Friday, March 30, 2012

Admission: Tufts

In 2006, Tufts University in Massachusetts expanded their application to include more questions about you, the applicant. An excerpt:
"The experiment involves additional essays used to identify applicants who are creative, who possess practical skills, or who have wisdom about how to promote the common good — characteristics Tufts says are consistent with its vision of higher education, but which may not be reflected in SAT scores or high school grade point averages."
Read the whole article here, especially if you are applying to Tufts!

Check out their essays by visiting Tufts Admissions site. Here are the 2010 supplemental essays:

2010-2011 Essay Questions

Class of 2015

Think outside the box when you answer the following questions.  Take a risk and go somewhere unexpected.  Be serious if the moment calls for it but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too.


Which aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application?

In short: “Why Tufts?” (50-100 words)


1. There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised—your family, home, neighborhood or community—and how it influenced the person you are today. (200-250 words)

2. For some, it’s politics or sports or reading.  For others it may be researching solar power fuel cells or arranging hip hop mash-ups. What makes you tick? (200-250 words)


We invite you to choose one of these topics and prepare an essay of 250 to 400 words. (And it really is optional!)

1. In Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia--his play about the relationship between past and present and the certainty of knowledge--one of the characters says, “It’s the wanting to know that makes us matter.” What would you like to know?

2. The human narrative is replete with memorable characters like America’s Paul Revere, ancient Greece’s Perseus or the Fox Spirits of East Asia.  Imagine one of humanity’s storied figures is alive and working in the world today.  Why does Joan of Arc have a desk job?  Would Shiva be a general or a diplomat? Is Chewbacca trapped in a zoo?  In short, connect your chosen figure to the contemporary world and imagine the life he/she/it might lead.

3. Finish one of the following thoughts: a) The last time I... b) The first time I…
c) Never again will I…

4. It’s been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can cause a typhoon halfway around the world.  History is filled with such lynchpins – small events or decisions that have huge effects on the future.  Make your own change somewhere in history and show us the effects on the world.

5. Thomas Edison liked to tinker.  “A good imagination and a pile of junk” were his inspirations.  What inspires your original thinking? How might you apply your ingenuity to tackle a vexing problem that confronts us?

6A) Use an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper to create something.  Blueprint your future home, create a new product, draw a comic strip, design a costume or a theatrical set, compose a score or do something entirely different.  Let your imagination wander.  *Optional essay 6A can be mailed to the Admissions Office.


6B.) Prepare a one-minute video that says something about you. Upload it to an easily accessible website (like YouTube, but we recommend using a privacy setting) and give us the URL and access code.  What you do or say is totally up to you. (Unfortunately, we are unable to watch videos that come in any form other than URL)

Here's what the Dean of Undergrad Admission himself says about the supplements in November 2010:

Cheverus students who are trying to give admissions "what they want" have a difficult time getting into Tufts. It's not that kind of school. If you can have fun and let yourself go, embracing the supplements and what Tufts is going for, it may be a good fit for you. Not for the conventional, fill in the bubbles kind of student.
links verified 4/2013

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