nyu essay examples

The following essay examples were written by authors who were admitted to New York University and are intended to provide examples of successful NYU application essays. All names have been redacted for anonymity. Please note that other CollegeAdvisor.com has shared these essays with admissions officers at NYU in order to deter potential plagiarism.

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We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. What motivated you to apply to NYU? Why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. We want to understand – Why NYU? (400 word maximum)


I always had a keen interest in numbers, probability, and finance. Early on, I could run numbers quickly: calculating sales tax, analyzing probabilities, and visualizing complex mathematical models in my head. After taking AP classes in economics and statistics, I became intrigued with the mathematical representations of economic markets and statistical models, sparking my desire to pursue a career in that field. I set my sights on becoming an actuary since risk management intrigues me and allows me to use my talents in quantitative analysis. However, few schools offer a comprehensive study in that field, which makes Stern the perfect fit for me as the curriculum combines my interests and career goals.

At Stern, I will have the privilege of studying actuarial science, while also obtaining a business degree. The ability to tailor my education with the actuarial science concentration allows me to develop skills in statistical analysis. Through the intense rigor of the concentration requirements STAT-UB 21 “Introduction to Stochastic Processes” and STAT-UB 15 “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 world 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. Not only will I be taking courses in the most prestigious business schools across the globe, but I will also have new doors opened for me to network with alumni.

Why this NYU essay worked: From an ex-admissions officer

This is an extremely compelling essay. It is clear that the student’s declared interests are, in fact, in line with both the student’s background and experiences, as well as in line with what the college has to offer. These essays work best when the reader can feel the student’s conviction and enthusiasm. Admissions officers appreciate when the reader can easily see the impact the student will have on the school community. By going into detail about their passion for business, the student helps the reader clearly visualize how this passion will manifest in the classroom.


Before I began interning for the International Rescue Committee’s refugee youth acclimation program–right in the heart of the Lower East Side–I underwent weeks of training in providing trauma-informed support, reminded repeatedly that these kids have gone through more than I could possibly imagine.

When the kids did show up, however, I could barely relate the image painted for us in training to the bright, bubbly children who I was to mentor. Mahdi and I especially took to each other. He was just like any other nine-year-old kid–a fan of Roblox, pizza, basketball, funny accents, and an acute hatred for anything math-related.

Only, he wasn’t like any other kid–at least not in the eyes of the 49% of Americans who believe he has no place in this country, for no reason other than the color of his skin, his god, the status of his residency here.

There are people here who would hear his name and call him a terrorist. Kids on the playground would mock his accent rather than be amazed at how quickly he picked up basketball–a sport he’d had zero exposure to 6 months back. Adults, on both ends of the ideological spectrum, would see him as a political mascot rather than a kid, allow him to be one–he’d be forced to grow up too soon, as a result of the hatred, having his existence politicized.

To get to my internship every day, I transferred at West 4th, from the A to the M train. Once in a while, I’d take the chance to climb up and walk around Washington Square Park.

Clad in lavender shirts, NYU students were camped out in the center of the park, asking people to write out on little post-its what social justice meant to them. Fire burning in the pit of my stomach, I wrote, “Allowing Mahdi to just be a kid.”

And NYU can help me make that happen–there is groundbreaking research happening on campus regarding racial bias and inequality at CASSR that I can’t wait to contribute to. Pursuing a major of public health policy, I can take fascinating, relevant classes such as Social Policy in Modern Societies and Race and Ethnicity. What’s more, I can join student organizations–like the one handing out the post-its that day in Washington Square–and work with my peers, with NYU, with New York City as a whole, towards social justice from a health perspective, towards allowing Mahdi to just be a kid.

Why this NYU essay worked: From an ex-admissions officer

This essay begins with a student who is searching for answers. She has trained to help her community, applied her training to her environment, and then expands on her findings. In her volunteering endeavors, she finds her purpose. She continues with a personal story with Mahdi, and successfully brings us into her world. We are engaged. She is now frustrated because she can’t help enough, and with a bit of karma, she is approached by an NYU student, and at this moment NYU becomes her answer. She then cites why NYU is her solution, which major she will pursue, which classes she will take, and which student organizations will help to accent her goals. This essay succeeds because we see this student as community oriented and ambitious. As readers, we know that she will be a great and focused addition to the campus. This is a student with purpose, and she makes it clear that NYU will propel her to reach her goals.

These essay examples were compiled by the advising team at CollegeAdvisor.com. If you want to get help writing your NYU application essays from CollegeAdvisor.com Admissions Experts, register with CollegeAdvisor.com today.