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  • Writer's pictureBeth & Tim Manners

Student YouTube: A Lens Into Campus Life

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

Chronicle of Higher Education: “Search any college’s name and you’re likely to see a student-produced dorm-room tour or move-in day video among the top hits … Videos uploaded by college students offer an authentic lens into student life and campus culture, which are helpful for high schoolers looking to visualize themselves on a specific campus … Keri Nguyen, a Florida high-school senior, even applied to a few colleges she felt were a reach for her academic record because of the YouTube videos she watched.”

“Olivia Pongsrida, a junior majoring in sociology at the University of Washington, started her channel in her sophomore year as a creative hobby … Many of these college Youtubers see themselves as unofficial academic ambassadors, well aware of the influence they have on anxious high schoolers applying to college. Pongsrida and May Gao, an influencer from Brown University, have offered to read applicants’ college essays. They interact with the online communities they’ve developed, answering questions and comments on social media.”

“At West Virginia, students in a video titled “The Most Honest WVU Campus Tour Ever” entertainingly exaggerate how great the campus is. The University of Oregon featured random students walking around campus in a “Duck Advice for Freshman” video … But what is most appealing to a high-school audience is rarely found in college-produced content — personal detail and a sense of trust between YouTuber and viewer. College influencers offer up their high-school GPAs, test scores, extracurriculars, even the essay that got them into college. This level of transparency is invaluable to viewers, especially those applying to college.”

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