How to Increase Your Chances of Getting into NYU With These 5 Strategies

Monday, December 04, 2023
Increase Chances Getting Into Nyu

New York University (NYU) is a highly competitive university students worldwide hope to attend. If you plan to apply to NYU, you have likely looked into their acceptance rate and seen that it's relatively low, at just 8% for the 2023 applicant pool.

Don't let that low number scare you, though - that means 8 out of every 100 applicants get in, and you could be one of them! If NYU is your dream school, you can prepare to be a stand-out applicant and have a great shot at getting in.

So, is NYU hard to get into? Yes, but that shouldn't stop you from putting your best foot forward.

1. Familiarize yourself with NYU’s statistics

Before you apply to any college or university, you should get to know essential facts about the campus, its population, and the expectations admissions officers have of prospective students. Not only will knowing this information confirm your desire to attend the school of your choice, but it will also help you specify why you are passionate about the school in your application.

Some NYU facts incoming undergraduates might be interested in, for example, include:

  • NYU has the highest number of international students and sends the most students abroad of any university in the United States.

  • NYU New York City’s student-to-faculty ratio is only 9:1.

  • Over half of the students in last year’s first-year class at NYU came from public high schools.

  • Since 2012, nearly 20% of NYU students are the first in their family to attend college.

  • Ninety-four percent of first-year NYU students return for their sophomore year.

Students interested in attending NYU might be particularly inspired by the diversity on campus based on these facts and suggest as much in their application.

Meanwhile, if you’re hoping to be accepted to NYU, you must also be aware of the admissions statistics and requirements, as you should work hard to ensure your scores and GPA are competitive with other applicants.

Average Test Scores

Of course, applying to nearly any college or university requires submitting your standardized test scores. These scores aren't the only thing that matters, but they can give you a good sense of how you stack up against other applicants, especially somewhere as competitive as NYU.

The SAT score range for the middle 50% of NYU students is 1350 to 1530 for the combined score on the 1600 scale. For ACT scores, the mid-50 % range is 31 to 35.

If you’ve already taken the SAT and/or ACT, you can improve your scores by retaking the tests. Even if you think you can get a higher score on one portion of the SAT, having a more competitive application might be worth it. Remember that you can also take the SAT and ACT and submit only the test you score better on.

Average GPA

Knowing the average GPA at your dream university will prepare you for how much you’ll need to raise your grades before you apply. Or, you know how you compete with the students attending that school.

The NYU average GPA at NYU is 3.7. If you know you won’t be able to raise your GPA to meet the average. In that case, you still have other ways to impress NYU’s admissions officers - but taking advanced-level classes and performing well can be important if possible.

2. Highlight your unique experiences beyond academics

Though your academic scores and GPA are important, they do not tell the entire story of a prospective student. Like most other colleges and universities, NYU will look at more than just academic scores when considering your application.

NYU’s admissions officers will also want to learn about your unique experiences in leadership, volunteering, teamwork, etc. if you have any specific talents, hobbies, or passions highlighted in your application.

You don’t need to have done everything to be a competitive applicant, but demonstrating you have a passion you’ve invested in over time will help you stand out. One or two activities you've been committed to for multiple years will typically show better than participating in every possible move, especially if you can cite awards or honors. 

The goal here is not just to show that you are an accomplished high school student but will contribute positively to the NYU campus and be an asset to the student body.

College Student Having a Picnic in New York

3. Collect strong letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation can be a great way to show NYU that you would be a good choice for their school, in someone else's words. Teachers, coaches, and counselors can all talk about your dedication, intelligence, and personality from a unique perspective that admissions officers will value. 

But choose carefully. People you know to be strong writers will likely write you the best recommendation letters. In addition, people who know you well and have seen your skills in action will be the perfect options for your recommendation letter authors.

Be polite when asking for letters of recommendation from previous teachers, employers, or adults you trust (who are non-family members) and tell them you are applying to NYU. It can also be helpful to ask far before the deadline, as they are likely being asked to write letters for other students with similar timelines.

4. Write a compelling personal statement that showcases you

For almost every application, you'll be required to write a personal statement of an essay. This is a fantastic chance to show the admissions office precisely who you are, what you can bring to NYU, and that you are a skilled writer. Be sure that what you write is authentic as well as compelling. 

Search for tips on writing personal statements in books like College Admission: How to Get Into Your Dream School--Real Students, Real Stories, in which author James W. Lewis interviews Brad Schiller from PROMPT, a service that helps students through the essay writing process. 

Though Schiller notes that compelling essays often discuss a time of personal growth or a student’s specific passion, you are usually an essential element of a competitive personal statement. Write about who you are, not who you think you should be, and give admissions officers a sense of who you will become because of your experiences at their school.

Take this opportunity to share in writing your specific reasons for hoping to attend NYU, much like some of the students’ whose NYU application essays are included in Lewis’s book. In their essays, the students share why NYU is a perfect fit for them and why they are an ideal fit for NYU. With compelling stories and details behind them, these essays become one of your ways to get into NYU.

Lewis’s book has an example NYU essay on page 88, and you can also visit NSHSS’s website for more essay-writing tips and advice.

5. Apply to other schools you love

Lewis’s book also features stories of real students. Lauryn Darden, for example, who was accepted to NYU, says about the application process:

“It was important to me that I loved each school on my list. No matter where I ended up, there would be no disappointment. I knew rejection was possible during this process. However, I also know I wouldn’t end up anywhere I wasn’t meant to be.”

Lauryn’s story offers some sage advice. If NYU is your first choice, make that clear in your application. However, apply only to schools that you love, no matter how prestigious they are. That way, you will be happy no matter the outcome and end up on a campus that is right for you and your future.