Published September 18, 2023

Your Guide to the NYU Supplemental Essay

Katie Hindman

Senior Assistant Director of Admissions

As part of this year’s first-year application , you’ll have the option to answer a new NYU supplemental essay question. This year, we’re asking something brand new:

We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators – Choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you; or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why (250 words).

  • “We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.”  Judith Heumann, 2022 NYU Commencement Address
  • “ I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship .” Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Commencement Address
  • “If you know how to fly but you never knew how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad?” Lang Lang, 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient
  • “ You have the right to want things and to want things to change. ” Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland,  2023 NYU Commencement Address
  • “It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” Taylor Swift, “Change,” Released 2008, 2022 NYU Commencement Speaker
  • Share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires you.

a student writes in a notebook at a table

No matter your initial reaction to this new question (perhaps “How or where do I start?!” or  “Hmm, nobody has answered this before…” or even “Woohoo! I get to be the first to take this on– no expectations!”), we want this question to give you a chance to shine.

Remember that there are real people (like me!) on the other side of the screen reading your application, and no matter what you write, we are grateful that you’re willing to share with us. 

We encourage you to approach the (optional!) NYU supplemental essay question with a sense of curiosity and excitement– because, after all, it’s all about YOU! 

HOW SHOULD YOU START?

Everyone’s writing process is distinct and personal. To begin, it might be helpful to jot down some ideas about what inspires you in each of these quotes. Even if one jumps out immediately, give some thought to them all! Is there a common theme that comes up in the ways you relate to each? Do they remind you of another quote that inspires you? Brainstorm in the way that works best for you, but give yourself a fair opportunity to consider your best answer.

Once you’ve chosen the quote you’ll reflect on, get all of your thoughts on paper. Sometimes the best writing comes from fragmented and unedited ideas, so try to stay away from judging your own writing before it’s time to edit.

WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY?

While each of the selected quotes has a specific connection to NYU, we want your answer to be about YOU. We assume you’re excited about NYU because you’re choosing to apply, so there’s no need to use this as a way to tell us about your interest in the school. You also don’t need to give us a literary or academic analysis! We’re confident you’re developing these skills in school. Rather, this is our opportunity to read about what inspires you as an individual (because we’re inspired by these quotes, too)!

Finally, think about how your answer might enhance what you’ve already shared with us through the rest of your application. Remember, you only have 250 words to answer the NYU supplemental essay, so start big and then narrow your ideas down to their most succinct form. Pick an idea and get right to it.

THE BOTTOM LINE…

There is no right or wrong way to answer as long as your answer is genuine to you. 

Remember that this question is completely optional (we promise). If you decide that you don’t want to answer the question, you will not be penalized in the admissions process. 

All of us admissions counselors are wishing you the very best of luck as you complete your college applications. We are already looking forward to learning more about the unique and dynamic class of 2028!

Katie Hindman headshot

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NYU Supplemental Essays 2023-24 Prompt and Advice

August 17, 2023

In the 2022-23 admissions cycle, NYU received over 120,000 applications. That was a record-breaking figure for the university (13% more than the previous year!), as was the all-time low acceptance rate of 8%. To put these numbers in proper context, consider for a moment that in 1991, NYU had an acceptance rate of 65%. At the start of the Obama presidency, NYU still only received 37,000 total applications. These numbers lead us into the topic of this blog, the NYU supplemental essay.

(Want to learn more about How to Get Into NYU? Visit our blog entitled:  How to Get Into NYU  for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

Clearly, standing out as an applicant to NYU was a heck of a lot easier a generation or even a mere decade ago. For the Class of 2027, the median SAT score for an admitted applicant was 1540 , meaning that even a standardized test score in the 99th percentile won’t do much to separate you from the hordes of equally credentialed applicants.

Although it only has one prompt, NYU’s essay still affords applicants an opportunity to illustrate what makes them uniquely qualified for admission. Below is NYU’s supplemental essay for the 2023-24 admissions cycle. We then follow with College Transitions’ advice on how to craft a winning composition.

2023-2024 NYU Supplement Essays

This is a new prompt for the 2023-24 admissions cycle. It’s optional, but we highly encourage anyone who would like to be a serious contender (which, if you’re taking the time to apply, hopefully you are) to answer it.

We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators – Choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you; or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why. (250 words)

  • “We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” Judith Heuman, 2022 NYU Commencement Address
  • “I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship.” Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Commencement Address
  • “If you know how to fly but you never knew how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad?” Lang Lang, 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient
  • “You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address
  • “It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” Taylor Swift, Change, Released 2008, 2022 NYU Commencement Speaker
  • Share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires you.

NYU Supplemental Essay (Continued)

This prompt—and its options—are incredibly open-ended, offering you the power to decide why a particular quote inspires you (note that there are no guiding questions or proposed directions for any quote). As such, read through the quotes provided and note which one you continue returning to. When you read that quote, what do you want to do ? What type of change do you want to affect? Does it encourage to create or innovate? How so? Moreover, does it remind you of an experience you’ve had, a challenge you’ve overcome, or a belief you hold? Perhaps it calls to mind an aspect of your background or perspective. Or, it could speak to a particular social or political cause that is important to you. Alternatively, you can even choose your own quote if none of the above resonates with you.

The strongest responses will look to the future while also incorporating past personal experiences or influences. For example, perhaps the second prompt inspires you to continue seeking out experiences that challenge you. “Why is that?” NYU will want to know. Perhaps, earlier this year, you went out of your comfort zone to speak up at a school board meeting about your school district’s book ban policy, ultimately meeting & agreeing to continue working with a group of fellow students who also opposed the policy.

Finally, given that this is NYU’s only supplemental essay, you can also incorporate how you plan to seek out specific experiences or resources at NYU.

How important is the NYU supplemental essay?

NYU deems four elements as “very important” in evaluating a candidate. These are: the rigor of your secondary school record, class rank, GPA, standardized test scores, and talent/ability. The NYU supplemental essay is considered to be “important” alongside letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and character/personal qualities.

Want personalized assistance?

In conclusion, if you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your NYU essay, we encourage you to  get a quote  today.

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How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essays

male nyu student with nyc in background

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/26/24

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the NYU supplemental essays. 

Located in the heart of one of the most iconic cities in the world, New York University (NYU) is known for its vibrant and diverse community. To be successful as an applicant, you must use all the opportunities available to showcase your unique qualities and experiences. 

One way you can do this is through your supplemental essays . Your responses give the admission committee a better understanding of who you are outside of your academic profile, and how you will fit into their community.

In this article, we’ll break down each prompt and provide key tips to help you draft essays that will impress the admissions committee. We’ll also provide a few NYU supplemental essay examples you can use as inspiration to craft your own compelling responses. Let’s get started!

NYU Supplemental Essay Prompts 2023-2024

Students are only required to answer one of the NYU essay prompts . Here are the options you can choose from for the current admissions cycle:

"We're used to people telling us there are no solutions and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other and our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” Judith Heuman, 2022 NYU Commencement Address.

“I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship.” Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Commencement Address.

“If you know how to fly but never how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad?” Lang Lang, 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient.

  “You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address.

“It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” Taylor Swift, Change, Released 2008, 2022 NYU Commencement Speaker.

Share a short quote and a person not on this list and why the quote inspires you .

How to Write the Essay Prompt for NYU

In this section, we will analyze the prompt and provide a few tips to help you write impactful responses.

How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay Option A + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Option A : This first quote is a powerful statement that emphasizes resilience, collective action, and the ability to overcome challenges. Heuman describes a community's response to adversity, rejecting the notion that there are no solutions. 

The admissions committee likely chose this quote to gauge how applicants perceive and respond to challenges, as well as their commitment to inclusivity and positive change. For your essay, you might want to explore how this quote aligns with your personal values and experiences. 

Consider discussing instances where you've seen the power of collective action or have been part of a solution-oriented community. You could also reflect on your role in fostering inclusivity and change, either in your local community or within a specific context.

Here are some tips you can consider if you choose to write about Option A:

  • Personal Connection : Start by reflecting on a personal experience or a situation where you've witnessed individuals coming together to create positive change. Share a story that resonates with the themes in the quote, demonstrating your understanding of its significance in real-life scenarios.
  • Actions Speak Louder : While discussing why the quote inspires you, provide concrete examples of actions you've taken to contribute to positive change. Whether it's involvement in community projects, advocacy work, or initiatives that promote inclusivity, showcase instances where you've translated inspiration into tangible efforts.
  • Relate to NYU Values : Align your response with NYU's values and mission. Highlight aspects of the quote that resonate with the university's emphasis on diversity, inclusivity, and global citizenship. This will show the admissions committee that you not only understand the quote but also see its relevance to the NYU community.

How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay Option B + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Option B : This quote emphasizes the importance of discomfort in contributing to societal change. The admissions committee expects applicants to reflect on their understanding of civic responsibility and showcase experiences where they've actively engaged in making their voices heard for positive transformations.

Take a look at these tips before you start writing:

  • Choose a Genuine Experience : Select an experience where you genuinely felt discomfort but embraced it as a catalyst for positive change. Authenticity is crucial, so pick a situation that resonates with you personally.
  • Highlight Personal Growth : Discuss how the discomfort you encountered led to personal growth and contributed to your development as an individual. Admissions officers are interested in understanding your journey and the lessons you've learned.
  • Reflect on the Essence of Good Citizenship : Dive into what "the essence of good citizenship" means to you. This is an opportunity to share your philosophy on active citizenship and how you see it shaping your future endeavors.

How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay Option C + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Option C : This quote suggests the importance of grounding oneself in fundamental skills and practical knowledge, even when possessing exceptional talents or abilities. It calls for a balance between grand aspirations and the essential, foundational elements of any pursuit. 

The admissions committee is likely seeking applicants who understand the value of humility, continuous learning, and the importance of mastering the basics before venturing into more complex realms.

  • Choose a Personal Anecdote : Share a specific moment or experience from your life where the quote's message resonates. For example, you could describe a situation in which you had to balance ambitious goals with the need for foundational skills.
  • Reflect on Challenges : Discuss any challenges or obstacles you faced when tempted to focus solely on "flying" without considering the importance of "walking." Reflect on what you learned from these challenges.
  • Discuss Long-Term Perspective : Discuss how your commitment to learning fundamental skills aligns with your long-term goals. Illustrate how this philosophy contributes to your personal and professional development.

How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay Option D + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Option D : The quote suggests that individuals possess the right to desire change and the right to actively seek change. It implies a sense of agency, empowerment, and a call to action. Admissions officers may want to see how this perspective aligns with your values and aspirations.

Applicants are called to consider their aspirations, the changes they wish to see in the world, and how they intend to exercise their agency. It invites reflection on personal values, social consciousness, and the willingness to contribute to positive transformations.

  • Identify Personal Desires for Change : Reflect on your personal desires for change, whether in your life, community, or globally. What issues resonate with you, and why?
  • Highlight Values and Principles : Articulate the values that underpin your desire for change. Whether rooted in empathy, justice, or other principles, explaining these values provides depth to your essay.
  • Express Optimism and Determination : While acknowledging the need for change, convey optimism and determination. Admissions officers are likely looking for candidates who approach challenges with a positive mindset and a determination to make a difference.

How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay Option E + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Option E : This quote suggests a theme of resilience, determination, and the challenges inherent in pursuing one's goals. The admissions committee is likely interested in understanding how applicants navigate adversity, their tenacity in the face of challenges, and their perspectives on fairness and justice.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for this option:

  • Reflect on Growth : Reflect on how facing unfair challenges has contributed to your personal and intellectual growth. Admissions committees are interested not just in the challenges themselves but in how you've evolved as a result.
  • Relate to Taylor Swift’s Journey : If you're a fan of Taylor Swift, consider drawing parallels between her journey and your own. Discuss how her experiences or advocacy efforts have inspired you and influenced your perspective on fairness.
  • Link to Societal Issues : Explore how the quote reflects broader societal issues. Discuss your awareness of social injustices and your commitment to addressing these challenges, either through advocacy, volunteering, or future career plans.

How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay Option F + Analysis and Tips

Analysis of Option F : This prompt gives applicants the flexibility to choose a quote from any person beyond the provided list, allowing for a more personalized response. Admissions committees are likely looking for insight into the student's values, influences, and the ability to make thoughtful connections.

If you choose this option, make sure to:

  • Select a Meaningful Quot e: Choose a quote that holds personal significance. It could be from a favorite author, a mentor, a historical figure, or anyone whose words have had a profound impact.
  • Explain Your Connection : Clearly explain why the chosen quote inspires you. Share personal anecdotes or experiences that highlight the significance of these words in your life.
  • Showcase Reflective Thinking : Demonstrate reflective thinking by discussing the evolution of your understanding or interpretation of the quote over time. This showcases your capacity for self-reflection and growth.
  • Relate to NYU Values : Connect your chosen quote and the associated person to values that align with NYU. This could include themes of diversity, innovation, social justice, or any aspect that resonates with the university's ethos.

NYU students walking on campus

Examples of NYU Supplemental Essays That Worked

In this section, we will provide a few NYU supplemental essay examples that have allowed students to successfully secure admission into the university. We will also discuss why each sample was effective and highlight what made them stand out.

Sample Essay #1

Prompt : “NYU was founded on the belief that a student’s identity should not dictate the ability for them to access higher education. That sense of opportunity for all students, of all backgrounds, remains a part of who we are today and a critical part of what makes us a world-class university. Our community embraces diversity, in all its forms, as a cornerstone of the NYU experience.

We would like to better understand how your experiences would help us to shape and grow our diverse community. Please respond in 250 words or less.”

Outside of spacetime, in my mind’s eye, on the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Florida “Orange Bowl” courts, I imagine Roger Federer serving to Caroline Wozniacki, who returns it back across the net. Except, Caroline’s return doesn’t go to Roger (who’s since dissipated back into my ethereal daydream), but rather to Coco Guaff, who hits a forehand back to Andre Agassi, and so on in an infinite rally between tennis legends who’ve played in the same tournament on the same court on which I’m now standing. Time to go to work!
Like a businesswoman entering the building for a productive workday, I set my bag down as I walk in - in this case, on the courtside bench - and survey my surroundings. Nerves like butterflies flutter in my stomach watching other tennis players from around the world warm up… but I know better by now to just trust my preparation and let it fly. Breathing deeply, I step into my office: the tennis court.
For my first match against an Australian opponent, I’m blessed with two pep talks: one from a [ETHNICITY] coach advising me to “expect everything and adjust to anything” and the other from my [STATE] coach saying to “be proactive, be persistent, play through to the finish.” Given that we’ve worked together longer, the latter words of wisdom stuck with me more, helping me win that first match, go onto qualify for the main draw, and, with your acceptance, share my play-through-to-the-finish pertinacity with my fellow Violets.

Why Essay #1 Worked

This essay is successful because it effectively connects the applicant's experiences in tennis to the values of diversity and community at NYU. The writer uses a creative and imaginative approach, describing a scenario of playing tennis with legends and drawing parallels between the advice received from coaches of different ethnic backgrounds. 

By vividly portraying the tennis environment and incorporating advice from diverse mentors, the applicant showcases their ability to navigate and appreciate diverse perspectives. The essay demonstrates how these experiences would contribute to the cultural richness and inclusivity of NYU's community, aligning with the university's emphasis on diversity as a cornerstone of its identity. 

