Is NYU Worth The Money? Read Before Applying

So, you are planning to send an application to New York University (NYU). But you heard that the acceptance rate is low and the tuition is high. Due to this, you are on the fence as to whether or not you should apply to it.

Going to NYU, despite the steep sticker price, is worth it for students who like to enjoy top-notch education and go to a school located in a big city. NYU is a very competitive and selective school that ranks high in college rankings. Although it’s not an Ivy League, NYU is considered as a New Ivy.

Like other colleges and universities in the US, NYU is the perfect school for certain types of students.

Not sure if you are one of those students?

Continue reading. Below, you will come across some of the most important things you need to know about NYU before you put it on your listing of colleges and universities to apply to. By the end of this article, you will have a better idea of whether it’s the right school for you or another.

Is NYU an Ivy League?

NYU is not one of the eight Ivy League schools. However, its top-notch academics and athletics are considered at par with those of Ivy Leagues. It’s due to this why NYU is part of the so-called New Ivies, a group of schools that may not be as elite as the Ivy Leagues but are nonetheless prestigious.

Many things make NYU seem like it’s an Ivy League. For instance, it’s both highly selective and very expensive. It doesn’t come as a surprise why the private research university is often mistaken for an Ivy League school.

NYU Stern School of Business

In 2006, Newsweek came up with a list of 25 colleges and universities in the US that it referred to as the New Ivies. The news magazine handpicked schools according to factors such as admissions statistics and interviews with the administrators, faculty members, alumni and students.

Besides NYU, other New Ivies are:

NYU Rankings

US News placed NYU in its 2021 Best National Universities ranking at number 30. It shares the spot with three other schools: Tufts University, the University of Florida and the University of California – Santa Barbara. On the other hand, QS World University Rankings placed NYU at number 42.

College rankings — many students check them out when shortlisting colleges and universities.

There are lots of things to consider before sending applications to schools.

Checking out their positions in college rankings can give you an idea of whether you should devote more time and energy to getting to know each one of them more in-depth. So, in other words, college rankings can help facilitate the selection process.

However, college rankings can be subjective. It’s true that the rankings of schools are based on various publicly available data.

Still, it’s the college ranking site that determines which factors are more important. Because of this, you may notice a college or university jump from position to position as you pay various college ranking sites a visit.

Being at number 30 in the 2021 Best National Universities by the US News is an impressive feat by NYU. This becomes more apparent upon knowing the fact that the popular ranking site assessed 1,452 four-year institutions in the US.

To get the bigger picture, let’s take a look at the positions of NYU in various US News rankings:

  • Best in Study Abroad Programs – number 2
  • Best in Business Programs – number 5 (tie with the University of Texas at Austin)
  • Best Colleges for Veterans – number 13 (tie with the University of California – Santa Barbara)
  • Most Innovative Schools – number 30 (tie with Yale University, Northwestern University and UCLA)
  • Best Value Schools – number 66
  • Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs – number 69 (tie with Colorado State University and FAMU)
  • Top Performers on Social Mobility – number 135 (tie with Emory College, Oklahoma City University, etc.)

Having spent 3 years at NYU my academic experience has been very good. Professors are clear communicators and easy to get in touch with, and if further help is needed the school also has many tutors in the PTC available to help understand course work. The campus itself is very nice and well kept, and further improvements are still being made in the main buildings. review

History Facts

Albert Gallatin, who served as secretary of the treasury under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, founded NYU in 1831, together with a group of prominent New Yorkers. Back then, the school was called the University of the City of New York. The first classes took place the following year.

Prior to the founding of NYU, most college students in the US were members of privileged families.

Gallatin, together with the rest of the founding council, envisioned a school that was non-denominational and welcomed all, regardless of social background, national origin and religious beliefs. He also wanted it to offer an assortment of modern curriculum ideal for students who are:

  • Devoting themselves to scientific or literary pursuits
  • Preparing for the learned professions, commerce, or the mechanical and useful arts.

The first classes took place in 1832, a year after the school’s founding, in rented quarters near City Hall. Contemporary subjects taught included civil engineering, architecture, chemistry, painting and sculpture.

Financial problems and an enrollment that never went past 150 students plagued the school throughout the 19th century.

Despite this, various degree programs introduced in different years, such as medicine, dentistry, law, and arts and sciences, were a success from the get-go. As a matter of fact, NYU was a contributor to NYC’s commercial rise.

