Ever wished you could express yourself truly in your college application, but felt that your grades, SAT scores and personal essay just didn’t do you justice? In an interesting twist, Tufts University showed their understanding of this dilemma by deciding to accept short, homemade videos as part of a student’s application package.
While the videos are not a required portion of the college application, this comes as a welcome addition for those of us who are naturally creative or out-of-the-box thinkers. Students who aren’t video-making gurus shouldn’t fret either. “We’re not judging it on the quality of production values,” said Lee Coffin, Tuft University’s dean of undergraduate admissions. “What we’re really looking to get out of these videos is another part of the puzzles that make up this 17-year-old person.”
When I first read about this decision in the Huffington Post, the first thing I thought of was Elle Woods’ amusing, girly and over-the-top Harvard law admissions video from the movie “Legally Blonde.” While her video obviously wouldn’t guarantee admission into Harvard, it illustrated how homemade videos can really highlight an applicant’s personality. Since these videos do not have specific restrictions or criteria, they really allow students to show off their creativity. After all, it can be pretty hard to extract someone’s character from test scores or even a personal essay, which in the end are just words on paper.
So far, other schools have yet to catch on to this quirky application option. I think it’s a great idea; perhaps the only difficulty would be the additional resources or staff needed in order to watch and evaluate all the videos. Regardless, this is a really interesting choice showing that colleges are looking to utilize alternative, non-traditional methods in order to make better admissions decisions.
Photo courtesy of Tufts University
Last modified: March 3, 2010