By Gabrielle Kratsas
In a world where, more and more, college students are replacing traditional TV with the surplus of YouTube videos being shared from one newsfeed to the next, it’s imperative that today’s vloggers produce awesome videos that stand out from the masses, bringing us to our top YouTubers with college vlogs.
With over 20 million students enrolling in American colleges, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the demand for helpful, relatable and funny video blogs about going to and surviving college is huge. Luckily for those of us glued to our smartphones, a number of young adults have taken to YouTube to document and offer advice about their college experiences, helping high school graduates head off to college knowing what to expect, what not to bring, how to tackle finals and so on.
Since each of these great YouTubers have their own individual styles and different things to offer on their vlogs, this list is not ranked in any particular order. To create this list, we used multiple sources, listed at the end of this article, to find some of the top names ruling the college vlogs scene. We then compared these YouTubers to other college advice vlogs, looking at factors like the number of subscribers, views, post frequency, video length and subject matter that are current and available at the time of writing this article.
1. Kent Heckel
Kent Heckel is a mass communication junior with a focus on YouTube at Principia College. Since joining YouTube in 2011, this college daily vlogger has posted hundreds of videos, garnering some 3,031,874 total views, that consist of some serious videography skills, clever transitional shots and all-around entertaining banter, advice and experience by Kent.
His vlog subjects range from dorm room tours and a day in the life of a college student to how to party at a small college and skateboarding around campus. His videos also cover a broader range of lifestyle subjects like love, happiness and friendship. On his website, Kent explains, “I make videos every day to inspire people to be better . . . whether you are a graduate, high schooler, or current college student you will love my vlogs!”
A 21-year-old business administration major at the University of Southern California, Annemarie Allen joined YouTube in 2012 and is up to over seven million views. She frequently tweets, instagrams and uploads videos that cover college life, fashion, going back to school, beauty and makeup, DIY and more.
Her videos are edited well with entertaining B-roll clips, upbeat background music, fun transitions and helpful images, captions and voiceovers. Her most-viewed video on YouTube is “Back to School Supplies Haul 2014!”, which introduces viewers to her “essential school supplies” that she has used throughout her college career. She explains in her channel’s “About” section, “my goal with creating content here is to help other people in any way that I can.”
3. Brittany Lewis
For those interested in learning about sorority life at a larger college like the University of Florida, check out Brittany Lewis, a freshman journalism major who started vlogging about college, specifically, just nine months ago. Her most popular video “COLLEGE MOVE IN DAY VLOG: FRESHMAN EDITION” has 361,766 views, and while her newer videos prove that her editing skills have come along nicely since the fall, she does a wonderful job with covering just about every thought a girl may have during the move-in process, from leaving friends to dressing appropriately.
Her newer videos, which are posted on YouTube every Monday and Friday, cover topics like staying healthy in college, how to grocery shop as a vegetarian and how to dress for sorority recruitment. Her lifestyle, fashion and beauty videos are abundant and fabulously descriptive.
One of the more popular vloggers on this list, Katherine Berry is a business administration senior at the University of Southern California. She usually posts twice monthly, and their topics include “What to Do When You’re BURNT OUT at School!”, “The 8 Habits of 4.0 Students” and “!0 Graduation Gift Ideas”.
Her most popular video “COLLEGE MOVE-IN DAY | My USC Dorm Room” went live back in 2014, and by then Katherine was already getting creative with her transitions and move-in B-roll. The vlog is just under 12 minutes long, and the description she wrote for this, along with her other videos, supplements information to avoid confusion about what the purpose of the YouTube video is. Her writing is conversational, and she made sure to link to a second vlog to introduce her roommate who wasn’t present in the initial clip.
5. Thomas Frank
Creator, designer and administrator of the blog College Info Geek, Thomas Frank graduated from Iowa State University in 2013 with a BS in management information systems. This author, YouTuber and speaker uploads three or four videos each month, sometimes more, on studying, productivity and self-improvement. He first joined YouTube back in 2009, and now has the most subscribers of all YouTubers on this list.
Thomas’ vlogs, shared on his personal and website’s YouTube channels, have titles like “How to Be More Confident Than Anyone You Know: 5 Effective Tips,” “The Most Powerful Way to Remember What You Study” and “5 Rules (and One Secret Weapon) for Acing Multiple Choice Tests”. His YouTube videos, in my opinion, are the most helpful and well-thought-out on this list, and their lengths range from 2.5 minutes to 25.5 minutes. Continuing to build his empire in the education sector, he published his book “10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades” two years after graduation, and it now has over 440 five-star reviews on Amazon. It’s downloadable for free here.
Yet another student at the University of Southern California, Tasha Farsaci transferred from Loyola Marymount University in 2015 to USC and is a sophomore communications and media studies major. Her vlog posts include beauty, fashion, lifestyle and college, and she uploads a few times every month.
