Pinpoint Your Specific Interest
There are many generic answers to this question. “I love New York City” and “NYU is such a good school” fall into this category. We highly recommend staying away from these stale answers, but if you do reference them, make sure they reflect on your personal interests.
For example, if your desire to live in NYC is predicated on its prominence in the fashion world, tell the admissions officer that. However, saying you “want to hang out in Times Square” with no other explanation isn’t good; after all, you could just vacation in New York City sometime! By addressing this correctly, not only will you be communicating how NYU is a great fit for you, but you’ll also be showing off one of your interests.
Keep in mind that a majority of essays will reference NYC in a significant way, so it might be advantageous to take a different approach to this question. NYU is famous for its study-abroad program; over 3,000 undergraduates take advantage of this opportunity every year!
By studying abroad in places like Abu Dhabi or Shanghai, you could have a truly cosmopolitan experience as an undergraduate at NYU. You could write about how you would hope NYC is only one part of the broader cultural experience you hope to have, giving your application an interesting twist that most other applicants might not be focusing on.
By pinpointing your interest in NYU, whether it is broad or very specific, you will be able to establish the foundation of your response.
If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.
The acceptance rate at NYU is 35%. For every 100 applicants, 35 are admitted.
This means the school is very selective. If you meet NYU's requirements for GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and other components of the application, you have a great shot at getting in. But if you fall short on GPA or your SAT/ACT scores, you'll have a very low chance of being admitted, even if you meet the other admissions requirements.
Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.
The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.
The average GPA at NYU is 3.7.
(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.
With a GPA of 3.7, NYU requires you to be above average in your high school class. You'll need at least a mix of A's and B's, with more A's than B's. You can compensate for a lower GPA with harder classes, like AP or IB classes. This will show that you're able to handle more difficult academics than the average high school student.
If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.7, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.
Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.
You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to NYU. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.
NYU SAT Requirements
Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.
Average SAT: 1410 (Old: 2016)
The average SAT score composite at NYU is a 1410 on the 1600 SAT scale.
On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 2016.
This score makes NYU Strongly Competitive for SAT test scores.
NYU SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)
The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1320, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1500. In other words, a 1320 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1500 will move you up to above average.
NYU's high exam standards can be as imposing as Manhattan's iconic skyscrapers. We'll help you rise to the occasion with our professionals' advice for tutoring in Manhattan.
Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
NYU SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)
The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1860, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 2170. In other words, a 1860 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 2170 puts you well above average.
Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
SAT Score Choice Policy
The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.
NYU has the Score Choice policy of "Contact School."
This means that the school wants you to contact them to learn more about their Score Choice policies. Keep reading - we may have extra notes about this from our own expert research.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
NYU ACT Requirements
Just like for the SAT, NYU likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.
Average ACT: 30
The average ACT score at NYU is 30. This score makes NYU Strongly Competitive for ACT scores.
The 25th percentile ACT score is 28, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 32.
Even though NYU likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 28 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 30 and above that a 28 will look academically weak.
ACT Score Sending Policy
If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.
Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.
This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 32 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.
ACT Superscore Policy
By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.
However, from our research, NYU is understood to superscore the ACT. We couldn't confirm it directly from the school's admissions website, but multiple sources confirm that the school does superscore the ACT. We recommend you call their admissions office directly for more information.
Superscoring is powerful to your testing strategy, and you need to make sure you plan your testing accordingly. Of all the scores that NYU receives, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all ACT test dates you submit.
Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.
For example, say you submit the following 4 test scores:
Even though the highest ACT composite you scored on any one test date was 20, NYU will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 20 to 32 in this example.
This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and NYU forms your Superscore, you can take the ACT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.
Therefore, if your ACT score is currently below a 32, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the ACT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.
Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the ACT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements
Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.
NYU requires you to take the SAT/ACT Writing section. They'll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.
SAT Subject Test Requirements
Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.
NYU requires SAT Subject Tests if you're submitting an SAT score, not an ACT score. If you submit an ACT score with Writing, you do not need SAT subject tests.
Typically, your SAT/ACT and GPA are far more heavily weighed than your SAT Subject Tests. If you have the choice between improving your SAT/ACT score or your SAT Subject Test scores, definitely choose to improve your SAT/ACT score.
Our Expert's Notes
We did more detailed research into this school and found the following information.
NYU has an interesting flexible testing requirement. They offer the following equivalent options for testing, of which you only need ONE:
- The SAT Reasoning Test; or
- The ACT with Writing Test; or
- Three SAT Subject Test scores; or
- Three AP exam scores; or
- The International Baccalaureate Diploma; or
- Three IB higher-level exam scores (if you are not an IB Diploma candidate)
Because NYU is a competitive school, and they still use these test scores to compare you to other applicants, we recommend you still take the SAT or ACT. However, in the case that your SAT/ACT score is dramatically worse than the other options, you can submit those in lieu of the SAT/ACT.
If you're submitting only SAT Subject Test, AP, or IB scores, not ethere are extra restrictions. You must submit:
- One literature or humanities score;
- One math or science score;
- And a score from one test of the student's choice in any subject.
For applicants to the Stern School of Business, one of the exams above must be in mathematics. For applicants to the Polytechnic School of Engineering, the exams above must include: one literature or humanities score; one math score; and one science score.