As the excitement from the acceptances of last application cycle settles, the anxiety and eagerness of the next class of applicants begins to rise. Rising seniors are increasingly interested to find out what colleges and universities are out there, and what they want to pursue in higher education. For those who want to attend a city school, New York University will, without a doubt, be a consideration. With 6,000 students in each class and the endless opportunities that New York City has to offer, NYU is one of the most attractive universities out there. Take a look at the following essay intros from NYU students on AdmitSee:
Class of 2019
What can I offer NYU? One of NYU’s prominent features is its active involvement in underprivileged areas. So why should a “forprofit” ideal contradict the concept of helping the poor? As a future freshman here, I will combine NYU’s culture of community service and its strong business background to fuel our students’ entrepreneurial endeavors. View full profile.
Class of 2020
I stared at my polished railing as the photons danced in the humid air allowing me to perceive reality. I could taste salt water in my crimson lips as I stared into what I thought was oblivion. I snapped out of my depressive trance and wiped away my tears. I couldn’t be weak, not now. Moving back to Bangladesh was, in the eyes of a 12 year old, a curse. Keep reading.
Class of 2019
I waited patiently outside of the men’s bathroom. My 6-year-old brother insisted on venturing in by himself. Reluctantly, I left him go, but I was worried. In reality, only five minutes had passed, but to me, it seemed like an eternity. Five minutes turned to six, and my heart sank as I heard him screaming frantically from within. My fears had been realized; my brother was in trouble again. Without hesitation, I rushed into the bathroom to find my brother crying at the top of his lungs. Continue reading.
Class of 2019
Memories of exciting battles like these are safely snuggled away in the pages of some of my most beloved books, and in their fantastic, otherworldly settings I have become the confident girl I am today. When I was younger, I seriously struggled with self-acceptance. Watching movies like Mean Girls or The Breakfast Club, I could never pick out people who looked like me. Leading ladies were gorgeous and delicate, not tall and awkward with afros that struck fear into the hearts of passersby. Insecure, I skulked into high school, the proverbial black sheep amongst ravenous coyotes and mama bears. See full profile.
Class of 2019
This was all very different to me. It wasn’t the fact that I was on a plane. I had flown many times before. It wasn’t the fact that I was flying to Europe. I had done that two years ago when my family returned to Moscow with my adopted sister. This time, it had to do with me. I was sitting next to an old English man with ruddy skin that glared my direction every time the cabin jostled and I accidentally bumped him. I was flying by myself to go somewhere I had never been before. I was flying to London. View full profile.
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About The Author
Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.
New York University Application Essay 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 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 is a relatively dense prompt in terms of length, and some students may balk at the block of text and not know where to begin. So first, let’s take a look at what the prompt is really asking before we go over strategies for responding to it.
Based on the first sentence, it may appear that this is just a general “Why X University?” essay. We’ve talked about these kinds of essays in some of our other Essay Breakdown posts, and these types of short answers tend to be relatively straightforward. However, in the very next sentence, we realize that this isn’t just another “Why X University?” essay — it’s also a “Why this major?” essay.
Not only does NYU want to know why you want to attend their school specifically, but they also want to hear about what you will be studying — and why you want to study it. We can paraphrase the prompt like this: Why do you want to go to New York University, and why do you want to study your chosen field here?
Now that we understand exactly what the prompt is getting at, we can start to think about how to answer it. You are essentially being asked to address two separate topics: major choice (or lack thereof, if you are undecided) and interest in New York University. What is important is that you connect these two pieces together in a cohesive manner, and leave admissions officers convinced that you deserve to study your given field at their university.
With regards to expressing your interest in New York University, there are some topics that we would caution you against emphasizing. For instance, the “Why NYU?” portion of your essay should not simply be focused on its location.
Out of the 60,000-something applicants, you can bet that a significant portion will be discussing New York City and the many opportunities therein extensively in their essays, and admissions officers have read it all before. This is simply far too generic an answer to be truly effective, so if you do choose to cite New York City as one of the reasons you’d like to attend NYU, be wary of making it the focus of your essay and strategize ways to approach this topic from an angle that is utterly unique to you.
Continuing with the theme of uniqueness, this short answer should also be wholly unique to NYU. In other words, if the reasons you are citing for wanting to attend could apply to any number of universities — for instance, if you’re citing “fantastic research opportunities”, “incredibly successful alumni”, or “a diverse study body” — then your essay simply isn’t specific enough and is unlikely to impress admissions officers. You need to do your due diligence and thoroughly research the university and all it has to offer, and use this research to cite specific, concrete, and directed reasons why it (and exclusively it, for the purposes of this essay) is somewhere you’d like to be.
With regards to the “Why this major?” portion of the essay, specifics are also important. Your answer to this segment of the prompt needs to be grounded in personal details that convey a deep passion for a given area of study. Bring in past experiences, quirky anecdotes, and other engaging material to help admissions officers not only understand your academic aspirations, but also get to know you better.
You should also try to connect your current academic goals to your past experiences and accomplishments. It is extremely helpful if you can weave in your college aspirations with your current high school academic profile.
You can do this by citing significant extracurricular activities you’ve participated in, awards you’ve received, or even classes you’ve taken, and showing how these relate to whatever you wish to pursue once you are a university student. In doing so, you not only convey demonstrated interest in your chosen field but also construct a lens through which admissions officers can view your overall application through.
One final thing to think about is making sure that both elements of your essay are seamlessly woven together to create a cohesive narrative. One of the simplest ways to do so is to transition from “Why X University?” to “Why this major?” by demonstrating how NYU’s program in your intended field is a great fit for you, and how this is one of the many reasons why you would like to attend the university.
As always, while writing this transition, make sure that you conduct a significant amount of research into the school’s offerings in that field so that you can include specific, directed details. This will demonstrate not only that you’re passionate about your potential area of study, but also that you’re passionate about New York University.
With this in mind, you’re well on your way to writing a winning essay for your NYU application. We at CollegeVine wish you the best of luck!