YouTube's a site that's been used by nonprofit organizations to address serious human rights issues. It's also a site that's been used to exhibit children kicking adults in the crotch. Now, in a move that sort of bridges the gap, Tufts University has started allowing applicants to post clips featuring themselves.
"Lee Coffin, Tufts' dean of admissions, says the clips showcase a creativity and personality that would be hard to convey on paper," according to Tracy Jan. "The idea is part of an effort begun by the university in 2006 to evaluate aspects of applicants' intelligence not reflected in SAT scores and grades."
It's apparently a rather popular idea, too. Around 1,000 applicants made videos, and as you can conclude after watching the example below, many of them had fun, not just sitting in a straight-backed chair and talking at the camera.
At the same time, Tufts hasn't made the videos in any way mandatory (the school received about 15,000 applications all in all), so folks with stage fright aren't penalized. And employees of the admissions office are keeping in mind that not everyone has access to top-notch camera equipment and editing gear.
Tufts is a rather prestigious university; it should be interesting to see if other schools follow its lead.