|Admissions Essays Blog|
|Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.|
Monday, July 1, 2013
Is the Admission Essay Going Out of Style?
I'll admit, it's hard to keep up. One of my cars has an audio cassette player. The newer one has an iPod doc. My young kids don't know what CDs are used for. They've been to a library, but they'd rather have me download books for them. Now. As an adult, it's always hard to see the relics of your past become obsolete. It's a referendum on your own mortality, maybe. But life goes on. And the world of college admissions is no different.
Already, most colleges accept applications on line. There is noise about taking standardized testing off Scantron sheets and onto iPads. Nearly every college now has an interactive social media "presence", and most of us know what that means.
The Tippie School of Management at the University of Iowa turned heads a few years back when it replaced one of its traditional personal statement options with a Tweet. (In fact, they offered a full ride scholarship to the candidate with the best 140-character quip). They quickly pulled that option, but not before other business schools-Georgetown among them-began to offer the Tweet as an essay alternative.
This year, Tippie applicants have the option of replacing two admissions essays with a SlideShare presentation. The schools are grasping for a more relevant window into the applicant's experience using a new blueprint for communication. So many of the words we read no longer appear on paper. We now expect them to hang against the backdrop of hyperlinks, pictures, videos, and portals into other options.
Changing the application medium hopefully means that admissions officers get a visual, conceptual offering from applicants that is both more interesting and more illustrative than an essay on paper. For applicants, it opens up creative possibilities.
It's a safe bet that the majority of applicants and universities don't yet have the technology skills or assets to pull the plug on the traditional application essay. What these business schools are showing, however, is that the college application process is not immune to progress.
Watch this space. And keep an open mind.
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