Aug 18

Get Into NYU: Admissions Highlight

NYU is known for its top-notch academics and global perspective. The 29,000+ undergraduates in Greenwich Village have the largest proportion of international students of any university in the United States, and the highest proportion of students who choose to study abroad as a part of their college experience. It is understandable why applications to NYU increased by 300 percent between 1991 and 2000 while the acceptance rate fell from 65 to 29 percent. Given that NYU is currently one of the most selective colleges in the country, the acceptance rate for the Class of 2026 fell to an all-time low of 12.2 percent. It’s no secret that applying to NYU is harder now more than ever, and it’ll only get harder.

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Topics covered in this article:

  • NYU’s Class of 2026 acceptance rate
  • ED acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, GPA and class rank of accepted NYU applicants
  • Admissions trends from the Class of 2026
  • The demographics of current NYU undergraduates
  • Yield rate
  • How NYU’s admissions officers evaluate candidates
  • Tips for applying to NYU
  • How to approach the NYU supplemental essay
  • How to assess whether applying to NYU is even worth the $80 application fee (for you)

Let’s start by looking at the most recent admittance information.

Class of 2026 acceptance rate at NYU

Just 12.2 percent of the more than 105,000 applications received by NYU for its 2022–23 freshmen class were accepted, a record low for the institution. 31 percent of all candidates were admitted in 2015, compared to just 35 percent in 2013.

Less than 10% of applications were accepted by these NYU divisions for the Class of 2026:

  • College of Arts and Sciences: 7%
  • Stern School of Business: 7%
  • Rory Meyers College of Nursing: 3%


Acceptance Rate for Early Decisions at NYU

The most recent data indicates that applicants who apply ED have an acceptance rate that is around twice that of applicants who apply in the regular round, despite the fact that the university is highly secretive about ED I and ED II acceptance rates.

SAT, ACT, GPA, and Class Rank for the 2025 Class

The median SAT score of students selected for the Class of 2025 was 1540.. The Class of 2024’s enrolled students have mid-range SAT scores of 1390 to 1510 and ACT scores in the 31 to 34 range. For incoming freshmen, the unweighted average GPA was 3.71, of which 14% received a perfect 4.0. Most NYU graduates were among the top 10 percent of their graduating classes.

Notes & Trends in Admissions (Class of 2026)
  • For the cycle 2022–2023, NYU’s test-optional admissions policy has been extended.
  • Of the applicants who were chosen, 66% identify as students of color.
  • First-generation students made up 19.4% of those accepted to enroll in the freshman class of 2021–2022.
  • 107 nations and all 50 states in the United States offered spots in the Class of 2026 to applicants.
  • The median SAT score of a student who was admitted (as opposed to one who was enrolled) was 1550, setting a school record.


Let’s examine the demographics of NYU’s first-year students:

Students accepted into the Class of 2025 came from the following geographic areas:

  • All 50 US states were represented.
  • Freshmen came from a total of 102 different countries.

The states that send the most undergrads to NYU are as follows:

  1. New York City
  2. California
  3. New Jersey
  4. Florida
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Texas
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Connecticut
  9. Illinois
  10. Maryland

As with many prestigious universities, applicants from less populous, more rural parts of the nation (such as Wyoming, South Dakota, or Idaho) have a better chance of getting accepted.

In terms of ethnic identification, the students admitted to the Class of 2023 (the most recent data available) were distributed as follows:

  • Asian American: 19%
  • Hispanic: 19%
  • African American: 9%
  • International: 24%
  • Caucasian: 20%
  • Other: 9%

There are significantly more women than men among all current undergraduate students, according to the gender breakdown:

  • Male: 42%
  • Female: 58%

Following is a breakdown of current college students by high school type:

  • Public: 59%
  • Private: 18%
  • Outside of U.S.: 13%
  • Parochial: 9%
Yield Rate

The yield rate at NYU, or the proportion of accepted students who choose to enroll, as a percentage of all admitted students, was 40% in the previous academic year. For instance, universities like Stanford and Harvard had yield rates of over 80%, while the University of Chicago, MIT, and Yale all had yield rates of at least 70%. In terms of performance, NYU came in behind universities like Vanderbilt (40%) Rice (44%), and Carnegie Mellon (45%). (37%).

Application Evaluation by NYU

Five elements are “extremely crucial” to NYU’s admissions procedure, according to the university: 1) The level of academic rigor in secondary school, 2) Class rank, 3) GPA, 4) Test scores, and 5) Talent/Ability. Application essays, recommendations, extracurricular activities, and character/personal traits round out the list of four factors considered “essential.” Interviews, first-generation status, legacy status, place of residence, race/ethnicity, volunteer experience, employment experience, and level of interest are only “considered” by NYU.

As for what NYU is looking for in its future students, the admissions office states that “NYU students are future Oscar winners, budding entrepreneurs, and ground-breaking scientists.” Fear not, if you aren’t destined for fame—NYU wants to create a class that is genuinely diverse and has a wide range of abilities and experiences. In their own words: “There are no formulas to making admissions decisions; NYU seeks a mix of students who have a variety of interests, talents, and goals.”

Application Advice for NYU

If you want to be one of the 105,000+ applicants to NYU in the upcoming admissions cycle, you need to be aware of the following:

  • For applicants to the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU solely conducts interviews. These face-to-face interviews take place in New York. 
  • Since NYU does take into account “demonstrated interest,” it is crucial to get in touch with the admissions office, connect on social media, and (if COVID-19 is no longer a concern) visit campus or speak with NYU representatives at local college fairs.
  • Make sure you spend enough time and effort on the additional essay that NYU requires. There was just one prompt in the 2021–22 cycle, but it’s a crucial one!
The detailed essay question is as follows:

Your interest in NYU would be of interest to us. Why did you decide to apply to NYU? Why did you apply to or show interest in the campus, school, college, program, or field of study that you did? Please explain why you are interested in these additional campuses or fields of study if you have applied to more than one. We’re curious as to why NYU. (400 maximum words)

Doing your research on the college within NYU University to which you are applying is crucial to writing this 400-word essay. In essence, it is asking, “Why NYU?” One NYU admissions representative offered the following piece of advice for the additional essay:

“We’re looking for personal, academic, and university fit. NYU is an incredibly diverse/huge/global/intimate/unique/complex place, and we don’t expect you to know every single thing about it! Even our admissions counselors (and some of us, alums!) don’t pretend to be all-knowing wizards of the university. When we review your applications, we’re looking not only for academically-prepared students, but those who will take advantage of the plethora of opportunities NYU provides at any of our three degree-granting campuses.”

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