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As “Decision Day” looms, schools enter the final stretch to secure their freshmen class.

Student recruitment gets more competitive every year, and schools are forced to come up with innovative ways of getting incoming freshmen to notice them.

YouTube has become a battleground for schools to compete for the hearts and minds (and wallets) of prospective students. Nearly every school has produced generic hype videos loaded with inspiring slogans, music and shots of campus, but only a few are truly getting creative. Here are some of our favorite college recruitment videos:

Third Place: Butler University

We’ve seen a new college admissions trend in recent years: schools are showing up to applicants’ houses and hand-delivering their acceptance letters. Maryland and USC both deserve some love, but Butler University gazumped both schools by bringing Blue, their bulldog mascot, along for the ride.

Second Place: University of Oregon

The “if” rhetorical is slightly cliche, but this video does a great job highlighting everything the University of Oregon has to offer. It presents the beautiful forestry, rich history and exciting football traditions with a wry humor that makes the school feel accessible. In a recruitment landscape that can feel stiff and, for lack of a better word, “college-y”, Oregon doesn’t hide their personality.

First Place: Boston College

Boston College doesn’t just dominate this category, they’re reinventing it.

Multiple generations have grown up wishing an Owl would drop off their Hogwarts letter, and this video is the closest any of us will ever get. Creating compelling videos that strike an emotional chord with new admits is something of a tradition for Boston College, and it’s difficult to construct an argument that it doesn’t set them apart from other schools.

Perhaps the best part of the video is the timing. It was released in late March, just as prospective students are beginning to make their college decisions. This video serves as Boston College’s last effort to sway student’s minds and fill their freshman class.

Schools everywhere need to step up their game when it comes to college recruitment videos.

Shots. Fired.

Consider this a formal plea to admissions departments across the country to take things to the next level and show off for prospective students.

Have we missed your school? Give us a shout on Facebook or Twitter to let us know how your school is welcoming the Class of 2022!

We are not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education. Federal Student Aid (FSA), an office of the U.S. Department of Education, makes the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and assistance available to the public for free at fafsa.gov.