TCU WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO ADOPT ZEEMEE
One of the first, was Texas Christian University. Heath Einstein, Dean of Admission, says TCU has offered an optional component to their application for many years, called the Freedom of Expression, or FOE. Students could tell them anything that the application didn’t otherwise capture, and they had received artwork, poetry, collages, music, and much more in the past.
“This is what a holistic application review is about,” he says. “ZeeMee’s mission to allow the student to come to life aligns perfectly with our existing approach. It was clear early on from spending time with Juan and Adam that the company shared our vision.”
In the TCU application, Einstein says they ask if applicants have a ZeeMee account, and what their link is. It’s optional, and students’ academic records outweigh the additional pieces, he says, but a ZeeMee account can also help admissions officers identify students’ passions and envision how they might contribute to the campus community.
This is the second year TCU has partnered with ZeeMee. In the first year, Einstein says 770 students submitted a ZeeMee link, and this year, 2092 did. TCU has an undergraduate population of 8,891, and according to Forbes, has a 49% acceptance rate.
“There is only one required ingredient to create an outstanding profile: authenticity,” Einstein says. “One of the reasons I enjoy viewing students’ “Meet Me” videos is that it’s easy to spot that quality. We don’t want an overproduced film; we want the genuine student – foibles and all.”
‘MY ZEEMEE PROFILE HELPED TCU LEARN MORE ABOUT ME’
Drew Koshi, a high school senior in Boca Raton, Florida, heard about ZeeMee from his college guidance counselor. She told him that colleges like TCU were using it, and that it might be a good way for schools to get to know him better. Koshi hoped to be admitted to the TCU Neeley School of Business’ entrepreneurship center, so he made an account, and applied to the school.
“I believe that my ZeeMee profile helped TCU learn more about me than just my resume, transcript, and test scores. It allowed me to showcase my interests and products.” he says. “I’m so thankful that I was admitted.”
Now he’s using ZeeMee to read about some of his future TCU classmates, and says he definitively recommends the app to future college applicants.
FOR THE NEXT SEASON, ALL MOBILE, ALL VIDEO
For the next admissions season, Jaysingh says they’ll be changing ZeeMee to be all mobile and all video. Most of the videos so far have been uploaded from users’ Instagram or YouTube accounts, he says. But soon, they’ll be able to create content directly in the ZeeMee app. And rather than one video section and two written sections, ZeeMee profiles will be all video.
“The last few years have been spent breaking down the barriers in college admissions, and getting schools to use us,” Jaysingh says. “Now we’re hearing back from them, and we’re hearing that the video is very powerful. We’ve given students a platform where they’re comfortable. We don’t want to be Snapchat or Instagram, but we want them to be comfortable. We’re not there yet, but we’re making changes.”
They’re also beginning to generate revenue. While ZeeMee remains free for students, they’re selling additional features to universities and colleges. For example, once students are accepted into a school, the school can create a community on ZeeMee, so admitted students can check out their future classmates, chat with potential roommates, and contact counselors.
They also recently launched a texting feature. “Most colleges communicate with students via email, so this will be a great way to meet students where they are – on their phones,” Jaysingh says.
So far, about 60 schools are paying for ZeeMee products.
“Last year we were focusing on shaking up the industry,” Jaysingh says. “But now that we have the momentum, we’re going to focus on the product. It’s mobile, video, dynamic, and about communities.”