Getting into New York University (NYU) has been your dream for years.
Now, it’s finally time for you to apply to the school of your dreams.
Knowing NYU has an extremely low acceptance rate, you might have asked yourself, “What can I do to improve my chances of actually getting into NYU?”
Because New York University is so very selective about choosing students (they project a 15% acceptance rate for the incoming freshmen class), NYU is one of the hardest schools in the U.S. to get into and obviously, one of the more competitive ones in the country.
That said, you need to impress NYU admissions officers… and here are some of the areas you need to work on [and perfect].
So what’s the working formula, you ask?
Do your research and prepare (or pay someone that already did the research and can help you prepare in a tactical and strategic way).
Different Colleges and Programs
As you know, NYU’s New York City campus provides you with many different colleges and programs to choose from.
Step one is, of course, choosing the college/program you want and doing your research on that one.
FYI, New York University’s requirements vary [sometimes greatly] depending on the college or program you’re interested in getting into.
Speaking of the schools, NYU has a bunch of programs.
The following is a listing of New York University schools and NYU programs:
- 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
- The College of Arts and Sciences
- Tisch School of Arts
People will tell you there are exceptions, and there are, but these are few and far inbetween so if you want the best chances of getting in, you should have a GPA of 3.6 or better to get into NYU.
Your overall high school grades should be a B+ but as you probably guessed, A’s will make you stand out more and make you more competitive next to the many, many students applying for the same spot.
A lot of high schoolers ask me if taking “easier” classes in high school is a good way to guarantee higher grades.
My advice is almost always, don’t do it, however, every situation is different so when picking your high school classes, be strategic and don’t select classes just because they’re easy because doing well in advanced classes speaks volumes to admissions directors looking at your academic transcript.
Also remember, you need more than a high GPA to get into NYU.
You also need to do relatively well in your testing and have good SAT / ACT scores.
The average SAT score at the time of this writing for students accepted into New York University is in the 1350 and 1530 range.
To put it differently, you need to rank in the top 11% of SAT takers to increase your chances of getting accepted to NYU.
All that said, some students have in fact been accepted to NYU with SAT scores in the mid-1200s, but you should know while not impossible, it’s pretty uncommon.
Random stat… NYU ranks 9th in the state of New York as the school with the highest average SAT score.
NYU typically accepts students with an ACT score of at least 29.
Put another way, most students that get into New York University have ACT scores in the top 9% in the country.
If all this seems impossible to you, don’t worry because NYU has been known to accept students with ACT scores as low as 26!
However, if your ACT score is 32 you’ll be in the upper tier of applicants and more likely to get accepted into NYU.
If your ACT score is a 34 or higher, you have the greatest chance of getting accepted at NYU (statistically speaking).
Partake in Extracurricular Activities
New York University’s colleges are extremely specialized.
This means your extracurricular activities should reflect the school you want to attend.
For instance, if you want to get into NYU’s Stern School of Business, your extracurricular activities should show how you’ve grown as a business leader in your community.
Btw, Stern School of Business is arguably the most prestigious undergraduate school for business in the United States (and some would say the world).
Because of that, we can understand why The Stern School of Business expects applicants to have assumed leadership roles both in and out of their high school.
Pro Tip: If you started/created a business while in high school, you’ll be much more competitive than others who haven’t.
Regardless of the NYU college, you choose — arts, writing, engineering, film, or art — your extracurricular activities should reflect your passion(s).
You need to convey to the admissions officers that you’re a great candidate both in and outside, of your high school.
Also, be sure to actively involve yourself in diverse activities within your interests to separate yourself from the many other applicants and distinguish yourself as a leader in your space.
Share Your Story with a Personal Statement
Often overlooked, a great personal statement allows you to elaborate on your personality.
It’s the easiest (and as I stated above, one of the most overlooked) ways to let NYU admissions officers know the type of person you are and your perspective on things.
As you may already know, New York University requires you to write a 650-word essay.
Your focus here should be explaining what makes you unique from other applicants and how that, and other interests, could only blossom at NYU.
If you’re applying to one of the specialized New York University colleges, you can discuss your love/passion for your chosen program.
A common error I see all the time is personal statements focusing way too much on academic performance and not enough on what makes you, YOU!
That said, things that stand out in your academic background should be mentioned as that is part of your uniqueness.
Take Advantage of the Supplemental Essay Question
Another Pro Tip: The supplement essay question can be a great help in cementing your acceptance into NYU.
Through the supplemental essay question, you can show the university’s admissions officers that you’re an excellent candidate for New York University.
For NYU, you’ll have to answer the supplemental essay question in 400 words.
Example prompts include:
- The reason you want to go to NYU
- Your motivation to apply to NYU
- Why the interest in a particular New York University school / campus / program / college / area of study / etc.
Admissions officers want to know why you applied to NYU and why you chose the school you chose, why you selected the major you selected, and why you picked the campus you picked.
Consider dividing your answers by describing what makes you happy to attend a college in NYC.
However, don’t focus on location too much as your main goal should be explaining in detail why the actual university (NYU) is the best university for you to pursue your goals and interests.
Remember, you’re generally covering academics in your answers and talking about prospective student organizations and clubs at NYU.
HUGE Tip: Take the time to review New York University’s website and research and study your campus and program of choice.
Additionally, speak to NYU alumni or reps.
They can help you with the college application process and give you valuable admissions tips about how to get into NYU.
Mrs College Counselor is an independent private high school counselor with more than a decade of experience guiding high schoolers wanting to get into NYU and other highly competitive colleges in the U.S.