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Back to March Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 290 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS MARCH 2010

Applying to College on YouTube
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Now you can see student applications to Tufts University online — at least the video portions posted on YouTube. For the first time, this year Tufts invited students to submit an optional one-minute video that "says something about you" with their admissions applications. About 1,000 out of 15,000 applicants did.

Some students chose to play musical instruments, others showed off card tricks, and many performed rap songs. Several incorporated Jumbo the Elephant, Tuft's mascot, into their videos. Amelia Downs has developed a YouTube following for her video combining "two of my favorite things: being a nerd and dancing." Her performance of a bar graph, scatter plot, pie chart, and a sine and cosine graph has more than 92,000 views.

The videos are genuinely optional, emphasized Lee Coffin, dean of undergraduate admissions, so students who don't chose to submit one are not penalized. Even a bad video doesn't hurt a student's admission chances, "unless there was something really disgusting," he said.

"At heart, this is all about a conversation between a kid and an admissions officer," said Coffin. "You see their floppy hair and their messy bedrooms, and you get a sense of who they are."

Coffin said there are no plans to replace the traditional essay requirement with video submissions. "We will never abandon writing," he said. "No matter what, it's important to be able to express yourself elegantly in writing." (New York Times, 2-23-10)


 
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