We’ll fess up: For a long time, we were ZeeMee skeptics. ZeeMee is a free online platform that gives high school students the ability to document their story through images and video to help showcase themselves for college admissions. Here's an example:
There is a spot on the Common Application asking if you want to share your ZeeMee with partner colleges. We struggled with the fact that students may need to add one more significant component to their college application To Do lists—there is already so much being asked of students. However, we’ve been converted.
At a recent college consulting conference, we had the chance to hear a presentation from ZeeMee and local admissions reps. It was interesting to hear how the colleges are using the ZeeMee accounts. Many said that they view a student’s ZeeMee account if the student is on the line for admission. It was made clear that colleges do not look at it for every student. In addition, we heard from consultants who have used ZeeMee or some level of media (such as Slide Room) in their applications. Many of them felt that this addition greatly enhanced the applications of some of their students.
ZeeMee is a perfect place for students to store their independent projects, videos of that perfect strikeout pitch or recital, or the paper that stood out to your teacher in AP World History. More and more, we are noticing that schools are trying to dig deeper when it comes to assessing students—wanting to see examples of your skills and talents and of your intellectual curiosity. And showing them who you are is easy with ZeeMee. Another reason to use ZeeMee is simply to catalog and document all of the work you complete in high school. One of the biggest issues we have when trying to put together key items in your application is trying to remember where a paper or video is located. While you ultimately won’t use every single item you place in your ZeeMee account, being able to access all of these rich details in one place will only make the application process easier while also enhancing student profiles.
Before you rush out to hire a professional video person or photographer (or groan about what this will add to the already time-consuming process), we want to reiterate that ZeeMee is simply a type of locker to help students tell their stories. Colleges want to see the students’ authentic work, not fancy, over-the-top productions. In fact, a number of admissions reps pointedly mentioned that this would be a negative to them.
So, what does this mean for you? For our current class (as we have over last two years), we will let you know if we think a ZeeMee account would enhance your student’s application. This will be based on the colleges you are applying to. Currently, just over 200 colleges are partnering with ZeeMee. A few examples are TCU, Tulane, SMU, Carnegie Mellon, OU, Baylor, Texas Tech……….. We will also continue to be creative in our use of the Additional Information section of the application, which is where we tend to highlight the sort of information ZeeMee catalogs.