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Last updated March 9, 2023

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How to Write the NYU Supplemental Essays

Key Takeaway

NYU's supplemental essay is optional, but we recommend that you write it. In this post, we give you some tips for writing an NYU supplemental essay that stands out. 

The NYU supplemental essay is short and sweet—and it’s not even required! In fact, the NYU admissions team even says that choosing not to answer the supplemental prompt will not disadvantage you in their admissions process.

But we at Admit Report do recommend that you write it. The more effort you put into your application, the better.

Let’s get to it.

NYU Supplemental Essay Prompt

We would like to better understand how your experiences would help us to shape and grow our diverse community. Please respond in 250 words or less.

This prompt is a type of community essay, so you’ll need to pack a lot of punch with your 250 words.

It’s best to start out with some research. Since NYU is asking you how you’ll shape their community, you need a solid understanding of what their community is like in the first place. NYU admissions officers will expect that you’ve done your research, so spend at least a half hour or hour down an NYU rabbit hole.

Look at NYU’s main website, the websites of departments that interest you, and campus life websites. Do an information session or try to connect with someone on campus. You’re looking for anything that catches your eye: interesting classes, professors with compelling research, institutional priorities and values, clubs that align with your interests, and more. Since the prompt emphasizes the idea of diversity, you’ll also want to identify values related to diversity.

Once you have your research down, it’s time to turn the magnifying glass inward. Based on your research, what about your personal story makes you a compelling fit for NYU?

  • What values do you share with NYU?
  • Do any of your previous experiences make you a strong fit for an academic or extracurricular offering at NYU?
  • How would you and your background add to NYU’s diverse community?
  • What do you have to contribute, and what do you have to learn?

Take note of any areas of overlap. Then use that information to decide what part of your experiences you want to write about. In your essay, remember to address all parts of the prompt—specifically how your experiences would help NYU shape and grow its diverse community.

Now click open a new tab and start your research. If you found this guide helpful, we have a lot more where that came from. If you haven't already, be sure to check out our NYU Common Data Set and How to Get into NYU posts for more application strategy.

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