In the late 19th century, the school prospered significantly.

Its then-president, Henry Mitchell MacCracken, relocated both engineering and arts and science schools to the Bronx, and the new campus was called New York University. In 1914, an additional college was established downtown, and it was called Washington Square College.

Are NYU Students Happy?

NYU students, including especially those who are willing to pay big bucks in exchange for top-notch education and thrive better in a megacity such as New York City, are happy. Due to the school’s location, its students have many places to visit and activities to partake in during their free time.

There are many things NYU is known for. Some of them include contemporary programs, smart professors and world-class students. If you prefer to attend a non-traditional school, it’s likely for you to be pleased with the NYU experience.

It’s no secret that the Big Apple has an incredibly diverse population.

Further, according to the World Population Review, NYC is the most linguistically diverse city on the planet. It’s because of this why NYU is a diverse school. As a matter of fact, the school says that it has admitted the most diverse undergraduate class (2023) in history.

When it’s time to close the textbooks and laptops, NYU students relax and unwind by hopping from one hangout to the next via the city’s extensive public transportation network. This includes the cheap and easily accessible subway, which has an average of six million riders per day.

However, NYC is also regarded as the most expensive place to live in the US. This is why students who are not financially prepared to survive for four straight years may fail to be completely happy with being NYU students.

Here are some fun and exciting cost-free activities students at NYU partake in outside the campus:

  • Picnic in Washington Square Park.
  • Visit the MET, MoMA and other museums.
  • Check out the New York Public Library.
  • Take public yoga classes.
  • Stargaze at the High Line.
  • Head to the Brooklyn Bridge to take snapshots or ride bikes.
  • Hang out at restaurants and coffee shops.
NYU Stern School of Business
NYU Stern School of Business

Is the NYU Campus Safe?

According to the 2021 Safest Campus Colleges in America ranking by, NYU is number six. As a matter of fact, the campus of NYU itself is located in one of the safest areas in NYC, Greenwich Village. For the students’ and their parents’ peace of mind, NYU has a Daily Crime Log.

Source: 2021 Safest College Campuses in America

Many students at NYU are out-of-state, and 22.2% of its students are from outside the US.

If you are willing to leave your family and friends behind for the sake of enjoying the NYU experience, then you should at least ensure that you are going to be safe while miles away from home to keep everybody from unnecessary stress and worry.

You and the ones you love will be happy to know that the NYU campus is a relatively safe place.

According to 2017 to 2019 data from the Campus Safety and Security (CSS) by the US Department of Education, the majority of the crimes committed on campus and in student housing facilities have declined.

For instance, rape cases that took place on the campus itself dropped from 13 (2017) to seven (2018) and five (2019).

On the other hand, aggravated assault incidents that happened in on-campus housing dropped from three (2017) to one (2018) to zero (2019). You can check the rest of the data by paying the CSS’ website a visit.

Every crime reported to the NYU Department of Public Safety is recorded in the Daily Crime Log by NYU.

Log entries include all crimes that transpired on campus, non-campus properties or buildings, public properties within the NYU campus and in student housing facilities.

What’s really nice about the Daily Crime Log is that it provides just about every detail that students would like to check to ensure that they are out of harm’s way.

The details you can find on every reported crime include incident number, reporting date, time of occurrence, crime type, location, summary and status.

I was a freshman at NYU from 2019-2020 until I transferred to another school in May. I was originally from a suburban town in the Bay Area an aspired to become a city designer while being a student-athlete and playing varsity sports for the school. Unfortunately, within 2 months my experience at NYU was ruined to mental health constraints and adjusting to the 24/7 lifestyle of New York City. review

FAQs on Admissions and More

Because it’s a selective school, you should impress NYU’s admissions officers with your GPA, personal essay, recommendation letter, extracurricular activities and others if you want to receive an acceptance letter from the New York City-based school.

Getting acquainted with its admissions process is a must.

Read on to learn about some of the most important matters you need to know about NYU before applying to it.

By the way, listen to this podcast episode about Larry’s experience on getting admitted to NYU (he had to take ACT 9 times!):

Is NYU hard to get into?

NYU is a highly competitive and selective school. Its acceptance rate is 16.2% only. However, according to the admissions decisions for the class of 2025, its acceptance rate dropped to 12.8%. This makes the school’s class of 2025 the most selective (and also the most diverse) class in its history.

