When I filled out my college application form, the worst part was the essay. I struggled with it for days: “Tell us about yourself. What’s your typical day like? What are your interests? Who are you, really?”
How can I fully describe myself in 500 words? How can my dynamic personality pop off a page that only has black ink on it? That’s quite a challenge, if you ask me.
Tufts University obviously agrees and is now allowing students to submit an application supplement in the form of a YouTube video. These videos are supposed to allow students to show admissions officers who they really are and to stand out from the crowd of other applicants.
“At heart, this is all about a conversation between a kid and an admissions officer,” said Lee Coffin, the dean of undergraduate admissions. “You see their floppy hair and their messy bedrooms and you get a sense of who they are. We have a lot of information about applicants, but the videos let them share their voice.”
Of the 15,000 freshmen applicants to Tufts this year, 1,000 submitted a homemade video. These videos range from shoe-obsessions to math dances and offer students a more creative way to express themselves. It probably also entertains the admissions officers, but that’s beside the point.
So does this mean the end of the dreaded application essay? Unfortunately, no.
“We will never abandon writing,” said Coffin. “No matter what, it’s important to be able to express yourself elegantly in writing.”
However, creativity and technological intelligence are finally being recognized as a good quality for college students to have. And, hey, if nothing else, you just might become a YouTube legend!