If you have never made that kind of video before, don’t stress yourself out about it for your college application.

  2. Will you use the video format to show something meaningful?

    A video of yourself reading an essay adds little value. Rather, it’s best to show something visually appealing.

    For example, you could give a tour of your city. You could also show off your skills or projects– a science fair board, architectural sketches, recent paintings, or your ability to slam-dunk a basketball. As an international student, you could make a convincing argument about the diversity you’ll bring to campus by introducing the admissions team to a local dish or dance.

    Ideally, the images you choose to show will also underscore your motivations for applying to that particular school or major.

  3. Can you get good quality video clips?

    You certainly don’t have to have the world’s best camera or professional recording equipment. However, taking a video in your bedroom that shows piles of dirty laundry in the background will make you look slobbish and ill-prepared for the challenges of college life.

    For those students who are particularly skilled in photography or video editing, a self-introduction video may be a great way to show off. For everyone else, be sure to choose a quiet place with a neutral background if you are filming yourself. Make sure you film in well-lit locations and edit out any clips with distracting background noise.

A self-introduction video is still a new aspect of the college application process. If you are comfortable on camera, can show something meaningful, and will get good quality clips, it can be an excellent addition to your application.


Maija Wallace is a freelance writer for college admissions blogs. Her website is located at

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