In the New York Colleges Ranked by Lowest Acceptance Rate ranking by College Simply, NYU is number eight. The school is sandwiched by Hamilton College (acceptance rate: 16%) and Colgate University (acceptance rate: 23%).

What GPA do you need to get into NYU?

To gain admission into NYU, applicants should have a GPA of 3.69 or higher. This means that admitted students have earned mostly A’s in high school. If an applicant’s GPA is lower than 3.69, he or she should make up for it with a strong overall application to increase his or her chances of getting admitted.

Having a GPA of 3.69 can gain you admission into a lot of elite schools. However, it’s not good enough for the Ivy Leagues — the lowest minimum GPA they are looking for (the University of Pennsylvania) is 3.85 at least.

Does NYU require SAT or ACT?

Like many US colleges and universities, NYU is a test-optional school. So, in other words, applicants may or may not submit their SAT or ACT scores. Submitted test scores will be considered in the decision-making process. If test scores are not submitted, other factors will be taken into account.

New York
New York

Before having a test-optional admissions process, NYU required all applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. Students who get accepted into the school have SAT scores of 1350 to 1530 or ACT scores of 30 to 40.

Does NYU superscore SAT or ACT?

When it still required applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores, NYU superscored test scores. This means that it only considered the highest section scores across all test dates. Many colleges and universities superscore SAT and ACT scores, too, including Ivy Leagues like Columbia and Cornell University.

If you took the SAT or ACT several times and the school you are applying to superscores test scores, it’s a good idea to submit all of your SAT or ACT scores from all test dates.

How much does it cost to go to NYU

For the academic year 2021 to 2022, the general cost of attendance (COA) at NYU amounts to $80,878. The tuition and fees alone already cost $56,500. Around 46% of freshman students receive some form of financial assistance. The cost of attending NYU can vary from one degree program to the other.

Here’s a breakdown of the COA for one academic year (two semesters) at NYU:

Tuition and fees$56,500
Room and board$19,682
Books and supplies$718
Personal expenses$2,846
NYU Cost of Attendance

Related Article: How to Get a Full Scholarship to NYU

Is NYU need-blind?

NYU has a need-blind admissions policy. Simply put, the New York City-based school does not consider an applicant’s ability to pay for education a factor in the decision-making process. However, like at other colleges and universities, a need-blind admissions policy applies to certain students only.

Despite this, in 2016, an online article said that NYU denied most requests for application fee waivers from students from low-income backgrounds, thus keeping them from gaining admissions into the school.

How many students attend NYU University?

A total of 53,576 students are attending NYU. Of those, 29,700 are undergraduate students. On the other hand, 18,300 are earning their graduate and professional degrees. NYU students enrolled in noncredit programs amount to 5,576. At NYU, the retention rate is 94% and the graduation rate is 85.4%.

It was mentioned earlier that NY has a diverse population.

Let’s take a look at its student demographics:

  • International – 24%
  • White – 20%
  • Asian or Pacific Islander – 19%
  • Hispanic or Latino – 19%
  • African American – 9%
  • Other – 9%

Is NYU a party school?

Strictly speaking, NYU is not a party school. It has a very small Greek life, which is why it’s not as traditional as other US schools and universities. However, there are various organizations and clubs that regularly hold events. As a matter of fact, every first week of each semester, a Club Fest is held at NYU.

According to some NYU students themselves, most of them head to bars and pubs on weekends as there are very few to no parties on the campus. Some female students find the dating scene at NYU to be bad.

Is NYU good for pre-med?

NYU has an excellent medical school, which is why it makes perfect sense for students who wish to take pre-med to enroll at the school, too. However, many pre-med students at NYU agree that the program is not only difficult but expensive, too. Some also say that the selection process is horribly long.

The good news is that, in 2018, NYU announced that its medical school offers a tuition-free program for incoming students. It’s available for returning medical students, too, whose tuition payments and loans will be refunded.


NYU may not be an Ivy League school like Harvard or Yale University alright. However, in terms of selectivity, academics, COA and other factors, going to it is just like attending any one of those elite schools. As a matter of fact, NYU is one of the few schools chosen by Newsweek in 2006 as the New Ivies.

Above, we answered some of the most pressing questions students who plan to apply to NYU have in mind. Take your time when deciding whether or not you should apply to it for the most satisfying and rewarding college experience.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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