Some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher education now encourage applicants to submit a YouTube video as part of their application. Okay, this might be a good idea on the surface. High school students already enjoy making videos and uploading them to YouTube. But what the college application now be made public via the Internet? Here are two videos high school seniors submitted as part of their application to Tufts University. Given I found them on YouTube and can easily embed them as ready-to-play on Blogger.com, what do you see as the pros and cons of college application materials moving to public spaces and social networking sites? Here's Chania Cohen's "Walk in My Shoes" video she used for her application. (Click the arrow to view it; the videos is shorter than 2 minutes.)
Here's Amelia Downs' math nerd and dancing video, also part of her Tufts' application.
These videos and others that students have submitted to YouTube as part of their application packet have had over a 3,000 hits as of yesterday. Tufts claims that this year as many as 1,000 applicants submitted YouTubes. Given the number, it is understandable why an admission committee finds YouTube a convenient storage site and easy way to access and organize reams of digital materials.
Some schools even send with acceptance letters a video that pops on the screen as soon as the student opens email. For instance, Yale sends a rendition of "High School Musical."
What's your response to the use of videos, especially ones available on the world wide web, as part of the college application packet? How do you feel about the application process being in public view? When was the last time a college essay had that many readers? Will a centralized blog or wiki, available to the public, be the way students submit essays? Or is the visual nature of YouTube and its capacity to store large video files that make it more so the go-to venue for telling admissions committees, and in the meantime the rest of the world, "Who Am I."