Sample Essay #2

Prompt : We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. We are particularly interested in knowing what motivated you to apply to NYU and more specifically, why you have applied or expressed interest in a particular school, college, program, and/or area of study? We would like to understand why NYU? (2500 character maximum)

Though the brain, in all actuality, is not like any other muscle in the human body, the fact that I tend to view my brain as one would view any other muscle is something that must be acknowledged before analogizing how I’ve recently gone about challenging myself intellectually. Simply put, I take my brain to the gym; I analyse its power through its capability to ‘lift’ (fully comprehend) intellectual weights of varying mass and attempt to broaden the reach of its abilities by consistently exercising it, repeatedly pushing it just past its limits until it grows stronger and is thus ready to load on even heavier weights. While I’m by no means claiming here to be some sort of bodybuilding guru – in fact, I weigh roughly the same as most large dogs – this particular process of meticulous brain-training is something I’ve found myself doing in an endless quest to satisfy my insatiable thirst for an understanding of the bigger picture. 
Although attending my current institution has provided me with a stimulating academic experience, and one where I’ve jumped at the opportunity to more deeply explore my interests in both familiar and unfamiliar subjects alike, I find myself at a level of intellectual strength and vitality today where I’m confident in my capacity to take another step forwards – or better yet, a quantum leap into the academic equivalent of an Olympic-level gymnasium that is NYU.
How exactly I plan to utilize the variety of resources such a 'gym’ would provide is a question I’ve spent years eagerly pondering: for one, continuing on my path of pursuing degrees in economics and philosophy at a school ranked 11th and 1st in those subjects respectively would be an absolute honour, as would the experience of studying beneath Professor Alberto Bisin, whose HCEO lecture on Cultural Inequality I’ve now watched countless times. Tantamount to my commitment towards fully exhausting NYU’s academic resources is the level to which I aim to immerse myself in the school’s diverse community; whether it be by driving Tandon’s Formula SAE racecar in competition or volunteering for the noble Change the Imbalance Initiative, I want to ensure that my character undergoes as much development as my intellect in being an NYU student. What stands above all, though, is my desire to give back to the Violet garden of intellectual growth by putting my voice into play within NYU’s academic arena, both inside and outside the classroom. 

Why Essay #2 Worked

This essay effectively articulates the applicant's intellectual curiosity and eagerness to engage with NYU's academic and community aspects. The analogy of treating the brain like a muscle and taking it to the "gym" showcases the writer's disciplined approach to intellectual growth. 

The essay is well-structured, with a clear narrative that transitions from the current academic experience to the desire for a more challenging environment at NYU. The applicant expresses a specific interest in economics and philosophy, aligning their academic goals with NYU's strengths in those subjects. 

The writer goes beyond academics by highlighting their intention to actively participate in the diverse community, referencing specific activities like driving Tandon’s Formula SAE racecar and volunteering for the Change the Imbalance Initiative. Overall, this response successfully conveys the applicant's motivation to contribute both intellectually and personally to NYU's vibrant academic environment.

Sample Essay #3

Prompt : “NYU was founded on the belief that a student’s identity should not dictate the ability for them to access higher education. That sense of opportunity for all students, of all backgrounds, remains a part of who we are today and a critical part of what makes us a world class university. Our community embraces diversity, in all its forms, as a cornerstone of the NYU experience.”

What I’d add to the NYU menu is time-tested tradition translated into battle-tested characteristics and skills that make for seasoned leaders and entrepreneurs. This tradition spans not only academic excellence in school but also entrepreneurial prowess in DECA and even empowers me personally when it comes to my Jewish faith. Since I can remember, Friday nights have always been spent at my grandparents’ house. The euphoric smells of challah and kugel diffuse from the kitchen as the familiar faces of close family sit hungrily around the dinner table, eager to begin the Shabbat prayers. As the last blessing concludes, my grandpa raises his glass. L’chaim, “to life”, echoes throughout the dining room and is accompanied by the sounds of clinking glass and tikvah, “hope”. And finally, it’s time to eat. 
These Shabbat memories have ultimately fueled my ever-growing Jewish identity. The traditional Ashkenazi Jewish recipes that cover the dinner table, symbols of the strength of my ancestors who migrated to America from war-torn Poland during the Holocaust, and the gathering of family each Friday night, symbols of a surviving legacy, have inspired me to hold these traditions close to my heart as I forge my own path through both Judaism and life. 
Today, involvement in my synagogue’s youth program has continued to fuel my ever-growing Jewish identity by allowing me to channel my enthusiasm through civic engagement initiatives that aim to foster change within our community and beyond, such as the [NAME OF EVENT] and other fundraising events within our synagogue. 

Why Essay #3 Worked

This essay effectively communicates the applicant's commitment to their Jewish identity and its connection to their academic and entrepreneurial pursuits. Through vivid details of Friday night Shabbat gatherings and the cultural significance of traditional Jewish recipes, the essay paints a compelling picture. 

The applicant skillfully links their involvement in DECA and synagogue youth programs to civic engagement initiatives, showcasing a commitment to community betterment. The use of Hebrew terms adds cultural authenticity. 

FAQs: How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essays

Here are our answers to a few frequently asked questions about the NYU supplemental essays:

1. Does NYU Have Supplemental Essays?

Yes, NYU has supplemental essays as part of the first-year application process.

2. How Many Essays Does NYU Require?

NYU only has one supplemental essay. You can choose from the options available or come up with your own .

3. How Important Is the Supplemental Essay for NYU?

These essays are very important; they allow you to highlight what makes you unique and how you will contribute to the NYU community. It’s your chance to convey your passion, interest, and commitment to the university. A well-crafted essay can set you apart from other applicants and increase your chances of admission.

4. How Long Should the Supplemental Essays Be?

Your response should be no longer than 250 words. 

5. Can I Reuse the Essay from Other College Applications for NYU?

No, reusing the essay from another college application is not advisable. It’s important to ensure your essays are school-specific and align with the values of each institution. Admission committees seek unique and genuine stories and your fit for their school.

6. How Should I Respond to the NYU Supplemental Essay Prompt?

To answer the prompt, ensure you are innovative by tailoring your response to the exact prompt, which should be at least 250 words. You can choose any option and tell your story to show that you are deeply invested in the issue you are discussing.

Final Thoughts

The NYU supplemental essays allow you to convey your passion, values, and aspirations to the admission committee. A well-crafted application can help you stand out and convince the admission committee that you are a perfect fit for the university. 

To successfully meet NYU's essay requirements, it is crucial to delve into prompts that explore your reasons for applying, your specific interest in NYU, and how your experiences align with the university's commitment to fostering a diverse community. 

Therefore, thoroughly understanding the prompts will empower you to create a narrative that reflects your individuality, ultimately increasing your chances of admission. Good luck!

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4 Great “Why NYU?” Essay Examples

supplement essay for nyu

New York University is a selective university in the heart of NYC. Its top academic programs and location make it a highly-desirable college, and only a select few of over 85,000 applicants were accepted last year.

It’s clear that writing a strong essay is vital to standing out and demonstrating your interest in NYU. In this post, we’ll go over NYU’s main supplemental essay prompt from previous years, and what admissions officers are looking for. Then, we’ll share essays from real applicants, analyzing what they did well, and what they could’ve improved. Note that the supplemental prompt has changed for the 2022-2023 cycle.

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

Read our NYU essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts. 

“Why NYU?” Supplemental Essay Prompt

We would like to know more about your interest in nyu. what motivated you to apply to nyu why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and or area of study if you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. we want to understand – why nyu (400 words).

This prompt is a classic example of the “ Why this College? ” supplemental essay. This essay aims to better gauge your interest in the school, and how you might fit with the campus community. You’ll need to research NYU’s opportunities and point out how they support your goals and interests.

A common mistake students make is to cite general aspects of the college that apply to many other schools. You may want to go to NYU because of NYC, but why do you want to be in NYC? Is it because of the fashion industry opportunities? Is there a special internship that NYU offers with companies in Manhattan?

You should aim to get granular and cite resources unique to NYU. This shows that you’ve reflected on your potential role in the NYU community, and are certain that it’s a fitting place to pursue your education.

Essay Example #1

My mother never takes off her Cartier necklace that my father gave her 10 years ago on their anniversary. As a child, I didn’t fully understand this attachment. However, on my 15th birthday, my aunt gifted me a ring, which was uniquely designed and made up of three rings linked together. Wearing it every day and making sure I would never lose it, I didn’t treat it like my easily replaceable childhood necklaces; it was my piece of luxury. This sparked my deep curiosity for the luxury world. The niche strives to provide the finest and most memorable experiences, as equally as my Japanese attention to detail and my French appreciation towards aesthetic beauty. In a constantly shifting environment, I learned that luxury chases timeless excellence.

NYU Stern’s BS in business and a co-concentration in management and marketing will fully immerse me in the business side of luxury fashion that I aim to pursue a future career in. The luxury marketing track, offered only by NYU, will enable me to assemble the most suited classes to reflect my interests. Specifically, NYU Stern’s exciting electives such as The Dynamics of the Fashion Industry seminar and Brand Strategy & Planning will encourage me to develop the skills that I was introduced to and grew keen on when running a virtual sustainable fashion auction.

As someone who has moved around from Paris to Tokyo, to Chicago and now Athens, I thrive in meeting and collaborating with others from diverse backgrounds. The school’s strong global outlook, demonstrated through Stern’s International Business Exchange Program, further sets NYU apart for me, as it is crucial to building essential soft skills. This opportunity allows me to experience new cultural approaches to luxury business which I can bring back with me to New York, and therefore push me to become a well-rounded business student. Similarly, I am excited to take part in the array of student clubs offered, such as the Luxury and Retail Association (LARA), which I learned about after connecting with and talking to current students. Seeing past talks from employers of companies like Conde Nast, I am eager to learn outside of the classroom from future speakers. 

Finding myself in new situations constantly, I always seek new challenges and explorations – to me, it is clear that NYU Stern will push me to create the finest and most unique learning experiences of timeless excellence.

What the Essay Did Well

This essay has an amazing introduction paragraph. It doesn’t mention anything about NYU or what this student is planning on studying, which is what makes it so intriguing. The reader doesn’t know where this student is headed after making such a seemingly unrelated statement about jewelry, but we want to find out. 

Not only does this essay immediately capture the reader’s attention, it maintains a succinct and direct tone that helps the reader effortlessly flow from one paragraph to the next. The student chose to include three opportunities at NYU that excite them and fully elaborate on them. This serves as an excellent example of more is less. 

We aren’t bombarded with a laundry list of classes, professors, and clubs the student wants to take. Instead, the student took a focused approach and described why they were excited by each offering they highlighted. Going deeper into a smaller number of opportunities at the college still shows this student did their research, but it allows for their backstory and goals to be discussed in far greater detail.

What Could Be Improved

While this student does a good job of elaborating, they also mention a few key aspects of their personality as throw-away lines, when it would have been great to elaborate further on them. For example, they mention running a virtual sustainable fashion auction (cool!), but don’t provide us with any details on what that actually entails, how they got involved with it, what they enjoyed about it, etc. They also mention moving around a lot in the context of developing a diverse perspective, but they don’t include any emotional insight into what that was like.

Although there are only 400 words available, and you don’t want to spend too much time discussing the past, it would be nice to see just a sentence or two that delves into the details of this student’s background. The fashion auction and moving around clearly had an impact on the student, so we want to know what that was. If they are choosing to include these details, they must be important in the student’s decision to pursue business at NYU, so they shouldn’t be afraid to divulge the emotional significance to the reader.

Essay Example #2

“A futuristic way of looking at academics,” the student panelist said during a New York University virtual information session. I reflected on a conversation I had with my grandma; she couldn’t understand how her vegetarian granddaughter could build a career in the food industry. However much I tried convincing her that vegetarianism was the future, as it offers substantial benefits to the environment and can offer health benefits to a growing population with the same environmental resources, she insisted that tofu would never provide the same satiation as meat. She was raised in a community where meat consumption was embedded in the culture, and its production is a large part of the country’s economy. In contrast, I had the privilege of living a few steps from San Francisco, with many restaurants and grocery stores dedicated to plant-based meat alternatives. Trying innovative recipes and products eventually allowed me to develop my own recipes. Upon my move to Nicaragua, where my grandmother is from, I found my food options to be limited, expensive and hard to find. So I developed my own small-scale solutions that did not break the bank and satiated grandma.

An institution that implements forward-thinking is what I need to reach my goals of changing the future of plant-based diets and people’s views on vegetarianism. NYU’s Nutrition and Food Studies program offers multiple disciplines of food studies that I will apply to my aspirations as a vegetarian. I plan to study under Adjunct Faculty Kayleen St. John, whose success in the plant-based industry and her teaching of the ‘Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition’ in The Vegetarian Times excites me. The variety of classes like Introduction to Food History, Food Photography, and Food Systems: Food & Agriculture will give me an overview of what is available in the food industry to be prepared for all fields. Not to be cliche, but NYU’s proximity to the city is essential for the rapidly changing vegetarian industry. The multiculturalism available in NYC and NYU will allow me to understand the food system and diets of various cultures, religions, and areas. I can explore the extremes of the food industry, from fancy restaurants to public school cafeterias. These juxtapositions, much like the one I experienced after my move to Nicaragua, will allow me to broaden my reach and demonstrate that the vegetarian diet is not something reserved for select groups but a diet attainable to all. 

A core strength of this essay is the fact it takes its time to provide the reader with ample background on why this student is interested in nutrition and food studies and how they have grappled with difficult questions and surrounding this topic in the past. It’s okay to not mention anything about NYU for a whole paragraph if you are using that space to bring depth to your interests and tell the reader the crucial backstory behind pursuing your intended degree.

Another positive aspect is the inclusion of New York City for a purposeful reason. NYU admissions officers read thousands of essays that just talk about living in NYC for the sake of NYC—this is not what they want to hear. In contrast, this essay focuses on the vast and lively food scene in New York that the student considers to be an invaluable asset to her NYU education. This is a time where including New York actually plays to the appeal of NYU, rather than making it seem like the student is simply applying for the city.

Finally, this student clearly demonstrates that they are someone who wants to change the world for the better, but through their personal niche. NYU is looking for people who express this desire to be a changemaker, but oftentimes sweeping statements like “I want to change the world” come across as vague and disingenuous. The essay does mention changing diets and looking to the future, but it is focused within the student’s specific area of interest, making the claim to change the world more determined and authentic. 

This essay could be made stronger if there was a bit more personal reflection included. The first paragraph provides a lot of details on the student’s vegetarianism and how it conflicts with her grandmother and her heritage. What it doesn’t include very much of is how the student thinks and feels about her diet being at odds with that of her family. 

Does this student feel they are betraying their heritage by being vegetarian? What emotions do they feel when people criticize vegetarianism? Why did they go vegetarian in the first place? Probing questions like these that get to the emotional core behind the story in the first paragraph would really help to build out this student’s backstory. We want to understand what their emotional responses and reasoning processes look like, so finding ways to include those into an already expositive paragraph would further bolster this essay.

Essay Example #3

Hacking represents my ideal college experience.

Hackathons give me a special way of expressing myself and exploring my intellectual curiosity. Conceptualizing a potent societal problem, investigating a technically complex solution, building an application, and presenting to industry experts all within a day gives me the thrill of exploring a new form of education I thrive in. 

I’d apply this approach to a larger scale with research at NYU CS, taking advantage of their strong research partnerships with cutting-edge technology firms in New York. At NYU’s CS Colloqium, I’d learn from internationally renowned researchers around the world and apply these groundbreaking machine learning discoveries to the CILVR Lab and the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, both of whom focus on computationally predicting the causation of deadly diseases. Expensive healthcare has led to a history of undetected chronic illnesses for my extended family, so, at NYU, I want to tackle AI-Based preventive care to stop these problems at their roots. 

NYU’s undergraduate thesis will let me carry out my novel visions, with support from faculty, through the scientific process and eventually publish my findings. I’m a “doer”, so I define success my own way and want my college research to produce findings that contribute to tangible, positive changes in the world. This time I’ll have 4 years at NYU with endless opportunities to do so, instead of the 24 hours I get at hackathons.