Tasha’s videos on her YouTube channel, which she refers to as “kind of a college channel,” are creative, energetic and littered with helpful, supplemental images, cute fonted captions and chapter transitions that make it easy to keep up in her longer clips. Unlike Thomas Frank, Tasha posts more about the college lifestyle and less about academics. Her relatable and instructional YouTube videos include “My Hair Care Routine: How to Grow Long Hair”, “What NOT to do at College Parties” and “Why I’m Going to Community College”.
7. Brandon Hayden
Brandon Hayden is a junior speech communication and rhetoric major at Georgia State University. Although his most recent post was nine months ago, his lifestyle and College 101 YouTube videos offer great advice and his personal experience with things like choosing a major, studying for finals and learning how to cook.
For those searching YouTube for more entertaining lifestyle video blogs, Brandon has plenty on Black Friday shopping, buying new glasses and Friendsgiving. He’s always charismatic, well-dressed and engaging. Today Brandon is focusing on his Atlanta fashion blog, Happily Dressed, through which he hopes “to promote self-acceptance, self-confidence, and self-sufficiency.”
8. Brooke Miccio
Also in the state of Georgia, Brooke Miccio is a sophomore marketing student at the University of Georgia who vlogs on her YouTube channel about everything college lifestyle from how she edits her Instagram posts to what she learned from studying abroad in Italy for one month.
She is passionate about the YouTube videos she posts two to four times a month, utilizing the written description space of each video to explain, outline and expand on the information she offers in the vlog. For example, her “Get Organized For 2017 // How I Use My Agenda + How I Plan” video description includes links to where viewers can purchase all of the products she discusses, where to follow her on other social media platforms, what she uses to create her videos and more.
Communication and design major at Elon University, Katy Bellotte offers real advice and experience on subjects that go far enough to be a part of a “tmi series”. She uploads these vlogs two or more times monthly, touching on subjects from “Things I Wish I Knew Before College” to “My thick thighs” and “Products that don’t suck”.
This YouTuber has gotten big enough to go to the Golden Globes, and her videos, including the one documenting her Globes experience, are often sponsored by L’Oréal Paris, Boohoo, Paris Presents Inc. and others. Regardless of when she is or isn’t being paid for posting her fashion, beauty and college lifestyle videos on YouTube, all of her views and opinions are her own. Teen Vogue and Her Campus have featured Katy in more than one article, and she uses her lifestyle blog, The Katy Project to write what she leaves out of her vlogs. This girl is a fabulous writer and speaker, unafraid to touch on the intimate subjects that many public vloggers leave out of their channels.
10. Morgan Yates
A recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel hill with a degree in video production and media entrepreneurship, Morgan Yates creates college, lifestyle and fashion videos on YouTube that have reaped over 1.3 million views, like her video “How to Color Your Hair With Chalk Pastels!” She has a second YouTube channel called Morgan Yates Vlogs that she uses to document her senior bucket list progress.
She posts new content weekly and companies like Barnes & Noble, Seventeen Magazine, Clean & Clear, Greyhound, Macy’s and others have sponsored her branded content, which she signifies in the description of her videos. She shows her fans what it’s like to live a day in the life of a UNC student, how to de-stress during finals weeks and what her morning and night routines are like. Her Instagram photos look like they’re each professionally done, and her YouTube videos have nice editing touches like social media buttons that bounce across the screen and supporting B-roll that illustrates what she’s vlogging about.
11. Cath in College
Since joining YouTube in 2012, Catherine Götze has published 115 videos that cover subjects ranging from buying her first beer to playing intramural flag football and what it’s like being a junior business major at Stanford and the junior class president.
Cath also writes checklists and advice blogs about college life, which she publishes on her personal website. She also enjoys letting loose with her viewers, making her “Silly Answers” vlog post where she and friends get “silly” and answer questions from fans. Her website even includes testimonials from other publishers about her personal blog and entertaining vlogging. She even collaborated with previously-mentioned college vlogger Katherout to talk about why YouTubers are a little fake.
12. Gabby Aikawa
A graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Gabriella Aikawa has a BS in human biology and a minor in chemistry. Today, she continues vlogging about her college experiences, advice and adventures, to include moving forward with her education while deciding why med school isn’t for her (and there’s a video post about that). Her most popular video, “How To Get an A in Organic Chemistry,” is up to 389,032 views most likely because of how relatable her struggle with the class is.
Although Gabby is now a global product development manager at John Masters Organics, she still finds time to publish helpful videos on YouTube irregularly but often. Her other online vlog topics include “How to Write A Successful Cover Letter | In Depth Tutorial,” “College Websites You Should Know About” and “How I Faded My Surgery Scars”.
