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How to get into NYU

Updated on May 19, 2010
Washington Square (The Heart of NYU)
Washington Square (The Heart of NYU)

NYU Admissions

If you're thinking about college admissions, then you've come to the right place. This article discusses the most effective way to go about gaining admission to an institution such as NYU. You can of course use some of this knowledge for any university (especially large, urban ones), but I can only speak on own behalf as a former student at NYU.

First of all, know that undergraduate college admissions is one of those things that is hard to predict, and there are many factors (some unpredictable) that will ultimately impact where you get in and where you don't. In the case of the "most competitive" schools (as classified by US World News and Report), its hard to know what to expect, unless you're perfect in every which imaginable way - most of us aren't.

So what does it take? Although it depends on the overall package that a student presents in his/her application, there are a few baseline requirements that NYU and most competitive schools look for. If you don't meet these baseline requirements, there's a good chance you'll be wait-listed or rejected. However, it's often possible to make up for not meeting a certain requirement by excelling in another area.

Baseline Requirements:

-3.2 GPA

-1200 Combined SAT Math/Verbal (1800 with Writing)

-A couple extracurriculars

-Well thought-out Essays

Again, these are the baseline, which means you have a significantly lower chance of gaining admission if you don't any one of these requirements. It does not mean you will get in with these stats. In fact, these are usually on the order of one standard deviation from the mean. What does that mean? It means that instead of a 1200 on your math/verbal SAT score, you should probably get around 1350-1400 to have a good shot. You should probably have around a 3.6 as well. Again, it's easy to make up for any of these as long as you meet the baseline and can distinguish yourself in another category. I have had friends who were in the lower 3s for GPA, but had a 1500 Math/Verbal, who gained acceptance. However, anything lower than 3 probably would not have been acceptable even with a 1500. One thing to note, is that even a few years into the establishment of the writing section, most schools largely continue to see that portion as somewhat less important than the other sections, so it's not a big deal if you don't do well on that section. However, the flip side is that even if you don't do well on the writing section, you will still need to prove yourself on the admissions essays/responses. Although NYU and a few other schools have reasonably short essay responses, you should not take this responsibility lightly. A short essay is usually harder to write than a longer essay. The idea is to write a longer version first, which you must then distill and shorten until it meets the character requirements (which may be a reasonably arduous task).

However, at the very end, it will all be worth it. NYU may not be the best academic experience in the world, but then again college is not all about academics. It's a time to gain worldly experience, to try new things, to make lifelong connections and probably the most important thing of all, learn how to overcome stressful situations. Now, in my humble opinion, if you can learn how to get things done efficiently under pressure, you can just about do anything in the world (get any job and do it well). And let me tell you, NYU, an accurate microcosm of manhattan, is probably one of the best places to learn this skill. Visit the nyu homepage at Best of luck in your admissions journey!


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