I’d also want to take my talents overseas to study abroad with NYU while exploring foreign cultures. Whether it be the food, language, traditions, or values in a country, I always love to immerse myself in new environments. Doing so while benefitting from small class sizes, hands-on learning, and local major-specific academic events, such as the NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good, is a dream.

Equally important as satisfying my academic curiosity is finding my community. At hackathons, I compete with my friends and other participants, who have helped form a bond of inclusivity seldom found at other competitive events. My teammates became a second family with whom I play park basketball, watch movies, and Bollywood dance. 

At NYU, I’d replicate this with an extremely diverse population with different backgrounds and interests who come together to venture through New York with the discounted student passes, plan school-wide events with the Program Board, and form a sense of camaraderie with Residential Colleges. 

This essay has a nice flow that comes from multiple short paragraphs. So often in college essays, students fall into the trap of including long chunks of text on the page, but those essays are always harder for admissions officers to read through. Breaking up the essay into focused sections makes it much more manageable for the reader.

In terms of the content, the student’s ability to tie everything back to the central theme of a hackathon is a clever way to demonstrate their passion for hacking and bring together a bunch of unrelated aspects of NYU. We get insight into how this student handles challenges and thinks through problems based on the way they fawn over the structure of a hackathon. Using one of their primary passions in high school as a metaphor for college life creates this natural progression and makes it very easy for the admissions committee to imagine how this student would fit in and engage with the NYU community.

One of the largest drawbacks of this essay was how it heavily relied on telling the reader what occurred and what this student enjoys, rather than showing us. 

The essay tells us their family has a history of chronic illness, but it doesn’t describe how they cried all night about saying goodbye to a loved one after hearing of another diagnosis. The essay tells us they are a “doer”, but it doesn’t explain the project they took upon themselves because of their motivation to change the world. The essay tells us their teammates were a second family, but it doesn’t include the laughs and inside jokes they share during a game of basketball to show the comfort the student feels with their friends.

Simply telling the reader what has happened without elaborating, or what type of person you consider yourself to be without showing your character in practice makes for both a bland essay and a less convincing one. Not showing what happens through descriptions and colorful imagery, makes it harder for the reader to envision what the student is trying to share. 

If this essay showed what occurred and how the student reacts and thinks, we would truly get to see the importance hackathons have on their life and feel far more connected to this student.

Essay Example #4

The United States is a “tossed salad” of cultural diversity in which New York City is the epicenter of innovational food exploration. An opportunity to major in food studies at New York University would allow me to work with a global community to explore different experiences and opinions with the hopes of developing a sustainable food source in the future that can adapt to population growth. Steinhardt School’s emphasis on developmental social change in particular, is an atmosphere that will encourage me to pursue new ideas both in and out of the classroom.

I am looking forward to taking the next step toward my future with entering university while continuing to cultivate my own identity in NYU’s academically diverse campus. Through the NYU food lab, I would be able to discuss current nutrition and sustainability issues through a hands-on approach in a commercial setting—access to the kitchen would also allow me to continue my love for baking and cooking with the opportunity to share my creations with peers. Not only will I satisfy my hunger for our food systems with classes like Essentials of Cuisine: International and Food Production Management, I will be able to participate in discussions that challenge my understanding of our food system in a creative setting.

Whether sampling smoked fish in Makola Market or hosting cooking demos with Club EAT, NYU’s educational possibilities are endless. With study-abroad programs ranging from a few weeks to a semester in locations far and wide, I am able to learn about cultural food systems through hands-on experience; with the world as my classroom, there is no limit to the knowledge that I can achieve. When I am not examining America’s organic agricultural policies in Washington D.C, I would participate in the diverse extracurriculars that NYU has to offer. From the Baedeker blog and Peer Health Exchange to the NYU Art Diversity Festival—appealing to my adventurous and artistic nature—regardless of the extracurricular I choose to pursue, I am confident that I will find success in any direction I take. 

A NYU student, I would be proud to extend the social mission of advancing innovation through culture as I cannot imagine a campus that would better nurture my development as both a scholar and an individual. As an aspiring foodie, I look forward to walking into the Urban Farm Lab in the Greenwich Village, as if I have returned home. 

A large positive of this essay is how it remains true to the student. This student’s passion for food shines through in every paragraph. They do a good job of weaving their interest into academics, extracurriculars, and the surrounding community, which helps the reader get a feel for the type of person this student would be on campus.

Another aspect of this essay to note is the author’s voice ㅡ they retain an academic and professional tone without being overly serious. Their inclusion of more colloquial terms like “foodie” helps counter more advanced vocabulary, crafting their unique voice without being overly formal or casual. When writing your essay, it is important to focus on your word choice to strike this balance. 

One thing lacking from this essay is elaboration on why this student cares about food and sustainability. While the essay mentions a plateful (excuse the pun) of food-related opportunities at NYU, the reader doesn’t understand what drives this student’s passion. 

They tell us they want to develop a sustainable food source to address the growing population in the introduction, but this essay would be much stronger with more elaboration. Did this student have a jarring and eye-opening experience surrounding food insecurity? Did they grow up cooking with their family? Was there a particular moment or news story that sparked their interest in sustainability? Although this prompt wants you to look to the future, it’s just as important to delve into your past to help the reader understand your motivations.

This essay could also benefit from a more organized structure. There is an attempt to discuss academics in the second paragraph and extracurriculars in the third, but when they should be discussing academics they started talking about baking with peers for fun, and when they should have addressed extracurriculars they were discussing studying off-campus. This back and forth makes it harder for the reader to take away clear summaries of each paragraph. It would have been simpler to follow if the student dedicated each paragraph solely to one aspect of NYU, whether that be academics, extracurriculars, the community, or study abroad.

Where to Get Your NYU Essays Edited

Do you want feedback on your NYU essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

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December 12, 2021

Tips for Answering the NYU Supplemental Essay Prompt [2021 – 2022]

Tips for Answering the NYU Supplemental Essay Prompt [2021 – 2022]

Located in the middle of bustling lower Manhattan, New York, NYU’s campus is intertwined with the city. It is not a campus in a traditional sense – its buildings and lifestyle are organized around Washington Square Park, enabling students and faculty alike to take advantage of everything offered by this energetic area.

NYU grants degrees from its NYC campus along with campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. In addition, it has satellite campuses in London, Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv, Sydney and more; access to these locations around the world provide opportunities for a truly global undergraduate educational experience. Many students are particularly attracted to the ease with which they can study abroad and remain under the larger intellectual umbrella of the University.

Get a free consultation: Click here to schedule a call to find out how our admissions expert can help YOU get accepted to NYU!

NYU offers several admissions options including binding Early Decision I (November 1st deadline) and Early Decision II (January 1st deadline), as well as Regular Decision (January 5th deadline). In addition to the main Common Application essay, NYU requires only one additional essay response.

The admissions committee is already aware of your grades, test scores, letters of recommendation, honors/awards, activities and whatever you wrote about in your main Common Application essay. Now is your chance to share your passion for NYU! Be careful not to repeat information you shared in your main essay. Use your NYU response to convince the admissions committee that NYU is the best place for you and to show how you might contribute to the diverse community at NYU.

NYU’s supplemental essay question

We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. What motivated you to apply to NYU? Why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and/or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. We want to understand – Why NYU? (400 word maximum)

The sole purpose of this prompt is to provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your fit with NYU. You will want to do this in 3 ways (and all 3!): prove an intimate knowledge of NYU and its offerings, of NYC and all it has to offer, and of what makes you stand out as a diverse contributor to the NYU community. 

You only have 400 words to communicate what draws you to NYU specifically- to the campus, school, college, program and/or specific area of study. Think about your personal connection to the school and the city. Don’t just list interesting things about the city—you are not a tour guide. Instead, explain why those things are so important to you and your potential growth. 

Consider your values and how the unique qualities/opportunities at NYU appeal to you. In short, make a personal connection. How might the approach to education at NYU support your learning? This might include: studying abroad, potential experience with internships, relationships with people from around the world, specific academic requirements or programs, career-related opportunities, or anything else you feel is important to your success. Ultimately, you want to prove, not only your own qualifications, but your informed knowledge of NYU and the research you’ve done to be certain NYU would be the perfect fit for you.

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In addition to demonstrating an intimate knowledge of NYU as a university, this essay also offers you a chance to think about what living and learning in a fast paced city like New York might be like: how is it similar to what you are accustomed to, or perhaps different? What are the particular reasons you find this setting appealing? Once you’ve explained the appeal of the city, you must also demonstrate your independence because you will need to be independent in order to navigate the NYU world. How will you survive, contribute to and thrive in this atmosphere. How will you embrace this environment? How can you benefit from this experience? Why is studying at NYU your true calling?

Keep in mind that NYU is assembling a first-year class that represents regional, global, and cultural diversity. NYU values difference and supports students of all identities and backgrounds. Don’t underestimate yourself and your story. Each applicant has something to offer that can enrich this distinct cohort. How might you utilize this opportunity to grow as a person, as a global citizen, as a future leader?

Final thoughts on applying to NYU

To offer some context for where you might stand: NYU’s Fall 2020 acceptance rate was 21%. Although NYU offers one of the most flexible standardized testing policies (see NYU admission website for details), the average SAT scores are 738 for Math and 701 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. The average ACT score is 32. This is a competitive applicant pool.

Although it is wise to keep these statistics in mind, take a moment to relax and plan. Make sure you meet all deadlines and allow yourself adequate time to write and revise your essays. Consider the best way to reflect your personal experiences, convey your interests, express your enthusiasm for learning, and demonstrate how and why NYU is the best place for you!

If you’re applying to NYU, you already know you’re up against tight competition. Don’t be overwhelmed. Get the guidance of an experienced admissions specialist who will help you stand out from a highly competitive applicant pool so you can apply with confidence, and get accepted! Click here to get started!

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

supplement essay for nyu

Related Resources:

  • School-Specific Supplemental Essay Tips
  • The Essay Whisperer: How to Write a College Application Essay
  • Focus on Fit , a podcast episode

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The Admissions Strategist

Why nyu how to write the nyu supplemental essay (examples included).

After much consideration, you’ve decided to apply to NYU. Why NYU? You don’t know where to start. This post will help take you from start to finish.

This past application cycle proved to be historic and selective. While the school admitted the largest number of international students as well as the largest percentage of African-American and Latino students in 16 years, the NYU acceptance rate dropped to 28% , its lowest acceptance rate since 2001.

NYU (short for New York University) is a private university located in the heart of New York City, with satellite campuses found in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.

  • Offering over 230 areas of study and 2,700 courses across 17 schools, NYU ensures that there’s something for every student.

While NYU may not be impossibly difficult to get into, it’s become more selective.

This means you’ll need to spend some extra care and attention on your application, especially on the supplemental essay “Why NYU?”

NYU Essay Requirements

Every freshman applying to NYU will have to write the standard Common App essay. Otherwise known as your personal statement, we created an entire Common App guide so you can write the best essay.

When you’re applying to NYU, you’ll need to write one supplemental essay.

  • The supplemental essay has a 400-word limit and requires that you express your interest in NYU as artfully and concisely as possible.

This guide will walk you through the question and tips for crafting your essay to help you put your best foot forward!

So, let’s get to it: Why NYU?

Step 1: Read the question and break it down.

This is an extremely important step! A question like this one, with several parts, requires that you understand and address the entire question in your 400-word response.

Let’s walk through the question breakdown together.

“We would like to know more about your interest in NYU”

Translation : Why do you want to attend NYU? You have thousands of other choices in schools, and you used one of your choices on NYU. Why?

“We are particularly interested in knowing what motivated you to apply to NYU and more specifically, why you have applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and/or area of study.”

This is a meaty one, so let’s break it down into two parts.

“We are particularly interested in knowing what motivated you to apply to NYU…”

Translation: We want to know more about you as an individual.

  • What is it about you that makes you think NYU is a good choice?
  • Are you a good fit for NYU? If yes, tell us why
“We are particularly interested in knowing….why you have applied or expressed interested in a particular campus, school, college, program and/or area of study.”

Translation:  Why are you interested in what you’re interested in, and why did you apply to the school that has your chosen major?

For example, if you’re interested in acting, tell us why you’re interested in acting and why you’re applying to the Tisch School of the Arts.

“If you have applied to more than one, please tell us why you are interested in each of the campuses, schools, colleges or programs to which you have applied”

Translation : If you have more than one interest and want to pursue more than one major or degree, please tell us why and help us to make sense of your interests.

For example, if you want to study Acting (Tisch School of the Arts) and Computer Engineering (Tandon School of Engineering), we want to know how your interests fit together and why you want to do both.

“You may be focused or undecided, or simply open to the options within NYU’s global network; regardless, we want to understand – Why NYU?”

Translation: You understand that NYU has a global network, right? Tell us why you want to come to our school.

If you are unsure of what exactly you want to study, rejoice!

Why NYU? How to Write the Why NYU Supplemental Essay!

Click above to watch a video on the NYU Essay.

NYU is saying that you don’t need to have your major all figured out. You just need to have a clearly articulated interest in NYU.

Think about the issues and the questions that interest you.

  • Maybe you wonder about the way our dress (fashion) sustains or challenges the way we see world culture (anthropology)?
  • Consider, then, how NYU could help you explore anthropological questions about fashion.

Click deeply into NYU’s website to find an avenue – a school, a program, or even a class – that will help you pursue this interest. You don’t need to commit to a career, or even a major, but you do need a good sense of the questions that guide you. Even if you’re uncertain, lean into a vision for your future.

Your supplemental essay isn’t binding, so you can operate in hypotheticals.

  • If you’re interested in economics, imagine yourself as a business student.
  • What type of business student would you be?
  • Would you care about sustainability?
  • Would you have other social or ethical concerns?
  • What kind of career would this prepare you for?

And, in case you didn’t notice, they highlighted that they have a “global network.” This is important information, and the next step will tell you why.

Get personalized advice!

Step 2: research nyu’s values and special traits..

If you’ve decided to apply to this school, then you’ve likely already done your homework. Just in case you haven’t, study their website.

From studying the website, you can gain a clear sense of the school’s values, what they look for in an applicant, and if you share similar values.

Even if you’re uncertain, pretend that you’ve “fallen in love with the school,” and focus on the particulars of your new infatuation. To extend the metaphor, the application process is a kind of courting in which you make the first move.

  • If you’re interested in digital media, research programs like the Brooklyn Experimental Media Center.
  • Describe how its resources will convert your interests into an abiding passion or a career orientation.
  • A good rule of thumb for “Why This College” essays is that you should have several names (in capital letters) of particular programs at the university.

This research will help you immensely in answering the “Why NYU?” question.

If they have blogs and/or social media accounts, look through those to get a feel for the school. Bonus points if you are able to visit, because an on-campus visit (especially during a regular weekend when they’re not trying to impress you) is the best way to determine what a campus feels like, what their culture is like and what they truly value.

Here’s a great way to research NYU’s values and traits:

  • NYU has an online magazine called NYU Q for prospective students. You can find the online magazine by clicking  here . NYU Q showcases the interesting people, places, and things that make NYU special.
  • A quick look through the NYU Q site illustrates that NYU as a campus deeply values building a global community with people from diverse backgrounds, geographic locations, academic interests, and life experiences.
  • You can find out that NYU boasts of having a higher number of international students than any other campus (their international student population is  20% ). They also have three international campuses and a robust study abroad program.

Additionally, because the question asks you specifically, “Why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program and/or area of study,” you owe it to yourself to become familiar with the culture of the particular school or college to which you’re applying, and even the department of the major you’re interested in studying.

