Video Application Students Excel at Goucher College

New Approach to Admissions Successfully Identifies College-Level Talent

Feb 08, 2016, 09:00 ET from Goucher College

TOWSON, Md., Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Goucher College's bold move to find a new way to discover talent and increase college access through its Goucher Video Application (GVA) has worked. Students who were accepted through the GVA did slightly better during their first semester than their peers admitted through the conventional application process, confirming the GVA is just as capable of predicting success in college as more traditional application methods.

The average GPA of students admitted through the GVA process was 3.15 for the first semester; it was 3.11 for the general first-year population. Sixty-nine percent of GVA students had a GPA greater than 3.0, and 85 percent had a GPA higher than 2.5, whereas the percentages for the total first-year population were 65 percent and 84 percent, respectively. Please also note the GVA population was substantially smaller than the total first-year class.

During the summer of 2014, Goucher College sought to create a more transparent college-application process that would identify previously untapped talent among high school students. The result was the Goucher Video Application, the first application option in the nation requesting student-submitted videos as the decisive factor for admission. Students were no longer required to submit transcripts, test scores, and other traditional application materials as part of this revolutionary process. Instead, they were offered the option of sending Goucher a straightforward, two-minute video about how they see themselves flourishing at the college, in addition to a brief application form, a signed statement of academic integrity, and two works of scholarship (including a graded writing assignment).

"Some questioned whether the GVA was missing a critical piece of applicant review by disregarding the high school transcript, the previously widely agreed upon best predictor of college accomplishment," says Goucher College President José Antonio Bowen. "However, not just academics, but multiple indicators of student success—academic performance, retention rate, and campus community involvement—were similar among both populations. We really believe we've been successful in identifying one alternative way to uncover student potential, and we're excited to welcome future students through this process."  

The process also attracted a more economically and racially diverse applicant pool than the traditional application: Fifty-two percent of the GVA applicants self-identified as students of color and 38 percent were first-generation college students.

Recently named one of the top 10 most innovative colleges in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Goucher has been a leader in forward-thinking ideas around equity, student success, and college admissions. 

Those interested in learning more, may see previous news coverage and watch videos about the Goucher Video Application development process by visiting Goucher's website. A more comprehensive fact sheet listing all of the statistics is available by emailing Check out Goucher on Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and follow the college at @gouchercollege and #gouchervideoapp.

Named one of the top 10 most innovative colleges in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Goucher College is a selective, private, coed, liberal arts college dedicated to providing a multidisciplinary, international education and preparing students for the jobs of the future. A Goucher education focuses on the 3Rs: helping students develop strong faculty and peer relationships, encouraging resilience, and teaching students to reflect upon their cognitive styles so they can become true lifelong learners.

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SOURCE Goucher College