The only YouTuber from overseas on this list, Simon Clark graduated from the University of Oxford with a master’s in physics and is now finishing his PhD in philosophy and climate physics at the University of Exeter. Unsurprisingly, Simon frequently publishes videos on YouTube about physics, climate and studying more frequently than any other YouTuber on this list. His most popular video, which has 877,065 views, goes over “A day in the life of an Oxford physics student”.
Other titles of Simon’s extremely educational videos include “A Christmas week as a PhD student,” “Can we build and artificial brain?” and yes, even a vlogged room tour where he introduces his viewers to his model planes and Teddy, his childhood bear that he still hugs for the world to see. So whether you’re looking for a crash course on the cryosphere or how to earn a PhD in five steps, check out Simon Clark because you can’t beat that accent.
14. Orly Alexandra
A 20-year-old at Chapman University, Orly Shapiro is a communication studies major who joined YouTube in 2010 and now has videos with just under half a million views. She frequently vlogs about college life at Chapman, specifically, with videos like “How To Get Involved in College- Clubs, Greek Life, & Events”.
Orly’s YouTube experience is what sparked her interest in minoring in law, justice and social control, as well as interning with the sociology department, according to a recent article by Chapman’s paper, The Panther. Other subjects she covers include staying healthy in college, moving in with her boyfriend and beauty topics like heatless hairstyles for short hair.
15. Amanda Magana
Posting new videos every week, Amanda Magana is a junior biology major at the University of California, Los Angeles, who blogs about beauty, fashion and what it’s like as a college student at UCLA. Through her YouTube videos, she offers advice on staying motivated to study, how to choose a college, how to balance school with life and much more.
Amanda’s most popular video “How to get into UCLA” has 201,786 views and features a fully dolled-up Amanda offering her tips and tricks for getting accepted to the college. She even adds a note that pops up on screen acknowledging the fact that it was a makeup experimentation day. Her written description is extremely helpful to viewers in that it time-stamps the important segments as an outline of what she’s discussing.
16. Kristee Vetter (aka StrawberryElectric48)
Another Chapman University student, Kristee Vetter is a senior political science and peace studies major who frequently blogs about lifestyle and beauty. Kristee has taken her viewers with her through high school adventures and now her experiences through college. She has a hilariously delightful attitude and conversational style in her blogs, beginning videos by greeting her viewers with, “Hey girl hey!”
Teen Vogue named Kristee among its “YouTube’s Top Beauty Gurus” back in 2011, and her most popular beauty video on YouTube is titled “9 Easy Hairstyles for School!” with almost seven million views after being live for six years. On the college lifestyle side, Kristee has covered subjects like what to (and not to) pack for college, getting ready for sorority recruitment and college dorm life 101.
17. Laurie Lo
Since joining YouTube in 2012, Laurie Martel has published 357 videos with which she discusses topics like depression and anxiety, how to get A’s in college and how she organizes her study desk. Currently earning her bachelor of commerce with a major in finance, this 23-year-old lifestyle vlogger and fitness enthusiast is from Quebec City, Canada and owns an adorable pug named Chubby, who also has his own Instagram account.
Using Final Cut Pro X, Laurie creates and publishes YouTube videos almost daily that vary in length from less than four minutes to more than 18 minutes. Her most popular video, posted three years ago, shares her most successful study habits with her viewers.
18. Tara E.
Tara Efobi is an undergraduate student at Iowa State University about to earn her BS in creative and technical design, who publishes YouTube videos about sustainable and minimalist fashion, cruelty-free beauty and vegetarianism in college. Brands like Nourish Beauty Box, Adore Me Lingerie and Happy Socks have worked with Tara for advertising purposes because her most popular video has gained just under 300,000 views.
Tara’s vlog subjects include her experiences while studying abroad like sustainability in Northern Europe, college tips about planners and textbooks, her natural/curly hair routine and things like how to naturally dye fabric with black beans.
A third-year psychology major at the University of California, Davis, Olivia Simone just returned from Orlando after working as a character performer at Walt Disney World through her College Program. She runs a college lifestyle channel on YouTube that covers subjects like study hacks for when you don’t want to study, her most embarrassing moment as a Disney cast member and facts to consider when transferring universities.
Olivia is a small, vivacious vlogger whose personality shines through her videos to her viewers, making us understand why working at Disney was such an appropriate fit for her.
20. Tarek Ali
Although he has the fewest subscribers on this list, we couldn’t leave out Tarek Ali, who posts several highly entertaining vlogs every month. Where many of our top YouTubers with college vlogs might title a video “How to Communicate with Financial Aid,” Tarek titled his vlog post “Calling Financial Aid be like..”
This charismatic vlogger is also a human rights activist and the founder/CEO of Caring Colors LGBTQ Empowerment Organization, as well as a pre-dental psychology major at Georgia State University with a minor in nonprofit leadership. In his videos, he talks about excelling in college, funny topics, fashion and his real-life experiences.