It’s important to ensure you aren’t picking NYU for generic traits. Generic traits are dangerous to mention in your essay because they can be applied to any college campus.

Here’s a useful checklist to make sure you are highlighting the special elements of NYU:

  • Don’t say NYU is the “perfect” place for you. Perfection is impossible to achieve, and the admissions officers are well aware.
  • Instead, pick five elements of NYU (departments, professors, events, on-campus groups) that appeal to you. Picking real names and titles forces you to perform research and stay specific.
  • Your “Why NYU?” essay should not be a retelling of your Common App essay. Use this opportunity to pair NYU with your values and personality (covered later in this piece).
  • Make sure your essay couldn’t be true of any other school. This demands that you do your research and dive deep into the school’s website.
  • Make sure you never write about how you want to attend school in New York City. There are dozens of universities both in and near NYC, so this reason is cliche and tiresome.

Still having trouble? Ask yourself these questions to help you find specific elements of NYU that you find appealing:

  • What are classes I’d like to take?
  • What are some questions I’d like to ask in these classes?
  • Name some on-campus groups and activities that I’d like to participate in.
  • What are NYU-sponsored events I’d like to attend?
  • Which academic department at NYU do you want to study in? And what are the department’s noteworthy achievements?
  • What is my ideal major or double major at NYU?

The admissions officers at NYU want to see that you are well-informed about what they are offering, and that you’ve thought hard enough about whether or not you would be a good fit.

You want to mention, for example, that you’re interested in the Tisch School of the Arts. You also want to go a step further and describe how you’re excited, perhaps, about their internship opportunities and classes on animation.

You can’t determine if you’re a good fit if you haven’t done your research.

Under the Academics tab is a full listing of NYU’s academic programs, schools and colleges, and other academic offerings. Make sure you click through to find your particular school and major.

Step 3: Free-write

The worst thing you can do as you’re writing your response is to agonize over every single word at the beginning of the process.

  • Instead, just start writing.
  • For each question they ask, write down whatever comes to mind and don’t hold back.
  • Use our translation to each question to simplify what you should be writing about.

It’s through answering these questions in an unrestricted flow that patterns can emerge.

Be sure to  write down any memories that come up   – even the bad ones! The refining will come later, but for now, put all the words you can on paper.

They key here is to organize your thoughts. This task seems farcical, but it’s important to perform because “Why NYU?” is such a broad question that countless thoughts will fly through your mind at first read.

  • Find stories that embody your personality.
  • Record stories that highlight your sense of grit.
  • Write stories that personify your wonder and curiosity.

Perform this task three times. You want at least three stories. The more stories, the more options you have.

Step 4: Brainstorming Powerful Essay Ideas

Once again, you never want to write about how much you want to live in New York City. There are plenty of schools that share NYU’s geographic location. Furthermore, there are thousands of students who want to live in a city as diverse, resource-rich, and historic as New York City.

Your goal is to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants. Your story will help you do this.

Dig deeper.

Write down what you care about. What…

  • …makes you happy?
  • …makes you angry?
  • …bores you to death?
  • …are you inspired by?

Don’t hold back here either. Be completely honest with yourself.

In the college admissions process, you may be able to lie to yourself, but it’s hard to lie to the college admissions committee. It’s not worth the risk.

Be honest about what you care about, and it will shine through in your essay. Once you’ve come up with your list, look through your research from Step 2. What does NYU care about? Perhaps, you’ve learned that they care about the arts, curiosity, intercultural exchange, and open-mindedness.

  • … care about the arts? Are you curious?
  • …enjoy learning from and learning with people from cultural backgrounds different from yours?
  • …consider yourself to be open-minded?

Why, or why not? Once again, the key here is to be honest.

Dig deeper. Explore your values, memories, interests, and hobbies.

  • Is there a setback you’ve learned from? Is there a challenge burned into your memory?
  • What issues are you passionate about?
  • What are you endlessly curious about? Do you love reading about a particular subject?
  • What talents do you want to offer the world? Is there a specific reason you want to share your gift with the world?
  • What drives you? Deep down, is there something that makes your blood flow and brain click?
  • Are there special items in your house that hold sentimental value to you?

All told, think about anecdotes: What stories from your life have inspired your interests and passions. Think about lessons learned, personal themes, and the challenges and setbacks that made you who you are today.

Students often say that their anecdotes aren’t interesting. That’s fine!

What matters is how you explain them within the context of your experiences. That means you should be honest and specific about your experiences. Authenticity goes a long way for the Why NYU essay.

Step 5: Picking an Effective Essay Premise

Look over your free-write responses, and pick up particularly interesting memories that are related to your values and tell a story.

Almost everyone likes a good story.

  • Review your free-writing document. Find memories that highlight an important aspect of your personality or values.
  • Find a common thread between each of your stories and one or two values per story.
  • Match one of NYU’s values or special traits with each story.
  • Structure your essay around these three parts.

College admissions officers have to read hundreds of applications a day, and the ones that stand out are the ones written in the form of a good story.

The good news is that you don’t have to be J. K. Rowling or John Green.  The best stories are authentic  (that means they are true to who you are), descriptive (you help the reader experience your experience with their own senses), and clear (the reader understands exactly what you’re trying to say).

Talk about your experience, how that relates to your values and NYU’s values, and, most importantly, how your experience has impacted your choice of NYU as a potential college.

It’s likely your “Why NYU?” essay will flow as such:

  • This is a story that highlights an important aspect of who I am.
  • This value connects to the story.
  • It just so happens this value connects with NYU’s special value.
  • And that’s why I’m a great fit.

Remember the million-dollar question: Why NYU?

And then rethink the question: Why am I a good fit for NYU?

Why NYU Essay Example Outline

Here’s an excellent outline of a Why NYU essay. Before reading the outline, keep in mind that you have many options for crafting this essay.

What counts is telling an effective story.

  • As such, one way to tell an effective story is to start your essay with an anecdote.

Your anecdote can begin with one of the following:

  • A quote from someone that helps you preface your story
  • Cold hook: Something almost random that captures the reader’s attention
  • Bold statement: A statement that your story will support with details
  • Obvious statement: A line that makes the reader say, “Yes, of course. Why would you say something that obvious?” This is the segue to the next part of your essay.

Once you add your anecdote, frame it with details immediately. You have 400 words to work with, so get right into your essay. Your anecdote should comprise 10-15% of your essay.

Once you get into your essay, explain the actions you took to pursue an interest. This should comprise 30-40% of your essay.

  • What are you interested in?
  • Describe the action steps you took to further your passion and take initiative.

Then, spend the rest of your essay discussing the resources at NYU that will help you accomplish your goals and sharpen your skill set. You can mention examples of the following:

  • Fellowships
  • Internships
  • Professors and their classes
  • On-campus groups
  • Study-abroad programs
  • New academic initiatives
  • Externships

Without further delay, here’s what a good Why NYU essay would look like:

  • You grew up in a lower-income household and can recall a conversation with your sibling about how your family couldn’t afford health insurance.
  • Disappointed in our country’s health care options, you were inspired to volunteer in clinics, where you learned more about bloat and inefficient business processes within insurance companies. This adds to costs for would-be consumers like your family.
  • You shadowed a doctor during your junior year in high school to learn about technologies that could be provided at scale for low-income citizens.
  • This is why you want to study at NYU Stern: to engage in NYU-sponsored internships both in the city and abroad that will help you learn more about healthcare technology at scale.
  • You then want to establish a startup with the help of a specific professor, who will advise you with raising capital, hiring talent , and pivoting when necessary.

Step 6: Get Critiques & Make Revisions

An English teacher, your favorite teacher (which may or may not be your English teacher), and a friend who is always honest are great choices for additional readers.

A great English teacher knows the mechanics of the English language very well and will be honest with you about how your essay looks and sounds.

  • Bad punctuation is a death knell, and awkward words and phrases could move your essay from the “wow we’ve got to take him/her” pile to the “snooze/meh” pile.

Pick an English teacher with whom you have a good/neutral relationship, and approach them with the utmost respect and humility.

  • Remember, they don’t have to read your essay. They’re doing you a favor.
  • Ask them to mark it up for you, if they have time, and to give their honest thoughts and opinions.
  • If they really like you, they may do this several times. After the process is said and done, be sure to send them a thank you card.

Your favorite teacher may not be your English teacher, but they’re just as valuable because they usually have a really good sense of your likes, dislikes, as well as your authenticity. In other words, they can tell if you’re lying or trying to be something you’re not.

You need someone who knows you well and can tell you if you’re being honest in your essay. Your favorite teacher may also be able to remind you of things about yourself that you’ve forgotten.

  • Let’s face it, when you’re taking 6-8 classes a quarter among all of your other responsibilities, you might lose a memory or two.
  • A friend who is always honest with you is infinitely better than a friend who just wants you to be happy/flattered.

Pick a friend who isn’t afraid to tell you that your writing is terrible, or that you could have worded things a little better.

You need as much constructive criticism as possible while crafting a college essay that is authentic and compelling.

Step 7: Final read-throughs

If possible, do your final readings at least 24-48 hours after your last revision , in order to give your brain a break.

Make sure to read your essays out loud, just in case you have a typo in there that you and your other readers missed.

Two final read-throughs should be sufficient for assurance sake, but any more than that, and you could end up making yourself a bit anxious.

Trust yourself and trust the process. When you’re done, let go and submit.

Why NYU Essay Examples

We’ve provided some examples of Why NYU essays. Please remember to never plagiarize – we take this quite seriously.

These Why NYU essay examples are here to provide you with a visual on what a good essay looks like. Your essay should look different.

A version of Why NYU by a student:

Se-mi-llas de Es-pe-ran-za y A-mor. These were the words written on the school wall I visited as a member of The Hillsdale Effect an organization that fundraises microloans for businesswomen. Seeds of Love and Hope. During my six days in Guatemala, I had the opportunity to speak with students, teachers, and businesswomen about the struggles they face every day. My journey in Central America not only shaped my college and career goals, but they have also guided the direction in which I want to use my skills. Semillas de Esperanza y Amor is a school that brings in street children and offers them a free education. I asked one student, a young girl, about her aspirations. To my greatest surprise, she wanted to study at Guatemala’s only public university to become a doctor and return to her village to help her community. Afterward, a teacher explained that despite the students’ aspirations, a college education would be financially out of reach for their parents. This was a call to action. Later, I spoke to a local organizational director, who described an application they had tried to develop that would allow the businesswomen they serve to connect with business educators. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a strong Internet connection in some regions and the overall complexity of the user experience, the application failed. It was abandoned by all the local directors, who no longer saw it as a beneficial endeavor. To me, this seemed like a lost opportunity. If done right, the application could radically simplify communication and make the loaning process more effective. Which would then allow more women to participate in the program to empower themselves, transform their businesses, and help their children get an education. I want to dedicate my education to building technology that makes a social impact. My passion for international affairs has allowed me to help people in a drastically different community than my own. And by pursuing a computer science education at NYU while also participating in one of the multitude of study abroad programs offered, I know I will be able to develop the technical and global skills that will allow me to construct technology that will break the cycle of poverty, allowing little girls like the one I met to make their dreams come true.

Here’s another example of the Why NYU essay from the same student:

“Comienzo! Alto!” As the young students and I kicked the soccer ball back and forth on the Guatemalan field, I peered toward their village, San Mateo Miltas Alpas, and envisioned change. Change to improve infrastructure and help the businesswomen of their community. This is why I want to study computer science at NYU. In high school, I have been a leading member in The Hillsdale Effect, an organization that fundraises microloans for businesswomen in Guatemala. Our goal is to empower women entrepreneurs in hopes of breaking the cycle of poverty. I was given the opportunity to travel to Guatemala on a study tour and meet the individuals we were helping. When visiting a local headquarters in Antigua, the director explained how microloans are processed through their office: Business educators working for the organization contact their users. The educators then utilize a smartphone application to simplify the rest of the communication process between the businesswomen and educators. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a strong Internet connection in some regions and overall complexity of the user experience, the application failed. It was abandoned by all the local directors, who no longer saw it as a beneficial endeavor. I quickly realized I wanted to construct my own application that would connect the educators with the users. Of course, my application would need minimal service, and its simpler interface would be accessible from anywhere in the country. By utilizing images and multiple audio explanations, the language barrier could be broken, allowing individuals of any age or background to use the application. My goal is to integrate the solutions to these problems into a new application. After studying computer science at NYU, I want to apply my learned skills to build the Internet infrastructure of villages around the world. Furthermore, I want to partake in one of the multitude of study abroad programs offered so I can again travel to developing countries and learn more about the various benefits technology can provide in addressing infrastructure needs. This past year, we broke our school fundraising record, earning over $8,000 in two weeks for the businesswomen of Guatemala. As I look forward to the conclusion of high school, I know I can do more by learning at NYU. As my coding skills improve, I want to use them to go back abroad and do my part to build communities, like San Mateo Miltas Alpas.

From a student who wants to go to NYU to study public health:

As a Lacinda First Aid Team leader, I applied my interest in public health within my school community. During weekly shifts, I supported the nurse by patrolling the fitness center and common areas for ill students. After initiating partnerships with other school clubs, my team and I organized informational health fairs and visits from physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, and surgeons. I trained noncertified members and supplied bandages, heating pads, and antiseptic swabs to injured students. My training culminated during competitions, where I treated patients in unconscious victim, heart attack, stroke, and choking simulations. NYU’s College of Public Health provides students with opportunities to blend academic rigour with clinical experience, just as I delved into my zeal for helping others as a member of the First Aid Team. As a global public health major, I would complete an Experiential Learning course where I would step out of the classroom using a tactile approach. Then, I would take Health and Societies in a Global Context to learn how factors such as age, gender, culture, and race impact health on a global scale. I could take this knowledge to engage in team-based learning, where I would address the severity of mental illness on NYU’s campus. Learning to tackle problems as a team is a vital skill, especially when working closely with public health organizations. A project that captivates me is the Applied Global Public Health Initiative led by Dr. Chris Dickey. As a future program member, my goal is to discover improvements for the universal health coverage policy of the World Health Organization and the development of online public health programs. Under Dr. Dickey’s tutelage, I would apply my newfound knowledge to create an interactive fellowship experience that promotes collaboration with experienced NYU professionals while tackling issues that impact vulnerable communities. This work would create tools that better manage health accessibility to all. One day, I would like to become involved with Doctors Without Borders. NYU gives me the optimal resources combined with engaging experiences to work toward my goal. I believe a person’s health is the fundamental pillar of stability and sustainability; thus, I want to dedicate my time to improving both on a global scale. I aim to work in developing countries to spread the knowledge I acquire through internship opportunities, projects, and stimulating curriculum. NYU offers an immersive academic experience while supporting its students through personal growth and innovation.

