Are “Optional” Application Essays and Videos Really Optional?


I am applying to the University of Chicago, which accepts an "optional" video introduction. Another school where I'm applying has a "recommended" supplemental essay available. My dad thinks I need to do these even though they aren't required. I don't really have the time. When they say "optional/recommended" do they really mean these items are basically required? Or are they really optional?

“The Dean" votes “Yes" on the essay and “No, but ..." on the video (more on that in a minute).

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