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Op-Ed | Groundbreaking Hotness Index sparks stampede of Baby Jumbos

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 08:01


The secret is out. On Jan. 18, 2013, an article in the student-run Tufts Daily revealed that online college dating platform DateMySchool recently released an index rating student and alumni “hotness” at six schools in the Boston area. Tufts ranked low in both gender categories. While the results of this index came as no surprise to the unattractive members of the Tufts community, widespread circulation of the Daily article has had a tragic effect on prospective students. 

This year’s admissions record was projected to be a groundbreaking one. A Jan. 17 Tufts Now article explains that over 18,000 applications have already been received with more being counted every day. The article also states “the Class of 2017 will be the university’s most selective ever.” Obviously, this confident statement was made before the Daily article was published. 

The response was instantaneous. After the article was published to the Tufts Daily website, a recent regular decision admit posted a link onto the Tufts’ Class of 2017 Facebook page. Within hours, it had accumulated thousands of shares and disparaging comments. The post received zero likes. By the following morning, it was clear that regular decision applicants had also learned of Tufts’ esthetically abysmal student body. “We were all astounded,” said Gran Dayson, Associate Director of Admission, “Every year we have several students who withdraw their applications for financial reasons, that’s normal. But today we were shocked to find over two-thousand unique withdrawal requests already in our inboxes.” Dayson explained that the admissions office has been frantically trying to process the overwhelming deluge of phone calls and emails from previously prospective students, understandably averse to joining a community of unsightly pachyderms.

Attractiveness has indelibly been an integral part of the college selection process, with recent studies from the United States Ministry of Truth showing that aggregate, objective beauty of a school is a stronger indicator of academic achievement than both quality of instructor and average high school GPA. While the aesthetic metrics of students used to be privately held information, popular review websites such as College Prowler and Unigo have been waging the battle to make this information more available to the public for years. Traditionally, such websites have been only explored by a fraction of prospective students, thus explaining Tufts’ previous years of competitive admission rates. But now, as is already evident in the admissions office, the spread of the DateMySchool Hotness Index is finally exposing Tufts’ best kept secret for all to see.

“It was only a matter of time,” sighed Dayson as he slowly peeled away his trimmed eyebrows and beautifully-symmetrical-mouth plaster cast. “Years of hiring Boston College students”- who ranked highest on the Hotness Index- “to conduct our tours and pose for our brochures could only last for so long. We have been anticipating this ever since we beat out Taylor Swift on the NYT ‘Meh list’.” The admissions office has since relieved the Boston College students from duty and is now looking for a buyer of several-hundred attractive student holograms which had been used on campus tours. 

Estimates are still being constructed but the admissions office is planning for the worst. “We would be ecstatic if admission rates leveled out at World War Two-era levels,” said Dayson. Both Medford and Somerville immediately passed landmark legislation, first proposed in 1853, that enables the construction of a wall around the Tufts undergraduate campus to decrease public complaints and increase tourism revenue. Nationwide, top-ranked schools are beginning to disclose pictures of accepted students to the public, much to the praise of college counselors and prep programs and CommonApp has since indicated that they will require the attachment of a personal photo to their application within two years.

As the dynamic of college admissions changes before our eyes, the atmosphere on the Tufts campus is a surprising one. Senior Lowie Hevine explained the shared response: “I know it. You know it. The locals know it. DateMySchool is just stating the obvious, who cares if the rest of the world knows?” The news was even received well by some members of the Tufts community. Freshman Kooper McCim said, “I was glad that the article was written. It explained to my parents something I have been trying to tell them for years. It also gave me another object I could use to cover my face when I go into public.”

Despite its damning results, the DateMySchool Hotness Index appears to have had no negative effect on the spirit of most Jumbos. The objective ranking of a subjective quality does not seem to have incited a single ugly frown and the restriction of gender identification to two categories produced no grody tears of shame. Incredulously, the Tufts community seems to unanimously accept its place at the bottom of the beauty barrel, despite the obvious importance of image-obsession and singular definitions of attractiveness as defined by commercial media. United by radical notions of “support for individual expression” and “love of life in all its forms” it appears that The Hill will forever remain the stomping ground for the future ugly leaders of our increasingly ugly world.



Nick Ryder is a freshman who has not declared a major. He can be reached at

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