Written by another student who wants to study health:

A year ago, my grandmother was a fiery, sharp-witted woman. Since then, a progressive neurodegenerative disease called Lewy body dementia (LBD) has caused her to deteriorate rapidly. Due to medical complications and worsening of symptoms, she has been forced to transition in and out of residential, rehabilitative, and hospital facilities, resulting in a constant battle to adjust to new environments. Witnessing my grandmother’s downward spiral has opened my eyes to the inadequacies of our healthcare system, fueling me to seek solutions.  At NYU, I will make progress towards an LBD cure by studying neural science and develop evidence-based policies to improve dementia patients’ lives through my public policy studies. This double major will allow me to absorb the scientific understanding necessary to create effective legislation, as will embarking on a health policy summer internship in Washington, D.C. where I can network while fusing my scientific and policy interests . The unique neural science major at NYU will fulfill my fascination with the brain’s function, while providing a strong natural science foundation. I am enthusiastic about elective courses, like Learning and Memory , w here I can examine memory formation and the pathophysiology of dementia. It will be thrilling to apply my classroom-based knowledge during a summer research project at the Center for Neural Science, ideally working alongside a faculty member to develop my own LBD-focused research project. With the Alzheimer’s Disease Center located on campus, I can frequently attend special events like the Alzheimer’s Disease Lunch and Learn series, supplementing my studies with current brain research and furthering my journey towards my desired career.  While neural science will develop my understanding of LBD, public policy will teach me the skill of employing legislation to solve issues that face dementia patients. I am eager to immerse myself in five health policy electives, in addition to classes such as Medical Ethics , where I can engage with peers that are passionate about patient rights. The Senior Seminar experience will allow me to utilize knowledge from both of my majors, honing in on a pressing policy issue facing dementia patients today.  Neither in life nor in academics have I stayed within a confined box. NYU’s liberal arts education promotes exploration, making it the perfect place for me to pursue my bursting passions. 

Final Why NYU essay example:

As a Macona First Aid Team leader, I applied my interest in public health within my school community. During weekly shifts, I supported the nurse by patrolling the fitness center and common areas for ill students. After initiating partnerships with other school clubs, my team and I organized informational health fairs and visits from physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, and surgeons. I trained noncertified members and supplied bandages, heating pads, and antiseptic swabs to injured students. My training culminated during competitions, where I treated patients in unconscious victim, heart attack, stroke, and choking simulations. NYU’s College of Public Health provides students with opportunities to blend academic rigour with clinical experience, just as I delved into my zeal for helping others as a member of the First Aid Team. As a global public health major, I would complete an Experiential Learning course where I would step out of the classroom using a tactile approach. Then, I would take Health and Societies in a Global Context to learn how factors such as age, gender, culture, and race impact health on a global scale. I could take this knowledge to engage in team-based learning, where I would address the severity of mental illness on NYU’s campus. Learning to tackle problems as a team is a vital skill, especially when working closely with public health organizations. A project that captivates me is the Applied Global Public Health Initiative led by Dr. Chris Dickey. As a future program member, my goal is to discover improvements for the universal health coverage policy of the World Health Organization and the development of online public health programs. Under Dr. Dickey’s tutelage, I would apply my newfound knowledge to create an interactive fellowship experience that promotes collaboration with experienced NYU professionals while tackling issues that impact vulnerable communities. This work would create tools that better manage health accessibility to all. One day, I would like to become involved with Doctors Without Borders. NYU gives me the optimal resources combined with engaging experiences to work toward my goal. I believe a person’s health is the fundamental pillar of stability and sustainability; thus, I want to dedicate my time to improving both on a global scale. I aim to work in developing countries to spread the knowledge I acquire through internship opportunities, projects, and stimulating curriculum. NYU offers an immersive academic experience while supporting its students through personal growth and innovation.

Conclusion: Why NYU?

You did it! You made it through all 7 steps.

By now, you understand the importance of breaking down the essay questions and putting them in your own words, researching the school, reflecting on your own values, and finding places of commonality between your values and the school’s.

In order to get to your story, you need to let yourself write without restriction. In addition, you know the importance of crafting a coherent narrative and having several people read through your work.

Hopefully, you have written a superb essay in response to NYU’s question.

Remember that you are more than enough, and all the support you need is out there if you would look for it.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We wish you all the best on your applications!

Learn how we can help you with college and career guidance! Check out our YouTube channel!

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New York University (NYU) 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Early Decision: Nov 1

Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 5

You Have: 

New York University (NYU) 2023-24 Application Essay Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words

We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators – Choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you; or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why.

“we’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. so we did what we do best. we reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” judith heuman, 2022 nyu commencement address , “i encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. that is the essence of good citizenship.” sherilynn ifill, 2015 nyu commencement address , “if you know how to fly but you never knew how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad” lang lang, 2015 nyu honorary degree recipient , “you have the right to want things and to want things to change.” sanna marin, former prime minister of finland, 2023 nyu commencement address , “it’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” taylor swift, change, released 2008, 2022 nyu commencement speaker , share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires you..

Through this selection of quotes, NYU is asking you to share ways in which you are not like everyone else. Grab a notebook and spend a few minutes with each of the quotes in turn, jotting down whatever words, ideas, or images come to mind. If none of them speaks to you, think about a person or quote that has resonated with you over the years. When you’re done brainstorming, go back through your notebook and see what came up. You can describe past events (maybe you clashed with school administration over unfair policies), experiences you anticipate in college (perhaps you plan to do research to find innovative climate solutions), or your plans for the future (maybe you want to become a diplomat to foster peace internationally). You can also reference the quoted individual’s life and how that inspires you. Remember, this isn’t an essay about your accomplishments or academic interests; your response should, rather, offer admissions insight into your values, passions, and worldview.

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How to Respond to the 2023-2024 NYU Supplemental Essay

supplement essay for nyu

Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

supplement essay for nyu

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Respond to the 2023-2024 NYU Supplemental Essay

New York University is located in the heart of the city that never sleeps, New York City! Due to its ideal location in the Big Apple, NYU has an acceptance rate of 13% . Your NYU application will need to impress if you want to gain an education in NYC!

NYU applicants are offered the opportunity to submit an optional essay to better showcase who they are. NYU states that students who do not submit the optional essay will not be penalized in their admissions review process. Students who are set on NYU might want to take this extra step to impress. Keep reading to learn how to ace the NYU supplemental essay question!

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The NYU supplemental essay: The prompts

Get excited, because NYU only requires one optional supplemental essay response! Students will respond to the following statement from NYU:

We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators. Choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you; or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why. (250 words) 

Applicants may choose from the following list:

1. “We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” Judith Heuman, 2022 NYU Commencement Address

This quote can be a little overwhelming due to its length but ultimately it is just stating that teamwork can create beneficial solutions. So, if you have any experience working with others whether it be an organization or just one other person to help you solve a problem, this is the perfect quote for you! To begin responding to this essay prompt you should firstly describe what this quote means to you. How do you interpret this quote? Next, you should detail a story from your life in which you came together with others to solve a problem. Be creative and descriptive in detailing this experience! You want the admissions officer to understand your situation and get a good gauge of the type of person you are especially in difficult situations in which a problem needs to be solved. Don’t forget that this response is only 250 words so be as detailed in as few words as possible! 

Questions to consider

  • When was a time in which you had to work with others to solve a problem? 
  • Does collaboration help you solve a problem more effectively? 
  • What problems are you passionate about solving? What steps would you take to ensure that you can solve these issues? 

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2. “I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship.” Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Commencement Address

This quote is very similar to the first one in that it wants to know how you have benefited your community. To begin, try and think about a time in which you stood up for something or someone that was against the grain or norm for your community. Or, think of a time in which you made your voice heard within your community. Once you decide on a moment no matter how big or small, describe it! You should detail what led up to you sparking a change and how exactly you went about it. Additionally, you should describe what happened after the fact. Did you spark a movement in your community? Did you get ridiculed? Would you stand up again despite the discomfort you faced? This reflection is the most important part of your response as this will show the admissions officer what you have learned from your experience. You want to prove to the admissions officer that you will better the NYU community due to your prior experiences and lessons learned. Don’t forget that this response is only 250 words so be as detailed in as few words as possible! 

  • Have you ever stood up for something in your community? 
  • What have you learned about yourself from making your voice heard? 
  • Do you think people should stand up for what they believe despite the uncomfortableness they may feel? 
3. “If you know how to fly but you never knew how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad?” Lang Lang, 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient

This is a hard quote to digest! Lang Lang is a musician and said this quote in response to an interview question about how he likes to tackle the most difficult music pieces first. Knowing this background, it is easier to digest the quote! Ultimately, Lang is detailing that learning the basics and not jumping ahead to the difficult and rewarding parts first can be extremely valuable. Therefore, try to think of a time in which you may have started something ambitious without gaining a good understanding of the topic. Or perhaps a time in which your own pride got in the way of you succeeding because you wanted to skip ahead without going over the mundane intro-leveled steps. No matter what this activity or skill is, it is important that you focus on what you learned in your essay response. You should be detailing how learning the basics actually could provide you with a solid foundation to become an expert in this skill despite not realizing this at the moment. Additionally, you should describe what you learned from this experience and how you will take this skill of learning to walk before flying with you to NYU in order to succeed. Don’t forget that this response is only 250 words so be as detailed in as few words as possible! 

  • Can you describe a time in which you learned to fly before walking? 
  • Have you ever been ambitious and tried to complete something with no prior background experience in the topic? 
  • What have you learned from trying something without practicing the basics first? Would you do it again? 
4. “You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address

There are a lot of things you may want to change whether that be something small in your personal life or something large in the world. So, for this response you should try to narrow down your options to selecting a problem that you have taken action to change within your community and life. Meaning, this may not be the best time to discuss a large problem that humans are nowhere near solving. Rather, choosing something you are passionate about that you have actively tried to change in your life can show admissions officers the type of person you are. Remember, this problem can be something as small as wanting to exercise more or something a little bigger such as wanting there to be less litter in your neighborhood. Once you select your problem, you should describe what you have done or are planning to do to change it. You can and should even discuss any obstacles you have faced or criticisms to show that you truly want this change to occur despite any setbacks. Ultimately, make sure that you are detailing your want to change something in your life or community and how you go about actually creating change. Don’t forget that this response is only 250 words so be as detailed in as few words as possible!  

  • What is something you have been actively involved in trying to change in your life or community? 
  • Is wanting to change enough? Or do you believe you need to act in order to initiate change? 
  • What have you learned from creating change in your life? Will you continue to fight for change at NYU? 
5. “It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” Taylor Swift, Change, Released 2008, 2022 NYU Commencement Speaker

If you’re a Swiftie then this may be the quote option for you! This quote is from a Taylor Swift song called “Change” that she wrote in 2008 that is still just as applicable to 2023. Change is a song all about overcoming obstacles while still being hopeful. So, try to think of a time when you had to overcome a challenge that felt too big for you to overcome. How did you manage to overcome this challenge? Was it an easy or difficult path? What did you learn from this experience? Describe in greater detail about how this unfair fight made you feel and what you did to overcome those feelings. Ultimately, you want to show the admissions officer that you are a strong individual who can overcome even unfair obstacles or at least have a positive attitude about it similar to the way Taylor Swift does in her song “Change.” Don’t forget that this response is only 250 words so be as detailed in as few words as possible!  

  • Have you ever had to overcome an obstacle that seemed insurmountable?
  • What have you learned about yourself from unfair situations? 
  • Do you believe that someone can win a fight that isn’t even? 
6. Share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires you

If another Taylor Swift song lyrics speaks to you or you read a specific quote every morning, this is the essay option for you! However, it is important to note that NYU went out of their way to provide you with a list of prior commencement speaker’s quotes that demonstrates their values. Therefore, unless you are super excited and passionate about a different quote, you should select one from their list. This will ensure you are providing an answer that NYU wants to hear from its candidates. If you end up selecting this option, just ensure that you are detailing new information about yourself and revealing some below-the-surface attributes you demonstrate. Additionally, make sure you are describing characteristics you will bring to NYU if you are accepted and how you plan to make NYU a better place. 

7. Not answering this optional question.

This is an optional question!! Therefore, you will not be penalized for not responding to this prompt by NYU. However, if NYU is a dream school or high on your college list, you should definitely be responding to this prompt. These 250 words could be the difference between an acceptance letter and a rejection letter. Here are some benefits to responding to this optional prompt: 

  • You can highlight desirable traits and experiences that can make your application well-rounded
  • You can mitigate any weaknesses in your application such as a low GPA or test score
  • You can form a connection with the admissions officer based on your heartfelt response

A helpful tip on choosing your prompt 

When choosing your prompt, you should also be noting what you have already discussed in your application. If you already wrote your Common App essay about one piece of your identity or theme – do not write about this again! Rather, choose something else in order to emphasize who you are and your broad range of interests. 

Next steps after applying to NYU

Congratulations! Your NYU supplemental essay question is completed! Be thankful that NYU was so kind in only making applicants answer one question. Now, what should you do next? Instead of waiting what feels like a lifetime for NYU to reach a decision on your application, be proactive! Show demonstrated interest in NYU to prove that you are committed to attending their university. 

How can you show demonstrated interest ? Well, it is quite simple! Follow any NYU social media accounts, reach out to an admissions officer about any questions you may have and schedule a tour! Doing this will show NYU that you truly want to attend their university because you are making the effort. 

Best of luck and enjoy New York City – it is famous for a reason! (Grab a slice of $1 pizza–you will not regret it!)

Additional resources

As a student working on college applications, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Fortunately, we have resources to help you through every step of the way. Check out our guides on how to write an essay about yourself , how to respond to the Common App prompts , and how to write 250 and 500 word essays. We can also help you decide how many schools to apply to and how to find safety, reach, and match schools .

If you’re wondering whether to send test scores to test-optional schools , we’ve got a guide for that as well. And once you start hearing back, we can help you create a college comparison spreadsheet to make your college choice. Finally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help fund your education and keep all of your college options open. Good luck!

Other colleges to consider

  • Boston University (Boston, MA)
  • Barnard College (New York, NY)
  • Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)

Frequently asked questions about the New York University supplemental essay

Should you answer nyu optional supplemental essay, is the nyu supplemental really optional, did the nyu supplemental essay change, how many supplemental essay prompts does nyu have, when are the application deadlines for nyu, are there any helpful tips for making my essay stand out from other applicants, is there a right quote option to select for the nyu essay prompt, scholarships360 recommended.

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College Essays

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If you're applying to New York University, you'll need to submit both the regular Common App materials as well as the NYU supplement, which includes a short essay. At its heart, the NYU essay prompt asks you to answer a single straightforward question: why do you want to go to NYU?

In this article, we'll fully analyze the "Why NYU?" essay prompt and what successful essays need to accomplish. We'll also go over potential topics to write about and look at the essay that got me into NYU's College of Arts and Science.

First, however, we'll begin with a quick discussion of why schools ask students to write "why this school?" essays

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Why NYU Essay 2023 Update

NYU has discontinued the "Why NYU" for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle . That means there won't be an NYU-specific writing supplement provided as part of the Common Application process. 

However, students can submit an optional 250-word response as part of NYU's additional questions section. This response deals with students' perspectives on diversity. Here's the prompt for 2023-2024: 

We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators. Choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you; or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why.

“We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” Judith Heuman, 2022 NYU Commencement Address

“I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship.” Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient

“You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address “It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” Taylor Swift, Change, Released 2008, 2022 NY Commencement Speaker

Share a short quote and person not on the list and why the quote inspires you.

What's the Point of "Why This School" Essays?

While the Common App essay gives students a chance to showcase something of who they are that might not be evident elsewhere in their application, the "why [school]?" essay allows students space to explicitly state why they are such a good match for the school.

Presumably, if you're applying to the school, your test scores, grades, course rigor and curriculum, extracurriculars, and volunteer experience all put you at least somewhat in line with other students at the school.

The "why this school?" essay is your opportunity to discuss not just why you could excel at the school, but why you are a good fit (and why you want to go there).

"Why this school" essays are also a useful way for schools to judge student interest in a school (which can indicate whether or not a student will attend if admitted). Based on students' "why this school?" essays, colleges can distinguish students who are specifically interested in attending that school from students who clearly applied just because of the school's location or ranking

Writing a strong "why [school]?" essay not only gives you another instance to showcase your writing and reasoning skills, but also tells the school that you care enough to invest time in researching what makes them special. It signifies that you have put in the time to realize whether or not you're a good fit. (And, it secondarily shows that having put in that time, you're more likely to attend if admitted than someone who just wrote some generic statements about why they want to attend college ).

For a more in-depth look at what schools hope to get out of your "Why [This School]?" essays, read this article .

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Why NYU Essay Prompt, Analyzed

Here's the complete NYU supplement essay prompt for 2021:

We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. What motivated you to apply to NYU? Why you have applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. We want to understand - Why NYU? (400 word maximum)

Besides the standard "what motivated you to apply to [school]?" question that almost every "why this school" essay asks, the NYU prompt gives you one extra nudge for what to focus on in your essay.

Specifically, NYU wants you to talk about what's drawn you to "a particular campus, school, college, program, and/or area of study?" (or, if you're drawn to more than one, why you're drawn to each campus/school/college/program/area of study).

Keep in mind that you should be discussing all of this in the context of NYU . Obviously, if you're interested in NYU because of one of their 10 undergraduate schools, then that's particular to NYU, but the same goes for their campus locations, programs, and areas of study.

For instance, if you're passionate about studying theater, you wouldn't just write that you want to attend NYU because you love theater and NYU has a theater program and is in New York, a city that has theater; that description could apply to half a dozen schools. Instead, you'd go into the details of what attracts you about specific classes and professors at Tisch, or other opportunities that are unique to NYU (ability to do certain kinds of projects, the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration, etc).

This prompt also hints at a few different directions you can go with your "Why NYU" essay:

Why have you expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses.

If you're already certain of what you want to study in college or have a " spike ", you'll want to go the "particular" route in your essay . This means mentioning specific classes, professors, programs, or how you see NYU supporting your future career/academic plans.

On the other hand, perhaps you're not at all sure what you want to study in college (AKA me in high school). In that case, you'll shape your essay more around how you believe going to NYU will allow you to explore many different avenues to find your passion .

Finally, if you already know that you want to spend time abroad during college in a place where NYU has a campus, you can emphasize your interest in continuing to receive an NYU-level academic education while living in another country .

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Potential "Why NYU?" Essay Topics

Earlier, we briefly touched upon some topics that you might write about in your essay, including specific courses/teachers/programs and study abroad opportunities.

We're now going to take those broad topic categories and go into a little more depth for how to write about them in your "Why NYU?" essay.

Colleges/Programs

NYU has the following 10 undergraduate schools, colleges, and programs:

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • Gallatin School of Individualized Study
  • Liberal Studies
  • Meyers College of Nursing
  • School of Professional Studies
  • Silver School of Social Work
  • Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
  • Stern School of Business
  • Tandon School of Engineering
  • Tisch School of the Arts

Because there are so many different undergraduate programs within NYU, it's a good idea to identify which program(s) you're applying to and why in your NYU supplement essay.

Since you'll need to decide on a program before applying to NYU anyway, you might as well use the time you spend reading about each college to figure out if there are any programs within particular colleges that call out to you.

For instance, if you're interested in the intersection of different fields (like psychology and computer science, or biology and philosophy/ethics) and are self-motivated to create your own program of study, you should talk about that in your application to the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. If you've spent the last 12 years devoting all your extra time in and out of school to theatre and want to attend a conservatory with opportunities to go see live theatre, then write about that in your application to Tisch.

Courses/Professors

NYU is a world-renowned university for a reason, and it's not just because of its immense real estate holdings; it has a wide variety of courses and professors renowned in their fields. If one of the main reasons you're drawn to NYU is for its academics, then this is a good topic to get into in your supplemental essay.

Flip through the online course catalogs and read about professors in departments you're interested in. Are there any classes you really want to take (that seem particular to NYU)? Or any professors you absolutely have to study with?

You don't need to go so far as to read the professors' research or anything like that (unless you're super excited by it!), but doing even a little research into the courses and professors you'd be learning from and mentioning it in your "Why NYU?" essay will go a long way toward showing the admissions officers that you're serious enough about NYU to check out its specifics.

Extracurricular Opportunities and School Traditions

If there's an extracurricular at NYU that you've been particularly involved in during high school (or are excited to start getting involved in at college), you can write about it, as long as you're clear about why it's something unique to NYU.

In a similar vein, you can also try reading through some of the campus-wide events offered throughout the year and see if there's anything special about them that speaks to you.

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NYU Essay: Topics to Avoid

The "Why NYU" essay prompt makes it pretty clear that you should focus your 400 words around a specific college/program/area of study.

What you absolutely should avoid is gushing about NYU's location (whether you're applying to the New York campus or not).

Back when I applied to NYU, the "why NYU?" essay prompt was even more blunt about not centering your essay around New York City:

"Many students decide to apply to NYU because of our New York City location. Apart from the New York City location, please tell us why you feel NYU will be a good match for you."

If New Yorkers have heard it all and seen it all before, NYU admissions officers have certainly read any and all paeans you could care to write to New York City.

It's fine to write about how being in New York gives you access to opportunities relevant to your course at NYU (e.g. you can get amazing internship opportunities for journalism and theatre there that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere else). However, you need to be clear to center your essay around the program at NYU, with the New York location (and its opportunities) being an added bonus.

Unless you have a unique take on why NYU's location is so important to you (e.g. your grandparents used to live in a building that was demolished to make way for Bobst law library and you were brought up on vengeance that has since turned to adoration), stay away from NYU's location in your explanation of why you want to go there.

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Brainstorming for the Why NYU Essay

Before you start to narrow in on what angle you'll take in your "Why NYU?" essay, you should first examine your reasons for applying to NYU. By "examine," we don't just mean "list your reasons"—we mean you need to go a few levels deeper into each surface reason that occurs to you.

For example, this is the list of reasons I had for applying to NYU (roughly in order of importance):

  • My test scores and grades/course rigor make it likely I'll get in
  • NYU has lots of good schools and programs
  • It's easy enough to get from NYU to my family, transportation-wise

On the face of it, none of these reasons are very compelling. If I'd just gone on to write my "Why NYU?" essay (or in those days, essays) with those three bullet points, I doubt I would have been accepted.

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Instead, I went deeper with each reason to see if there was anything there I could mine for the NYU supplement essay.

Surface Reason 1 : My test scores and grades/course rigor make it likely I'll get in.

  • One level deeper : I'm applying to NYU as a safety school, because I'm pretty sure I'll get in there, even if I don't get in anywhere else, and I'd want to go there if I got in.
  • Should I write about this in my "why NYU" essay? Definitely not. No school wants to hear that it's a safety (even if it's a safety you would be fine with attending because it's still a good school).

Surface Reason 2 : NYU has lots of good schools and programs.

  • One level deeper : I'm extremely undecided about what I want to study—I know that I'm interested in English (Creative Writing), Math, Neuroscience, Chinese, and Music, but I might end up deciding to study something entirely different in college. It's important to me that I go somewhere that I'll have the opportunity to explore all of my interests (and develop more), which I can do at NYU.
  • Should I write about this in my "Why NYU" essay? This reason is definitely promising, although I'll need to do more research into the particular programs and courses at NYU so I can namedrop (and in the process, double-check that I'm right about being able to study all these things there!).

Surface Reason 3 : It's easy enough to get from NYU to my family, transportation-wise.

  • One level deeper : My parents want there to be good transportation options for me visiting home (or them visiting me). NYU's location (New York City) definitely makes that possible (there's easy access to planes, trains, buses, rental cars, fixed-gear bikes…).
  • Should I write about this in my "Why NYU" essay? Probably not. The prompt asks me about why I've expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and/or area of study, not a geographic area. Plus, it's not like there aren't plenty of other New York schools. I maybe could throw in this reason if I'm running short on things to say, but as it is, it looks like my second reason is going to be the best bet for the "Why NYU?" essay.

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Why NYU Essay Sample

Below, I've created a "Why NYU?" essay example that draws verbatim from what I used in my (successful) NYU application. (The essay requirements were slightly different then, with different word counts, so I had to expand a little upon what I originally wrote.)

I feel NYU would be a good match for me because of the number and kinds of programs it has. I am very interested in a variety of subjects, and NYU seems to encompass everything. In fact, I'm applying to the College of Arts and Sciences because I can’t specify my interests any more than that at this time. I have so many things that I want to learn that I can’t imagine limiting myself before I even enter college.

Take Chinese, for example. I'm learning Mandarin now (and have been for the last five years), but I would also like to learn Cantonese. There are not many other schools that offer Cantonese classes that can boast trips into Chinatown as part of the curriculum! Furthermore, I am excited by the possibility of studying abroad at NYU Shanghai. I'd not only be able to go to China for a semester for a year and immerse myself in the language and culture, but I'd be able to do so with the continuity of being on an NYU campus, even halfway across the world.

The music theory program in the College of Arts and Sciences also really interests me. I've picked up some theory here and there, but I haven't had all that much formal training. I'm also really intrigued by NYU's early music ensemble and the chance to explore different modes and tunings. At the other end of the spectrum, while I've written a few pieces on my own and taught myself a little bit about MIDI, I have not really had a chance to experiment very much with computer/electronic composition, and would really like to use those Steinhardt facilities that would be available to me at NYU to help remedy this.

Finally, I cannot stress enough how important reading and creative writing are to me. Because of how much the two feed into one another, I'm excited by NYU's Reading Series and the potential to be able to attend organized events for interacting with other writers outside the classroom.

The opportunity to expand my Chinese language abilities beyond Mandarin (and have the chance for practical application) is what first intrigued me; the chance to explore computer music and get my hands on NYU's facilities was the next breadcrumb; but the breadth and depth of the courses for writing lure me in even more, until I can resist no further.

This essay isn't necessarily the best piece of writing I've ever done. However, it still effectively conveys my desire to attend NYU because I mention a few key reasons I want to attend NYU:

  • The variety of courses available . I began by stating that I'm undecided and part of what attracts me to NYU is the opportunity to get to do lots of different things. I then go on to discuss several different examples.
  • Specific NYU opportunities . I looked up various courses, events, and opportunities offered by different departments and mentioned a couple of them specifically (the Reading Studies program for creative writing, Cantonese classes, studying abroad in China).
  • While I did mention a New York City thing (going into Chinatown), it was linked with something that's relatively NYU-specific (the opportunity to study Cantonese as well as Mandarin).

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Tips for the Why NYU Essay

To wrap up, we've summarized our top four tips for writing the "Why NYU?" essay.

#1: Look over the descriptions of the different schools/programs. This will help you figure out both which one you want to apply to as well as what makes those schools interesting for you to apply to.

#2: Read through the course catalog and look up professors in departments you're interested in. As the NYU Admission blog states , you don't have to go overboard in stating exactly what course you want to take with what professor at what time, but you should demonstrate that you're aware of what kinds of things you will be able to do and learn while at NYU

#3: Look into whether there are any extracurricular activities or NYU traditions that particularly appeal to you--and explain why they matter specifically to you.

#4: Avoid writing odes to New York City. If there are particular opportunities you're interested in that are only available in New York (e.g. internships at the American Museum of Natural History, research into immigration history at Ellis Island) you can mention it, but don't lean too heavily on the location.

#5: Remember that while you should make it clear why you want to attend NYU with your essay, you don't need to agonize for hours over it. Ultimately, other parts of your application (including your test scores and grades/course rigor, letters of recommendation, and personal statement) are more important factors to your acceptance than your NYU supplement essay is. You just need to show that you've done at least a little research into NYU and why you want to apply there in particular.

And if along the way you find that you don't really have a super good reason that's getting you excited to apply to NYU? It might be worth reconsidering whether or not you should apply there.

What's Next?

Have a bunch more college-specific supplement essays to write? Be sure to check out our overview of the "why this college" essay .

Looking for application tips for other selective schools? Read our complete guides to the University of California system and to the Georgetown application .

Should you apply early or regular decision to college? Find out the pros and cons of early decision in this article . ( And read up on the distinctions between early decision, early action, and the different kinds of each here. )

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Laura graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in Music and Psychology, and earned a Master's degree in Composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and GRE and loves advising students on how to excel in high school.

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NYU Supplemental Essays 2023-24

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NYU Supplemental Essays

New York University, also known as NYU , is in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. NYU is not only one of the best universities in New York but one of the world’s most elite schools. With the NYU acceptance rate at 13%, NYU is highly competitive , meaning you need a stellar NYU essay when applying. Finely crafted NYU supplemental essays will almost certainly make or break your admissions hopes for NYU.

Are you wondering how to get into NYU? NYU considers various components of your college application; you should understand how these requirements are evaluated. Most students know about high school transcripts and letters of recommendation, but have you thought about the NYU supplemental essays? NYU supplemental essays are designed to gather additional information that the admissions committee is most interested in. In this guide, we will cover NYU supplemental essays, NYU essay prompts, and NYU admission requirements.

New York University Essay: Quick Facts

Nyu essay: quick facts.

  • NYU Acceptance Rate: 13%
  • Early Decision I: November 1
  • Early Decision II: January 1
  • Regular Decision: January 5
  • The New York University application is hosted exclusively on the Common App.
  • The Common App allows students to submit supporting documents on the Common App. Review a list of supporting documents here .
  • You can also submit your documents directly to the NYU admissions office. 
  • After you submit your application on the Common App, you can check the status of your application on the NYU Admissions website . 
  • 1 required Common App personal essay. 
  • 1 optional NYU supplemental essay. 
  • New York University Essay Tip: In addition to the Common App personal essay, NYU has one optional NYU essay. While this essay is optional, this is your chance to give the admissions committee more evidence of your writing skills and who you are.

Please note that essay requirements are subject to change each admissions cycle, and portions of this article may have been written before the final publication of the most recent guidelines. For the most up-to-date information on essay requirements, check the university’s admissions website. 

Does NYU have supplemental essays?

The NYU admission requirements include one optional supplemental NYU essay. But don’t be fooled by the “optional” label. Even though this NYU essay is not required, completing the optional NYU essay can be beneficial to your holistic application review. Essayless applications aren’t penalized, but you are missing out on a valuable opportunity to add additional context to your application. NYU supplemental essays are highly recommended for any student serious about getting into NYU.

To understand how the admissions committee reviews optional NYU supplemental essays, it is important to understand holistic application reviews . A holistic application review considers the metrics, attributes, and experiences of applicants in its admissions decisions. Holistic review does not assign numeric weights to your transcript, essay, or letters of recommendation. Instead, this approach looks at the collective story between all your application materials.

Holistic reviews understand that you’re much more than your GPA and your SAT scores. Admissions committees are interested in what makes you unique. One of the best platforms to showcase your unique experiences and point of view is your NYU supplemental essays. You can tell the admissions committee who you are and what you value in your own words.

What happened to the Why NYU essay?

nyu supplemental essays

Essay guides from years past go in-depth about the “why NYU” essay, but not this year. In fact, changes to the NYU essay prompts are common, as with many universities. Each year, admissions offices make updates to their admissions applications based on their goals. For instance, NYU—like many other schools—continues to be test-optional this year, so don’t fret if you don’t have standardized test scores .

This year the “why NYU” essay was removed, and another NYU essay was added. The essays for each application cycle are announced on August 1 st . This gives you plenty of time to read through the NYU essay prompts and prepare your NYU essay. Preparation and research are essential! Having a solid understanding of why you are interested in a college allows you to prepare a more intentional application.

Even though the “why NYU” essay is no longer one of the required NYU supplemental essays, don’t discount it. There are still some important takeaways from the “why NYU” essay that you can apply to other NYU supplemental essays. Writing a strong “why school” essay requires you to do your research and explore exactly why you would be a good fit for that institution.

Being able to articulate why you are a good fit in your NYU supplemental essays is critical. To set yourself up for success, make sure you thoroughly research NYU and why you want to attend. Later, we will discuss how to incorporate the same approach used in the “why NYU” essay into your other NYU supplemental essays. 

