The college admissions process just got interactive. Admissions officers at Tufts University are hoping to get a glimpse of an applicant's digital life -- and not just by finding their Facebook profile. For the first time, Tufts is accepting short videos as part of a student's application package.
The videos are not required, but they offer applicants the option to make a new kind of personal statement in addition to the traditional essay. The New York Times reports:
There are videos showing off card tricks, horsemanship, jump rope and stencils -- and lots of rap songs, including one by a young woman who performed two weeks after oral surgery, with her mouth still rubber-banded shut ... About 1,000 of the 15,000 applicants submitted videos. Some have gotten thousands of hits on YouTube.
ABC News reports that some, like Harvard's Dean of admissions, worry about the financial limits -- what if the student hasn't been trained to edit video, or doesn't own a recording device? Tufts officials claim that they aren't judging for cinematic excellence. Lee Coffin, the school's dean of undergraduate admissions, tells ABC News:
We're not judging it on the qualities of the production values. We're not looking for Oscar-winning short films. What we're really hoping to get out of these videos is another part of the puzzles that make up this 17-year-old person.
It remains to be seen whether other colleges will adopt this option or whether students will feel comfortable presenting themselves on video. But as Tufts officials say, "a bad video would not hurt an applicant's admissions chances." And hopefully, no one will accidentally send their reality-show audition clip to the college of their dreams.
WATCH the ABC News report: