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College accepts You Tube Videos for Admission

2010 February 23

Tufts is a University that gets it.  According to an article in the New York Times, last spring, Lee Coffin, the dean of undergraduate admissions at Tufts watched a video prepared by a student enrolling in college and thought,  “If this kid applied to Tufts, I’d admit him in a minute, without anything else.”  Then he turned those thoughts into action, this year allowing students to post You Tube videos to supplement their applications.

Coffin gets it.  In the Times’ article he said,

“Kids who are 17 and 18 are very facile with new media, and one of the challenges for colleges right now is to stay ahead of that curve.”

But that’s not all.  These videos also give the universities a chance to get to know prospective students in a whole new way.  Coffin explained,

“At heart, this is all about a conversation between a kid and an admissions officer, 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.”

Mr. Coffin’s comments reinforce everything we “Social Media Zealots” have been preaching since the dawn of the Social Media Age (a couple of years ago . . . .).

The key words are “conversation”, and “share their voice.”

That’s what Social Media is.  It’s allowing others to share their voice.  It’s about you engaging with your customers, and conversing with them, getting to know them and letting them get to know you more effectively than through traditional advertising alone.

Social Media is about presenting content that’s specific to your customer at all stages of the buying cycle.  Specific to the customer and their unique persona.  While some may respond to a blog post, others may need to “see for themselves” through a video, drawing or photograph.

Does this make you want to back to school?  You can.  I got my MBA Watching You Tube*.  You can too!

Here’s a selection of amazing videos submitted by Tufts applicants.  I look forward to your comments!


*  OK, so I don’t really have an MBA.  But I have learned so much by watching You Tube videos, maybe I should be awarded an honorary one from You Tube University.  Seriously.  Pick a subject, any subject. Then search it on You Tube.  You’ll learn a lot!

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Daniel permalink
    February 25, 2010

    Don’t you think this puts children who are shy, insecure about their looks or those who are not attractive at a significat disadvantage?

    • February 25, 2010

      Hi Daniel –

      Perhaps, but that is offset by the ability for students who may struggle academically and can only communicate by some other sort of communication tool. Also – some shy, insecure people can come alive when given the ability to create a different persona using music, art, video etc.

      I think it’s a great step toward inclusion rather than exclusion

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