NYU Common App Essay

The Common Application is one of the largest college application platforms. There are thousands of colleges that use the Common App, including New York University. The Common App allows students to apply for multiple institutions using the same platform. The New York University essay portion is separate and discussed further down.

One of the application components that is common to all colleges on the platform is the Common App personal essay .  Also called the personal statement, this essay will go to NYU and any other colleges on your Common App portal. The Common App personal essay must be a minimum of 250 words and a maximum of 650 words. All applicants using the Common App write according to the same requirements. 

The Common App instructs students to choose one of the personal essay prompts below. These prompts allow you to write about yourself, your personality, and your values through thought-provoking topics. The prompts usually change slightly year-to-year, but the intention behind them is the same.

The personal essay prompts are very broad which gives applicants the opportunity to discuss anything they are interested in. There is no “best” prompt to choose. You should choose the prompt that most resonates with you and shows off your writing skills. There is even an option to submit an original piece of writing on any topic you choose. However, while the prompts ask about experiences or topics, you should ultimately reveal something of yourself in your essay.

2023-2024 Common App Personal Essay Prompts

Here are the Common App prompts for this application cycle:

Common App Essay Prompts

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. if this sounds like you, then please share your story., the lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. how did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience, reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. what prompted your thinking what was the outcome, reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. how has this gratitude affected or motivated you, discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others., describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. why does it captivate you what or who do you turn to when you want to learn more, share an essay on any topic of your choice. it can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design..

After choosing a Common App prompt, you should carve out several weeks to review and revise your essay. Since this is the only required essay,  you should view it as a critical piece of your college application. After all, New York University and all of the other colleges you apply to will be reading your personal essay.

Many students spend all their energy on trying to come up with a unique topic . Remember that what’s most important is not what you say but how you say it and what you reveal about yourself. What makes your essay unique is your unique point of view. You should channel the words, details, and stories that feel most authentic to you. This is how you stand out . 

Other articles cover this year’s Common App essay in more depth—our main focus is the NYU essay. Keep reading to learn more about the NYU supplemental essays. 

NYU Supplemental Essay

nyu supplemental essays

Although there is no longer a “why NYU” Essay, students may answer another supplemental New York University essay. While this New York University essay is optional, answering it can show your interest in NYU and bolster your application.

Considering the 13% NYU acceptance rate, a successful NYU supplemental essay may decide if you get into NYU . Supplemental essay prompts are designed for the admissions committee to learn additional details about the applicant. Choosing to answer an optional essay is just another opportunity to put your best self forward for the committee.

Check out the optional NYU essay prompts below. Then, we’ll discuss how to go about choosing the best NYU essay prompt for you.

NYU Essay Prompt for 2023–2024

We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives, and innovators – choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you, or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why., 1. “we’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. so we did what we do best. we reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” judith heuman, 2022 nyu commencement address, 2. “i encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. that is the essence of good citizenship.” sherilynn ifill, 2015 nyu commencement address, 3. “if you know how to fly but you never knew how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad” lang lang, 2015 nyu honorary degree recipient, 4. “you have the right to want things and to want things to change.” sanna marin, former prime minister of finland, 2023 nyu commencement address, 5. “it’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” taylor swift, change, released 2008, 2022 nyu commencement speaker, applicants may also share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires them. of course, they may also choose not to answer the question at all., choosing a quote for your nyu supplemental essay.

The optional NYU essay gives students several quotes to choose from. With so many options, you are probably wondering what quote you should choose. Let’s think about how to approach this prompt and the quotes it gives you.

First, identify the quotes that most resonate with you—choosing several is fine. You can consider how each quote relates to your background and life experiences. You may even find some commonalities between you and the person quoted. No matter what draws you to a specific quote, it is critical that you find a quote that best suits you. While no quote is bad, there are undoubtedly some quotes that will feel more relatable to you than others. 

As an exercise, you can choose your top two quotes and brainstorm NYU supplemental essays about them. This includes making an outline, adding details you’d like to incorporate, and deciding on the structure of your NYU essay. Don’t forget about incorporating why you would be a good fit for NYU. This can be done explicitly or subtly by drawing parallels between your personal values and the institution’s values. 

Like the Common App personal essay, if you don’t love any of the quotes, you can always choose your own. If you go this route, consider the quotes provided as inspiration. Each of these quotes encourages you to think critically and explore your thoughts and beliefs beyond the surface. The NYU admissions team chose these quotes for a reason. They can be great clues to the type of information that NYU is hoping to gather through the NYU supplemental essays. 

How long should the NYU supplemental essays be?

The NYU supplemental essays have a maximum word count of 250 words. Typically, that results in two to three paragraphs. There is no minimum word count for the NYU supplemental essays. Students should focus on addressing the prompt in its entirety instead of focusing solely on how long the essay should be. If you’ve said everything you wanted to and haven’t hit the word limit, don’t sweat it. There are great 100-word NYU supplemental essays and other NYU supplemental essays that use the entire word limit. No matter how long your NYU supplemental essays are, you should feel confident that you addressed the prompt fully.

What does NYU admissions look for in essays?

Are you wondering how to get into NYU with a strong essay? NYU supplemental essays continue to be an important part of your admissions application. A strong NYU essay allows the admissions committee to envision you on the campus of NYU. To best answer your NYU essay prompts, applicants should have a strong understanding of NYU’s mission and values.

NYU’s history is steeped in innovation and trailblazing. NYU alumni are often change agents and pacesetters in their respective fields. NYU also values global education—many NYU alumni go on to contribute to the global community in their discipline. If you read through past and present NYU essay prompts, you will see evidence of these values.

nyu supplemental essays

#1: Can you contribute to NYU?

The first thing NYU is looking for is you! The admissions committee uses the Common App essay and NYU supplemental essays to get to know you as a person. They are interested in your interests, motivations, experiences, and unique point of view. Your NYU supplemental essays are your chance to be your most authentic self.

Even though this prompt is not a “why school” essay, you should be finding parallels between NYU’s and your own personal values. Writing about your passions and motivations should answer the question “Why NYU?” for the admissions committee. Ultimately this allows them to see you on their campus making contributions in the classroom and beyond. 

#2: Did you answer the prompt?

Second, you should always be sure that you are answering the NYU essay prompts in their entirety. The reader should walk away feeling as though you fully understood the NYU essay prompts and presented an organized and structured response. Thorough planning, drafting, and revising can make sure your essays are logically sound and comprehensible.

Don’t discount style in conveying your answer to the prompt. One of the best ways to get your message across is by adding in detailed descriptions and anecdotes. Your essay should feel inviting and authentic. Sometimes describing the sound, smell, and feel of a moment can help invite the reader into your world. 

#3: Does your NYU essay highlight you ?

Finally, your NYU essay is less about testing your spelling and grammar and more about producing a compelling narrative. Many high school students are overly concerned with impressing the admissions committee with large words and complicated concepts. While the quality of your writing, grammar, and spelling are important, these elements are seen as a baseline.

Certainly, the admissions committee is looking for writing that is at the college level. But more than that, your perspective, tone, and language should be authentically yours. You should focus on communicating your unique viewpoint and values by answering this prompt. This is what will truly set you apart.

What is the application deadline for NYU?

nyu supplemental essays

NYU has three deadlines to choose from: Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision. The NYU application deadline for Early Decision I is November 1 st and the NYU application deadline for Early Decision II is January 1 st . The final NYU application deadline, Regular Decision,  is January 5 th . There are pros and cons to each NYU application deadline, so it is important to find out which NYU deadline is best for you.

Regular Decision

First of all, Regular Decision is the typical deadline for college applications. Most students apply through Regular Decision, meaning more time to prepare but a much larger applicant pool. 

Obviously, having more time can be a great asset if you need to work on your essays more. Furthermore, some applicants may benefit from their first-semester senior grades being available at the time of their application review. These students may also have additional time to retake standardized tests.

On the other hand, the larger applicant pool in Regular Decision means a lower chance of admittance. Another downside of applying for Regular Decision is you won’t receive your admissions decision until April 1 st . This leaves students with limited time to decide where they will enroll in the fall. 

Early Decision at NYU

The Early Decision I and Early Decision II plans are binding admissions offers. Should a student be admitted during either Early Decision round, they are expected to enroll at NYU. The ED I deadline is very early in the senior year. However, these students benefit by finding out their admissions decision on December 15 th .

Students aiming for ED I should be prepared to begin working on their application and NYU supplemental essays on August 1 st . ED I applicants should also note that the committee will only see what senior year courses they are registered for and not their final grades. If your grades weren’t great through junior year, ED I may not be for you.

The Early Decision II application deadline is later than Early Decision I. Many ED II applicants applied to other selective schools early but were not admitted. Like Regular Decision, ED II’s later deadline gives applicants more time to revise NYU supplemental essays or take tests. ED II applicants are notified of their admissions decision on February 15 th .

How to choose your application strategy

Both early rounds have smaller applicant pools than Regular Decision, which may be a plus. At the same time, early applicants typically have very strong NYU supplemental essays, so it’s a more competitive environment. Nevertheless, early admission rounds often have higher acceptance rates than Regular Decision. Furthermore, there is the fact that these are binding—you must be certain you want to attend NYU. If a binding application is not the right plan for you, you can of course apply Regular Decision.

No matter what application plan you choose, the importance of your NYU supplemental essays remains the same. Starting your NYU essay early is critical to having enough time to properly review and revise your work. You should also work in enough time to let a trusted teacher or college advisor review your essay and share feedback. 

For more insight into what NYU is looking for in its students, check out this video below from NYU Admissions:

More NYU Essay Resources from CollegeAdvisor

CollegeAdvisor is here to help you learn more about NYU admission requirements and how to get into NYU.  As you are preparing to write your NYU supplemental essays, review this guide of example NYU supplemental essays and why they worked. While these essays answer old NYU essay prompts, they may provide inspiration for other college essays.

NYU supplemental essays are just one component of your New York University application. In addition to guides about how to get into NYU, CollegeAdvisor also hosts weekly webinars like this NYU panel webinar . We also have a wealth of Common App resources, covering everything from extracurriculars to recommendation letters .

NYU Supplemental Essays – Takeaways

Are you still wondering how to get into NYU?

Here are some NYU essay takeaways to help you write strong NYU supplemental essays. 

  • NYU requires the Common App essay and has one optional supplemental essay. Serious applicants should complete the optional NYU essay.
  • Even though the “why NYU” essay is no longer on the application, strategies for approaching that essay still apply. You should always incorporate why you are interested in the school in your NYU supplemental essays.
  • The Common App personal essay is just as important as your NYU supplemental essay, especially because it goes to every school on your final college list ! 
  • Both the Common App personal essay and the optional NYU supplemental essay have a maximum word count. You don’t have to reach that maximum word count, but you must answer the prompt in a thorough and structured way. 
  • There are no bad quotes to choose for your NYU supplemental essay, but some may better fit you than others. 
  • If the Common App essay prompts or NYU supplemental essay quotes don’t appeal to you, come up with your own. Just make sure you are sharing the same type of insight that the given prompts are requesting. 
  • Pay close attention to the application deadlines to make sure you have ample time to write your NYU supplemental essays.
  • Focus less on trying to impress the admissions committee and more on being your authentic self in your essay. 

We know that the low NYU acceptance rate can be intimidating—highly selective schools are daunting in the college application process. But we’re here to help, with articles and webinars and even one-on-one advising. Take advantage of all the resources on CollegeAdvisor.com to help you put your best foot forward.

supplement essay for nyu

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September 13, 2023

2023-2024 NYU Supplemental Essay Prompt

The arch is featured under a blue sky in NYC's Washington Square Park.

New York University has released its supplemental essay prompt for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. In addition to The Common Application ’s Personal Statement, applicants to NYU are asked to respond to one optional 250-word supplemental essay — and it’s a different one from years past.

For this supplemental essay, NYU applicants can focus their answer on one of four quotes provided, choose their own quote, or not answer the question at all. Of course, students who don’t write optional essays put themselves at a significant disadvantage — irrespective of what NYU’s admissions officers may say to the contrary.

2023-2024 NYU Essay Question

In 250 words or less, applicants to NYU’s Class of 2028 are asked to respond to the following prompt:

We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators – Choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you; or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why.

“We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” 

– Judith Heumann, 2022 NYU Commencement Address

“I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship.” 

– Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Commencement Addresss

“If you know how to fly but you never knew how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad?” Lang Lang, 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient “You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” 

– Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address

“It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” 

– Taylor Swift, Change, Released 2008, 2022 NYU Commencement Speaker

Share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires you.

Not answering this optional question.

When answering this NYU essay prompt, regardless of the quote a student chooses, students must focus on how they think and wish to shape the world in one singular way rather than focus on the quote itself or the person who uttered the line at a commencement address. Ideally, the essay will fit like a puzzle piece with the Personal Statement — in a complementary rather than a redundant way — to showcase the singular hook a student hopes to bring to NYU.

On a personal note, we at Ivy Coach are pleased to see a quote included from the late disability rights activist Judith Heumann , NYU’s 2022 commencement speaker and the subject of a 2022 Academy Award-winning documentary, as she was a dear friend of Ivy Coach’s Founder, Bev Taylor .

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with the NYU Essay

If you’re interested in optimizing your case for admission to NYU by submitting an NYU supplement that wows admissions officers, fill out Ivy Coach ’s free consultation form , and we’ll be in touch to outline our college counseling services for applicants to the Class of 2028.

You are permitted to use www.ivycoach.com (including the content of the Blog) for your personal, non-commercial use only. You must not copy, download, print, or otherwise distribute the content on our site without the prior written consent of Ivy Coach, Inc.

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NYU Supplemental Essays 2023-24 Prompt and Advice

Embarking on the journey to higher education is not merely a pursuit of academic excellence; it is a transformative experience that shapes individuals into peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives, and innovators. As prospective students contemplate their path to NYU, the university’s commitment to fostering a diverse and dynamic community comes to the forefront. The NYU supplemental essay prompt encapsulates this ethos, challenging applicants to explore their inspirations, values, and potential contributions in a mere 250 words.

In this exploration of the NYU supplemental essay prompt, we will unravel the intricacies of the task at hand. From dissecting the provided quotes to understanding the underlying expectations, we will guide you through a strategic approach that not only aligns with NYU’s vision but also elevates your unique narrative. As we navigate the art of crafting a compelling response, we’ll delve into the significance of personal connections, reflections on NYU’s ethos, and the impact of incorporating a unique perspective.

NYU Supplemental Essays Prompt

We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators – Choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you, or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why. (250 words)

“We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.”

Judith Heuman , 2022 NYU Commencement Address

“I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship.”

Sherilynn Ifill , 2015 NYU Commencement Address

“If you know how to fly but you never knew how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad?”

Lang Lang , 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient

“You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address

“It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.”

Taylor Swift , Change, Released 2008, 2022 NYU Commencement Speaker

Share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires you.

Understanding the Quotes

Judith Heuman:

“We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own…”

  • Key Themes : Resilience, Creativity, Community Mobilization, Social Change.
  • Implication : This quote emphasizes the power of resilience and creativity in the face of challenges. It speaks to the proactive approach of creating solutions, fostering a sense of community, and mobilizing for social change.

Sherilynn Ifill:

“I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard…”

  • Key Themes: Citizenship, Discomfort, Contribution, Voice.
  • Implication: Ifill’s words underscore the importance of embracing discomfort as a catalyst for positive change. It encourages active citizenship, emphasizing the necessity of contributing and making one’s voice heard for the greater good.
  • Key Themes: Balance, Comprehensive Growth, Fundamental Skills.
  • Implication: Lang Lang’s quote invokes the significance of a balanced and comprehensive approach to personal development. It suggests that possessing advanced skills without a foundation in fundamental aspects is incomplete.

