How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essay

NYU has been a top choice on many students’ college lists for a while, but recently, the volume of applications the institution receives reached a new level. Last year, more than 100,000 students submitted applications, marking a new record for the college.

Consequently, it’s no surprise that gaining a seat at NYU is exceptionally competitive. To boost your admissions odds, you must ensure that each component of your application presents you in the best light possible, and that includes your NYU supplemental essays. Keep reading to learn what you can do to ensure your content sets you apart for all of the right reasons.

How to Write the Why NYU Essay

If you think you only need to worry about your personal statement, it’s time to think again. Supplemental essays matter, particularly at highly competitive colleges like NYU where students will need to do everything they can to set themselves apart.  

One of the most important questions you will need to answer as part of the NYU supplemental essay process is a version of why you’re choosing the college. Many schools ask this question because they want to gauge an applicant’s interest in attending their university and gain a better understanding of what kind of impact they might make once on campus. 

The “Why Us” essay topic is an opportunity to demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of the college to which you are applying. Rather than generic statements, make sure you tailor your arguments to NYU specifically by referencing classes you’re interested in taking, professors you wish to study with, and on-campus clubs that you’re eager to join. Avoid reusing or recycling this response for your other applications, even if you see a similar short essay prompt because you’ll want to ensure each response is as school-specific as possible.  

When it comes to writing a “Why Us” essay for NYU specifically, you’ll need to make sure your response stands out, especially since the college recently received 105,000 applications for first-year admissions. The more you research and tailor your answer to the college, the more compelling your response will be. Keep in mind that the best answers really break the question down into two parts: “Why are you applying to NYU?” and “What are you interested in studying?”. There are a few different ways that you can go about including both of these components seamlessly, including:

Approach #1: The Reason-Based Strategy

One way to tackle the NYU supplemental essay is by starting your response with a clear thesis that articulates what academic areas you’re interested in pursuing. Then, you can give a few reasons why this topic interests you and include specific details and examples to make your points. Wrap up with a forward-looking conclusion that hints at what kind of impact you’ll have on campus.

Approach #2: The ‘3-5 Unique Opportunities’ Strategy

You can also identify 3-5 opportunities that are specific to NYU and connect each one back to your long-term career and personal goals. This approach can work well at a large school like NYU, where there are plenty of unique opportunities that students can highlight.

Approach #3: The ‘One Value’ Strategy 

The third strategy for this NYU supplemental essay question is to choose one value that relates to you and to the college. Find a way to discuss how the college’s ethos aligns with your own views and weave in specific opportunities that interest you and relate to this value.

Approach #4: Mix and Match 

You can also take a hybrid approach by choosing a central theme to focus on, and then incorporating a few reasons why NYU is the best school for you to pursue this focus. Make sure to back up your argument with specific facts and examples when relevant.

How to Stand Out in Your NYU Supplemental Essays

Pinpoint Your Specific Interest

Make sure you’re writing about your interests and passions. At this point in the application process, most students are aware of how important extracurriculars are for college, but it’s worth reiterating: admissions officers will affirm prospective students who have become specialists in the topics that interest them most. When it comes to talking about your passions, don’t be shy in your NYU supplement essay.

Discuss Relevant Opportunities

Admissions officers should walk away from your essay with a belief that NYU is really the only school that will allow you to accomplish all of your long-term goals. The best way to do that is by highlighting school-specific learning and development opportunities that align with your passions and interests. Call out classes, research programs, and internships that intrigue you to make your point.

Be Comprehensive

When you’re writing the NYU supplemental essay, it’s best to go into detail. Be specific about the academic programs and opportunities that interest you and make sure you back up all of your arguments with stories and examples when relevant. 

Connect Those Details to Your Values

Admissions officers already know that NYU is a great college. Instead of reiterating that, aim to connect some of NYU’s key differentiators to your own values and interests. Explain what about the school excites you and articulate why you’re committed to attending. This is one of the best tips for supplemental essays that you can keep in mind for every college you’re applying to.

Top 3 Common Mistakes When Writing the NYU Essay

When you’re writing your NYU supplement essay, avoid making the following common mistakes:

Mistake #1: Focusing on the Basics

There’s nothing wrong with mentioning the school’s location or size, but that shouldn’t be your main reason for wanting to attend NYU. There are plenty of schools that might have similar demographics, which will make your argument less impactful. Instead, focus on specific opportunities that only NYU offers.

Mistake #2: Using Inappropriate Language

Your NYU supplemental essay should be written in your own voice. Instead of trying to sound impressive or academic, just prioritize sounding like yourself. With that being said, there’s no room for curse words or other inappropriate languages in your college admissions essays.

Mistake #3: Thinking This Is a ‘Why Them’ Only Essay

The essay question might say “Why NYU?” but the admissions office is really asking “Why should we admit you?”. Keep this in mind when you formulate your response and make sure your essay highlights the strengths and unique qualities that set you apart.

Why NYU Essay Examples

Want to see what a top-tier essay looks like? Check out the following essay example:

I’ve always been interested in numbers, profitability, and finance. Early on, I could do complex calculations quickly. After taking AP classes in economics and statistics, I became intrigued with the mathematical representation of economic markets, sparking my desire to pursue a career in that field. While I was most interested in becoming an actuary, few schools offered a comprehensive study in that field, which is part of what makes NYU Stern the perfect fit for me, as the curriculum combines my interests and career goals. 

If admitted, I will have the privilege of studying actuarial science, while earning a business degree. Through the intense rigor of the concentration requirements “Introduction to Stochastic Processes” and “Statistical inference and Regression Analysis”, I will be given a stepping stone into quantifying social situations while stimulating my mathematical intrigue through advanced fields like stochastic calculus. I am eager to pursue this course of study to enhance my career development. 

The Bachelor of Science in Business Program excites me, as it entails a well-rounded yet intensive study in core business disciplines. However, what draws me to Stern is the emphasis on gaining a global perspective, which is crucial in today’s rapidly changing economy. Through the International Business Exchange Program, I will be able to gain a first-hand cultural experience that will mold me into a global citizen and business leader.

How IvyWise Can Help You With Your NYU Supplemental Application Essay?

Every student can benefit from college admissions assistance, especially if your goal is to gain admission to a school as competitive as NYU. If you’re interested in learning more about how to take your NYU supplement application essay to the next level, our team is here to help.

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