Nyu College Essays

The Early Decision I Deadline has passed and Early Decision II and Regular Decision are quickly approaching.

One question that I always got at my high school visits from students was some variation of “How do I show I’m interested in NYU?” or “What do you look for in my essays and application?”

And like I’ve told all my Texan students, I’m telling the NYU blogosphere this:

“Fit.”

We’re looking for personal and academic fit. NYU is an incredibly diverse/huge/worldly/intimate/unique/complex place, and we don’t expect you to know every single thing about it! Even we admissions counselors (and some of us, alums!) don’t pretend to be all-knowing wizards of the university. When we review your applications, we’re looking not only for academically-prepared students, but those who will take advantage of the plethora of opportunities NYU provides.

You’ve seen our brochures and materials and subscribed to the mailing list. You’ve looked through our list of majors and campuses and found the right curriculum for your future career. You’ve followed us on all the social media platforms. You’ve probably taken selfies with us while we were in your city. You may have even visited campus and seen an actual residence hall room!

….and?

What have you learned from this research, about the university and about yourself? Why do you see yourself thriving and excelling here–at NYU–rather than at any other institution? What is it about NYU’s _____ that makes it THE university you want to graduate from?

In short, “Why NYU?”

It’s a simple-yet-intricate question, and we hope for simple-yet-intricate answers in your essays. It should be a well-struck balance of discussing your goals and NYU’s resources that will help you achieve them. Show us your personality, and then tell us how it fits at and within NYU. Tell us what you want to study, and explain why NYU’s program is the best for you to do so. Don’t know what you want to major in? Then elaborate on why you want to explore your academic options here.

As an NYU alum and member of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, I love reading this portion of students’ applications and save it for the last part of my review. Because we don’t offer interviews for our admissions process, the essay is a window into your life and who you are. I enjoy reading the essays and trying to imagine if this applicant would be the sort of person my student-self would meet in class, in my residence halls, at campus activities.

Remember there’s no specific formula to writing your “Why NYU?” essay. We want to get to know you and envision how you’d add to the NYU community, so it’s up to you how you want to portray that in your writing. I advise you to, before you hit submit, to reflect on your essay and ask yourself, “Does this demonstrate my fit for NYU?”

And before I go, here are a few quick tips:

DO show me you’ve researched NYU.

DON’T feel you need to quote Taylor Swift/Frank Sinatra/E.B. White/insert-famous-NYC-artist-here. Fill your word limit with your own words!

DO be specific about your interest in NYU, but…

DON’T be TOO specific (you really don’t need to tell us how excited you are to take UB-45972, Section 6 at 11:00am on Mondays with Professor Slughorn at KMEC, room 436…).

And DO please, please, please: keep it under 400 words. No exceptions.

Good luck with the final touches on your applications!

The Requirements: One prompt. 400 words.

Supplemental Essay Type(s):Why

New York University (NYU) 2017-18 Application Essay Explanations

Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to witness an optical illusion. The lengthy paragraph below comprises one (1), and only one (1) college essay prompt. While the read may be a bit of a slog, you’re also in luck because this prompt is the one (1) and only supplemental essay NYU hopefuls are expected to write! Laying out the requirements for a 400-word personal statement, the prompt itself clocks in at nearly a quarter of that length. Knowing that your application time is precious, NYU must have had some reason to pen a prompt of this size, so it’s important to note each specific requirement and every minute detail that could give you some inkling as to how to tell your own story. Let’s break it down.

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 campus, school, college, program, and/or area of study? 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. You may be focused or undecided, or simply open to the options within NYU’s global network; regardless, we want to understand – Why NYU? (400 word maximum)

This meandering paragraph asks the most straightforward supplemental question you’ll find: Why here? But before you let the words, “Why wouldn’t I want to spend the next four years of my life in the greatest city in the world?” cross your lips, take a closer look. In addition to offering your unique take on why an NYU education is right for you, you’ll also need to make sure your answer ticks off a few specific boxes. Firstly, NYU wants a drill down of your reasoning from your campus selection all the way to your specific program of choice. The question isn’t just “Why NYU,” but “Why do YOU want to study this topic at this time in this geographical context via NYU?” And, of course, if you’ve applied to more than one campus, you’ll want to explain how each location can meet your needs in ways that are both unique and somehow equivalent. You wouldn’t apply to Abu Dhabi if Paris was the only place for you, right? The nice thing about being able to focus on geography is that you don’t have to have a fully fleshed out plan for your major; instead, you can focus on the experiential and cultural elements that will feed into your education. How will living in New York or abroad affect you as a person? As a student? How will you grow?

Your answer should be personal to you and, if possible, surprising. Remember that while you have a free reign to gush about how much you want to live in New York, New York, a lot of your potential peers probably feel the same way. So, try not to focus on what you’d like to do or see. Instead, explain what your desire to move from your hometown to New York says about you. Whether you’re trying to be courageous by leaving your small homogenous town or hoping to stay close to your family in Brooklyn, what is your personal reason? And don’t forget that you’re still writing about a school! Is there a professor in your department who has done research you admire that you hope to work with? Is there a program that combines your unique interests that is not offered at any other school? Get specific, but don’t worry about being comprehensive. You’ve only got 400 words, after all!

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