Sanna Marin:

“You have the right to want things and to want things to change.”

  • Key Themes: Rights, Desire for Change, Agency.
  • Implication: Marin’s quote underscores the importance of individual agency and the right to aspire for change. It empowers individuals to have desires and actively work towards positive transformations.

Taylor Swift:

“It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.”

  • Key Themes: Fairness, Challenges, Struggle.
  • Implication: Taylor Swift’s lyrics highlight the difficulty of fighting against injustice or challenges when the conditions are not fair. It speaks to the resilience required in the face of adversity.

Common Threads:

  • Resilience: Several quotes emphasize the importance of resilience in the face of challenges. Whether creating solutions, contributing to change, or fighting unfair battles, resilience is a recurring theme.
  • Community and Collaboration: The quotes by Heuman and Swift emphasize reaching out to others, mobilizing communities, and understanding the challenges of fighting alone. Collaboration is seen as a key element in driving change.
  • Active Citizenship: Ifill’s quote specifically addresses the essence of good citizenship, encouraging individuals to contribute actively and make their voices heard for the collective good.
  • Desire for Change: Both Marin and Swift’s quotes touch upon the desire for change, whether it’s asserting the right to want change or acknowledging the difficulty in fighting for change when conditions are unfair.

Implications for the Essay:

  • When crafting your response, consider how these themes align with your personal experiences, values, and aspirations.
  • Reflect on moments in your life where you exhibited resilience, contributed to positive change, collaborated with others, or advocated for fairness.
  • Ensure that your essay communicates a sense of personal growth, active citizenship, and a commitment to making a positive impact.

By analyzing these quotes, you gain insights into the core values that NYU values and seeks in its prospective students. Use these insights to shape a compelling narrative that aligns with the university’s vision.

NYU 2023-24 Prompt Analysis:

The NYU supplemental essay prompt is designed to reveal the qualities of applicants that align with NYU’s vision of fostering peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives, and innovators. The university seeks to understand the inspiration behind your values and actions. Here’s a breakdown of the key components:

  • Quotations from Diverse Speakers: The prompt provides a curated list of quotes from various speakers, including a disability rights activist, a civil rights lawyer, a renowned pianist, a former Prime Minister, and a global pop sensation. Each quote reflects a unique perspective on change, citizenship, personal growth, rights, and the challenges of fighting unfair battles.
  • Focus on Inspiration: The primary emphasis is on your inspiration and the values you hold dear. NYU wants to know what motivates you, what principles guide your actions, and how you connect with the sentiments expressed in the provided quotes.
  • Option for Personalization: While the prompt suggests choosing from the provided list, it also offers the flexibility to share a short quote and a person not on the list. This allows you to bring in a personal touch and showcase a broader range of influences that shape your worldview.
  • Word Limit (250 words): The brevity of the response is crucial. You have a limited word count, so every word must contribute meaningfully to convey your thoughts. Be concise and focused, ensuring that your response is impactful within the given constraints.
  • Understanding NYU’s Values: The prompt indirectly asks you to align your response with NYU’s values. The university is looking for students who not only excel academically but also embody qualities that contribute to a vibrant and diverse campus community.

How to write the NYU 2023-24 Supplemental Essays

Choosing a Quote Reflecting Your Values:

Begin by carefully examining the provided quotes. Each quote encapsulates a distinct perspective on important themes such as change, citizenship, personal growth, rights, and resilience. Take the time to reflect on your own values and experiences. Choose a quote that resonates with you on a personal level, as this will allow you to authentically express your connection to the prompt.

For instance, if you resonate with Judith Heuman’s quote about creating solutions, think about instances in your life where you’ve encountered challenges and, like Heuman, took the initiative to find solutions. This could be a moment where you collaborated with others to address a community issue or found innovative ways to make a positive impact.

Personal Connection:

Once you’ve selected a quote, the next step is to share a personal story or experience that illustrates why this quote inspires you. Dive into the details of a specific event or series of events that shaped your perspective. For example, if you choose Sherilynn Ifill’s quote on embracing discomfort and contributing to good citizenship, recount a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone to make a meaningful contribution. This could involve actively participating in a community project, voicing your opinion on a pressing issue, or taking a leadership role in a challenging situation.

Reflecting on NYU’s Ethos:

As you craft your response, it’s crucial to tie in your personal experiences with NYU’s ethos. NYU is seeking students who not only excel academically but also embody qualities that contribute to a vibrant and diverse campus community. Consider how the qualities highlighted in your essay align with what NYU values in its student body. This could involve referencing specific programs, initiatives, or values that NYU holds dear and explaining how your experiences align with those.

Incorporating a Unique Perspective:

If you decide to share a short quote and a person not on the list, ensure that you provide a thoughtful explanation of why this specific quote and person inspire you. This is an opportunity to showcase the diversity of your influences and the unique perspective you bring to the NYU community. Whether it’s a quote from a lesser-known figure or a personal mentor, elaborate on how this source of inspiration has shaped your values and contributed to your personal growth.

Being Concise and Specific:

Given the 250-word limit, every word in your response should contribute meaningfully to convey your thoughts. Avoid unnecessary details and get straight to the heart of your narrative. Be specific in illustrating your connection to the chosen quote and person, ensuring that your response is clear, focused, and impactful.

Proofreading and Editing:

Finally, before submitting your essay, take the time to proofread and edit. Ensure that your response is free from grammatical errors and flows smoothly. Consider seeking feedback from teachers, peers, or mentors to gain additional perspectives on the clarity and effectiveness of your essay.

Remember, this essay is a chance to showcase your authentic self and provide insights into the values that drive you. By carefully selecting a quote, sharing a personal connection, aligning with NYU’s ethos, incorporating a unique perspective, and being concise, you’ll craft a compelling response that stands out to the admissions committee.

Tips for Excelling in NYU Supplemental Essays: Unlocking Success

When venturing into the realm of NYU supplemental essays, armed with a keen understanding of the prompts and a strategic approach, success is within reach. Here are valuable tips tailored to ensure your NYU application essays stand out:

  • Embrace Prompt Analysis: Begin your journey with a thorough analysis of NYU essay prompts. Understand the underlying ethos of the university and tailor your responses to align seamlessly with their vision of peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives, and innovators.
  • Craft an Authentic Narrative: NYU values authenticity. Use your essays as a canvas to paint a genuine picture of yourself. Share personal experiences, challenges, and growth, ensuring that each narrative resonates with sincerity.
  • Choose Quotes Thoughtfully: When presented with a selection of quotes, choose one that deeply resonates with your values and experiences. Ensure that the chosen quote becomes a powerful thread weaving through your essay, connecting your story to broader themes.
  • Reflect on NYU’s Values: Your response should reflect not only who you are but also how your journey aligns with NYU’s values. Showcase your understanding of specific aspects of NYU’s community, programs, or initiatives that resonate with your narrative.
  • Be Concise and Purposeful: Given the limited word count, every sentence should serve a purpose. Be concise, ensuring that each word contributes to the overall impact of your essay. Avoid unnecessary details and get straight to the core of your narrative.
  • Leverage Storytelling Techniques: Make your essays memorable by incorporating storytelling techniques. Capture the reader’s attention with engaging narratives that illustrate your journey, challenges faced, and lessons learned. A well-told story can leave a lasting impression.
  • Utilize Diverse Influences: If provided with the option to share a quote and person not on the list, embrace diversity in your influences. Showcase a broad range of inspirations that have shaped your perspective, adding depth to your essay and highlighting the richness of your worldview.
  • Proofread and Edit Diligently: Your essays are a reflection of your commitment to quality. After crafting your response, proofread and edit diligently. Ensure clarity, correct any grammatical errors, and verify that your essay effectively communicates your message.
  • Address Optional Prompts: Seize the opportunity to address optional prompts. This demonstrates your eagerness to share more about yourself and provides additional insights into your character, experiences, or aspirations.
  • Seek Feedback: Before finalizing your essays, seek feedback from peers, teachers, or mentors. External perspectives can provide valuable insights, helping you refine your narrative and enhance the overall quality of your response.

By integrating these tips into your writing process, you embark on a journey of self-expression and resonance. Your NYU supplemental essays become a testament to your authenticity, aligning seamlessly with the university’s ethos and setting the stage for a compelling application. Good luck with your NYU 2023-24 Supplemental Essays.

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Does It Really Matter Where You Go To College? Financially, It Does

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Stanford University

High school students and their parents are nothing short of obsessed with college decisions—concerns over students’ higher education prospects prompt parents to spend thousands of dollars on private school, tutoring, private college admissions consulting, competitive summer programs, and more. Though many invest huge amounts of time, money, and energy into the process, others often wonder: Does it really matter whether your student attends an Ivy League school or a state university?

From large state schools to small liberal arts colleges, students can find research opportunities, rigorous curricula, and vibrant campus communities at a wide array of colleges. In choosing where to apply, and later, where to attend college, students should be diligent in their research and discern what kind of school will best suit them. An Ivy League school is not the right choice for every student—needless to say, many students would not thrive in such rigorous academic environments. Further, Ivy League schools’ small campus sizes, cultures and locations may not be the best fit for some students. When it comes to student satisfaction and the potential to flourish, an Ivy League may not be the best option.

However, when it comes to future earning potential and career success, where you go to college matters greatly.

First and foremost, the caliber of a student’s alma mater can impact their likelihood of securing a job after graduation. Princeton, Harvard, and Yale all rank in the top 10 in the Times Higher Education 2023-2024 Global Employability University Ranking, alongside other top schools such as MIT, CalTech, and Stanford. Not only are graduates of these schools more likely to get a job, but a report from Opportunity Insights indicated further that attending a college in the Ivy plus category rather than a highly selective public institution triples a graduate’s chances of working at a prestigious firm.

This is due in large part to the networking opportunities afforded to students at world-renowned universities. While excelling in the classroom during one’s college years is an impressive feat, few employers will look at students’ GPAs or transcripts after graduation. They will care instead about the quality of their resumes and professional experiences. Ivy League and other top schools provide networks that will follow students throughout their careers, as graduates connect with one another through organizations such as the Harvard Club of New York City.

The significance of attending a top college manifests not only in one’s likelihood of getting a job, but also their average earnings. Graduates from Ivy League schools are reported to have higher average annual earnings than their peers who graduate in the top 10% of other colleges. According to U.S. News & World Report , Ivy League graduates with approximately three years of professional experience earned a median annual salary of $86,025 in 2022, compared to graduates of other schools who earned $58,643. The gap widens as time goes on—by mid-career (20 years of experience), Ivy League grads earn $161,888 on average, compared to other graduates who average $101,777. Additionally, graduates of Ivy League and other top schools are 60% more likely to reach the top 1% of the earnings distribution. It is no surprise, then, that every Ivy League school except for Brown appears on Forbes’ 2022 list of The 11 Most Popular Colleges Among America’s Richest. University of Pennsylvania topped that list, with 17 graduates appearing on Forbes’ 400 wealthiest American rankings.

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These statistics are even more significant in light of Ivy League schools’ financial aid packages. For instance, in 2022, Princeton announced that they would offer free tuition, room, and board for most students whose families made less than $100,000 annually. Programs such as these bring the average annual cost of attending an Ivy League education down to $23,234 —less than the average cost of ranked colleges outside of the Ivy League. These financial incentives contribute to the ROI of top schools, placing Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth in the top 10 in The Princeton Review ’s ranking of best value colleges.

Ultimately, students should seek to attend a school that aligns with their goals and passions while recognizing that their college decision will have lasting effects on their career and income. Investing in the necessary support to maximize your student’s chances of admission to Ivy League and other top schools is a strategic choice—and one that could have a positive impact for years to come.

Christopher Rim

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COMMENTS

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  4. How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay

    Final tip: If you use one of NYU's provided quotes, it's not necessary to waste word count restating the whole quote in your essay. You can simply refer to it by speaker (e.g., "Ifill's quote") or speaker and few-word allusion (e.g., "Ifill's definition of good citizenship). Because this is a new prompt for NYU, we don't have an ...

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    Why Essay #2 Worked. This essay effectively articulates the applicant's intellectual curiosity and eagerness to engage with NYU's academic and community aspects. The analogy of treating the brain like a muscle and taking it to the "gym" showcases the writer's disciplined approach to intellectual growth.

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    Approach #2: The 'One Value' Strategy. The third strategy for this NYU supplemental essay question is to choose one value that relates to you and to the college and to focus on it. Find a way to discuss how the college's ethos aligns with your own values. Then, weave in specific NYU opportunities that interest you and relate to this value.

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    To offer some context for where you might stand: NYU's Fall 2020 acceptance rate was 21%. Although NYU offers one of the most flexible standardized testing policies (see NYU admission website for details), the average SAT scores are 738 for Math and 701 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. The average ACT score is 32.

  11. Why NYU? How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay (With Examples!)

    Every freshman applying to NYU will have to write the standard Common App essay. Otherwise known as your personal statement, we created an entire Common App guide so you can write the best essay. When you're applying to NYU, you'll need to write one supplemental essay. The supplemental essay has a 400-word limit and requires that you ...

  12. 2023-24 New York University Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    New York University (NYU) 2023-24 Application Essay Explanations. *Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. As soon as the 2024-25 prompts beomce available, we will be updating this guide -- stay tuned! The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words.

  13. How to Respond to the 2023-2024 NYU Supplemental Essay

    The NYU supplemental essay: The prompts. Get excited, because NYU only requires one optional supplemental essay response! Students will respond to the following statement from NYU: We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators. Choose one quote from the following and let us know why ...

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    Why NYU Essay 2023 Update. NYU has discontinued the "Why NYU" for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle. That means there won't be an NYU-specific writing supplement provided as part of the Common Application process. However, students can submit an optional 250-word response as part of NYU's additional questions section.

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  17. NYU Supplemental Essay 2023-2024

    The structure of supplemental essays, particularly for the 2023-2024 NYU supplemental essay, plays a pivotal role in conveying a clear, cohesive, and compelling narrative to the admissions committee. An effective structure ensures that the essay flows logically, making it easier for the reader to follow and understand the applicant's story ...

  18. How to Write the NYU Supplement 2022-2023

    There should be a distinct beginning, middle, and end to the story, but keep most of your focus on the action of the story, the real meat and potatoes part. We know 250 words isn't like, a whooooole lot to work with here, and your first draft will probably clock in at well over 300 words. Take your time editing and reviewing your essay, both ...

  19. NYU Essay Prompt

    New York University has released its supplemental essay prompt for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. In addition to The Common Application's Personal Statement, applicants to NYU are asked to respond to one optional 250-word supplemental essay — and it's a different one from years past.. For this supplemental essay, NYU applicants can focus their answer on one of four quotes provided ...

  20. NYU Supplemental Essays 2023-24 Prompt and Advice

    NYU 2023-24 Prompt Analysis: The NYU supplemental essay prompt is designed to reveal the qualities of applicants that align with NYU's vision of fostering peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives, and innovators. The university seeks to understand the inspiration behind your values and actions.

  21. NYU Supplemental essay : r/ApplyingToCollege

    It sounds like your post is related to essays — please check the A2C Wiki Page on Essays for a list of resources related to essay topics, tips & tricks, and editing advice. You can also go to the r/CollegeEssays subreddit for a sub focused exclusively on essays. tl;dr: A2C Essay Wiki. I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically.

  22. Nyu supplemental essay : r/ApplyingToCollege

    Nyu supplemental essay. Application Question. I had a question about the supplemental essay on the nyu application. It says to talk about a quote that inspires you. Can that quote be of someone fictional?

  23. Does It Really Matter Where You Go To College? Financially, It ...

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