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Schools Using New Video App To Bring College Applications To Life

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PITTSBURGH (CBS) -- For decades, colleges have relied mostly on test scores, grades and essays when making decisions on who to admit. But, with technology, that's all changing.

A new app called ZeeMee is adding some personality to that stack of paper. Using the app, admissions officers can see students in action, in a space where they feel most comfortable.

High School senior Hailey McQuaid found out about the video app when she was applying to the University of Denver.

"One of their questions was if you want to make a ZeeMee account and then link your ZeeMee account to your common app," she said.

ZeeMee is an app that allows students to answer questions on video and share them directly with college admissions offices.

Students can also upload other videos about additional activities and interests. The app looks a lot like an Instagram feed.

McQuaid believes ZeeMee gives colleges a better sense of what she is really like.

"They could see my face, see what I sound like, get a taste of what my personality would be like," she said.

The co-founder of ZeeMee, Adam Metcalf, wanted to give students a chance to reach out to colleges in a format similar to those they use every day.

"So we brought a video platform for colleges to review those students to see more of their character, their growth, mindset and their grit," said Metcalf.

Mike Steidel, the dean of admissions at Carnegie Mellon University, says his office partnered with ZeeMee. While it's optional for applicants, he thinks the app can add to the strength of an application.

"A student is a lot more than a set of test scores and a GPA, and ZeeMee gives you the opportunity to actually meet that person," said Steidel.

More than 200 schools now include ZeeMee in their application, including CMU, Allegheny College, Bethany College, Chatham University, Point Park University, Robert Morris University and Thiel College here in western Pennsylvania.

According to the admissions staff at CMU, ZeeMee has already moved some potential students from the "no" pile to the "yes" pile.

Even if a college doesn't ask for ZeeMee, students can still add it to the additional information section on most college applications.

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