It all began with the title “On a Date with Tufts University.” Curious as to what courtship with an entire college looked like, I hit play. I then realized that what I was watching was an admissions essay.
For the prospective class of 2014, Tufts’ Office of Undergraduate Admissions decided it would offer their applicants the chance to become film directors, telling students they could produce their own YouTube videos as part of an optional supplement to two required short essays.
About 1,000 of the 15,000 applicants submitted videos following the school’s decision in 2010, according to the New York Times, and the numbers keep growing, as do page views. Many of the videos have garnered well over a thousand hits.
“At heart, this is all about a conversation between a kid and an admissions officer,” said Lee Coffin, the dean of undergraduate admissions, to the Times. “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.”
Following the date with Tufts — which, fingers crossed, I think went well — I began watching several other admissions videos, enthralled by the students’ creativity and Tufts’ unique decision to incorporate this into their application process. Here are some favorites from over the years, including the most recent video that started it all.
On a Date with Tufts University —
My Big Fat Greek Tufts Supplement (Killer last line) —
Are You Tuft Enough? (Amazing) —
Tufts Optional Supplement Video (Don’t judge a video by its title) —
Tufts Video Supplement: Austin Owen (She’s been bungee jumping) —
Tufts University Supplement 6b: Adel Nesheiwat (Always love a good “Godfather” parody) —
Jonathan Pascheles Tufts Supplement (And an Old Spice Parody) —
Dear Tufts (“Changizzle” is funny in itself) —
When I First Met Tufts (Seinfeld?) —
Dear Tufts (In response to “Dear Harvard“) —