Brown Video Portfolio: Tips + Examples

What’s Covered

 

Say goodbye to the traditional college interview process. Brown University has canceled formal interviews in favor of a new, technology-focused approach—video portfolios!

 

Your video portfolio serves as your interview for Brown University, and it’s an excellent way to show your personality, interests, and essential information that transcend the boundaries of your application.

 

Here’s everything you need to know about how to create a two-minute video portfolio that will significantly improve your chances of acceptance at Brown.

 

Brown Video Portfolio Requirements

 

You might be surprised to discover that there are few requirements for the Brown video portfolio. However, here are a few rules to keep in mind:

 

  • Your video must be two minutes or less.
  • Your video must be submitted before the Early Decision deadline on November 4 or the Regular Decision deadline on January 10.
  • Submit your video by logging into your Applicant Portal and uploading your video file directly through the link provided on the sidebar.
  • There are no required topics or formats the admissions team is looking for in your video. This is your opportunity to allow your creativity to shine!
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Tips for Making Your Video Engaging

 

Before you start filming, read through this list of tips from the Brown admissions team and students who have successfully filmed and submitted videos that have granted them admission to Brown.

 

Start with an introduction.

 

Make sure you start your video by saying, “Hi, my name is [insert name] from [high school], in the same way that you would introduce yourself if you were meeting a new person.

 

Show your face.

 

It’s okay to use creative filming techniques and to include unique clips you’ve filmed in the past during your video. However, don’t forget to show your face and spend some time talking directly to the camera, too!

 

Dress casually.

 

Even though you’re filming a video interview, you don’t have to dress as formally as you would for a traditional interview. Wear an outfit you would wear for a typical day at school that showcases your personality.

 

Speak clearly.

 

Most importantly, ensure that you enunciate and speak clearly during your video. Even if you have an extremely creative video, it won’t boost your admission chances if the person watching your video can’t hear what you’re trying to say.

 

Film in landscape orientation.

 

Submit your video in landscape orientation. This looks more professional and is easier for the admissions team to watch.

 

Showcase your personality.

 

If you have an outgoing personality, don’t sit in front of a screen reciting a script with a monotonous tone. Whether you’re funny, introspective, bubbly, or empathetic, find unique ways to let your personality shine in your video!

 

Share your interests. 

 

Your video portfolio is a great way to dive deeper into your interests beyond your extracurriculars. Perhaps you can talk about your love for reading, your passion for serving the homeless, or your history with competitive barrel racing. Whatever you think is necessary for the Brown admissions team to know about you—this is your chance to share it!

 

Tell a story.

 

Instead of listing your extracurriculars, consider telling a story about a life event that’s deeply impacted you. You can also talk about your ethnic background, family history, or other qualities that have shaped you into who you are today. 

 

Be creative.

 

Creativity is crucial in your video portfolio. Brown’s admission team will be watching thousands of these videos, so ask yourself—what can you do to make your video stand out?

 

Consider adding captions.

 

Adding captions is a great way to ensure your video is easy to understand. You can see some inspiration for adding captions in the videos below.

 

If you’re looking for more tips, read through this helpful post about one student’s experience with the Brown interview process.

 

Examples of Great Brown Video Portfolios

 

Are you looking for some inspiration for your video portfolio?

 

Watch these five engaging, creative videos from students who were accepted into Brown to discover unique ways you can use a two-minute video to allow your personality to shine.

 

Video #1:

 

 

This video, submitted by Claire Yang, is an excellent example of a Brown video portfolio. In the video, Claire sits in front of the screen and reveals items from her “smile box.” This box is a collection of things that bring her back to different moments in her life.

 

Using her smile box, Claire can focus on three passions: art, dance, and her relationship with her sisters. Claire is visible and audible to the camera, and throughout the video, she showcases photos, videos, and other graphics that enhance her portfolio.

 

Video #2

 

 

This video, submitted by Cecile Schreidah, earned her early admission into Brown because the admissions team loved it so much!

 

In this video, Cecile truly allows her personality to shine. She includes some video clips of herself that are silly, serious, and fun, but each one showcases a unique aspect of her character.

 

In the video, Cecile explains her passion for learning about parasites. She includes a speech she gave about tapeworms and how that speech empowered her as a woman in STEM. She also shared her interest in fashion, her accomplishments competing in National History Day and other speech and debate events, and more. Overall, Cecile does a great job showcasing her personality and humanizing her profile while still sharing her interests and accomplishments.

 

Video #3

 

 

This video, submitted by Josh Benzon, focuses less on listing interests and accomplishments and more on telling a story. In the video, Josh shares how his perspective of life was changed when his dad was diagnosed with cancer. He shares that now, he thinks life is worth living to the fullest every day. Because of the video clips he shows at the end of the video, we can also tell that Josh is a swimmer, artist, and academic. Unlike the other two videos, it showcases his interests in a more subtle way.

 

Josh also does a great job of listing his full name clearly at the beginning of the video, and he adds captions to make his video easily readable.

 

Video #4

 

 

In this video, Edward Zang shares that he has learned to “seek discomfort” through his commitment to each of his hobbies: the mental discomfort from speedcubing, the physical discomfort from table tennis, and social discomfort from magic. He shares how this discomfort has caused him to grow, and he is always hoping to be challenged in whatever he does.

 

This video is an excellent example of a video portfolio. Even though it is simple, Edward does a great job showcasing three unique hobbies that set him apart from other applicants, and he ties them together with a common theme. The video also ends on Edward’s face, which is a helpful way for the admissions team to remember and form a connection with him, in the same way they would during an interview.

 

Video #5

 

 

In this video, Hannah-Marie Santos shares what she calls her “grandma hobbies,” writing pen pal letters to other kids across the world and baking with her grandma in Puerto Rico.

 

Hannah-Marie does a great job of showcasing her creativity. She creates art and writes letters to tell the story of her video, and even though she doesn’t show her face, she does show photos of herself as she talks about her Puerto Rican heritage. Hannah-Marie also includes captions in her video, which is an excellent choice since she has a soft-spoken voice.

 

What Are Your Chances at Brown?

 

Although Brown has an incredibly low 6.9% acceptance rate, your personal chances may be higher or lower, depending on your academic profile.

 

You can use our free chancing engine to calculate your chances of acceptance into Brown University. This tool uses your test scores, extracurriculars, GPA, background, and more to determine your likelihood of acceptance and will give you tips on improving your profile to increase your chances. 

 

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Short Bio
Brittany Sawyer is a graduate of Grand Canyon University, where she majored in Marketing and minored in Professional Writing. She works as a freelance copywriter and lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and her golden retriever, Sedona. When Brittany isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, trying new coffee shops, and traveling.

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