You Tube and University Admissions


Checking out university and college admissions videos has become as much a part of the student process in researching prospective post-secondary choices as leafing through viewbooks and comparing mid-range SAT scores. Admissions departments are very aware of the importance of videos in our contemporary, You Tube-saturated culture, so have begun to develop lavish, professional productions in order to promote their schools.

Most admissions videos display the predictable ivy-covered buildings, Frisbee-tossing students, and highly supportive faculty. But with increased competition among institutions for the best students, admissions offices have been attempting to stamp their own unique brand on admissions videos.

With its recently released video, “That’s Why I Chose Yale,” the Ivy League institution in New Haven Connecticut has established a new benchmark for admissions publicity material. This campy, musical romp has garnered attention even beyond the college admissions world. Although not all Yale alumni appreciate its tongue-in-cheek approach to life at Yale, its entertainment value can’t be denied. Check it out at

Several universities throughout North America have slyly begun to launch video contests among their student bodies with titles such as “You Trent, the Great Trent Video Contest” at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario; “Celebrate IU” at the campuses of Indiana University all across the state; and “R U Ryerson?” at Ryerson University in Toronto. These admissions offices are using student initiative for the cost of a contest prize to produce promotional videos that are clever, creative, and appealing to the student demographic that admissions offices are trying to reach. Here are some of the winners:

Our own University of Victoria has even jumped into the fray. Although their “Anything Project” isn’t exactly an admissions video, it certainly has caught the attention of the online world and dovetails well with the Admissions Department’s new recruitment campaign, “Imagine UVic.” The video project asks UVic students, faculty, alumni, and anyone with an internet connection to answer the question, “If you could do anything, what would you do?” The responses are funny, inspiring, goofy, and poignant. Add your own answer at

And finally, if you’re looking for a laugh at the expense of the whole admissions video process itself, don’t miss the Whiteman College admissions video. Not to be confused with Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, Whiteman exists only in the minds of its creators. But now it’s available for all to see on this entertaining You Tube video:


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