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How to Respond to the 2023-2024 NYU Supplemental Essay

New York University is located in the heart of the city that never sleeps, New York City. Due to its ideal location in the Big Apple, NYU has an acceptance rate of 13%. Your NYU application will need to impress if you want to gain an education in NYC!

NYU applicants are offered the opportunity to submit an optional essay to better showcase who they are. NYU says that students who do not submit the optional essay will not be penalized in their admissions review process. Students who are set on NYU might want to take this extra step to impress. Keep reading to learn how to ace the NYU supplemental essay question!

Read our guide below in order to ace the NYU supplemental essay question!

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The NYU supplemental essay: The prompts

Get excited, because NYU only requires one optional supplemental essay response! Students will respond to the following statement from NYU:

We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators. Choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you; or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why.

Applicants may choose from the following list:

1. “We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” Judith Heuman, 2022 NYU Commencement Address

2. “I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship.” Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Commencement Address

3. “If you know how to fly but you never knew how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad?” Lang Lang, 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient

4. “You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address

5. “It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” Taylor Swift, Change, Released 2008, 2022 NYU Commencement Speaker

6. Share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires you

7. Not answering this optional question.

Final thoughts on choosing your prompt 

When choosing your prompt, you should also be noting what you have already discussed in your application. If you already wrote your Common App essay about one piece of your identity or theme – do not write about this again! Rather, choose something else in order to emphasize who you are and your broad range of interests.

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Next steps after applying to NYU

Congratulations! Your NYU supplemental essay question is completed! Be thankful that NYU was so kind in only making applicants answer one question. Now, what should you do next? Instead of waiting what feels like a lifetime for NYU to reach a decision on your application, be proactive! Show demonstrated interest in NYU to prove that you are committed to attending their university. 

How can you show demonstrated interest? Well, it is quite simple! Follow any NYU social media accounts, reach out to an admissions officer about any questions you may have and schedule a tour! Doing this will show NYU that you truly want to attend their university because you are making the effort. 

Best of luck and enjoy New York City – it is famous for a reason! (Grab a slice of $1 pizza–you will not regret it!)

Additional resources

As a student working on college applications, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Fortunately, we have resources to help you through every step of the way. Check out our guides on how to write an essay about yourself, how to respond to the Common App prompts, and how to write 250 and 500 word essays. We can also help you decide how many schools to apply to and how to find safety, reach, and match schools.

If you’re wondering whether to send test scores to test-optional schools, we’ve got a guide for that as well. And once you start hearing back, we can help you create a college comparison spreadsheet to make your college choice. Finally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help fund your education and keep all of your college options open. Good luck!

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Frequently asked questions about the New York University supplemental essay

Should you answer NYU supplemental essays?

If NYU is a top choice school, it will only help to complete the optional essay. Look at it as a bonus opportunity to make yourself stand out and wow the reader!

Is the NYU supplemental really optional?

Yes, there is a clear option to check off that states “Not answering this optional question.” 

Did the NYU supplemental essay change?

Yes, the essay changed for the 2023/2024 application cycle. As shown above, students have the option to respond to a quote of their choice. The previous prompt asked how students’ experiences would help NYU diversity.