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NYU Supplemental Essays

May 14, 2024

Are you willing to secure admission to New York University? You must be aware of the concise NYU supplemental essays demanded from the applicants during the procedure. You may wonder what the institute evaluates through the essays specific to first-year applications. The curiosity must also land on the question of how to write and where to begin. Calm down. We have it all sorted in this article. Just relax and read it with an open mind. 

What Does NYU Expect in Supplemental Essays?

The supplemental essay is a replacement question. Prior to this, candidates were asked to answer, ‘Why NYU?’ While the answer would encompass the praises of NYU, it does not add to the information on the candidate’s personality. However, the candidates were still willing to share their reasons and perspectives for NYU. 


Hence, to make the questions more about the candidates while also making it for NYU, the admission cell replaced the questions with NYU supplemental essays. Here, the university expects candidates to offer insight into their personalities and ideologies. It also wants to understand the candidate’s source of inspiration and the thought process based on their experiences.  

To understand the candidate, 250-word supplemental essays are required. The topics hold special meaning to NYU, as these quotes come directly from different years of NYU Commencement Address. 


What Are NYU Sample Essay Topics?

To help you with certain NYU essay examples, here is what the question looks like:

‘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 a person not on our list who inspires you and include why.’

  • “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 our allies and mobilized across communities to make change, benefit everyone, and include everyone in society.” Judith Heumann, 2022 NYU Commencement Address
  • “I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute and make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship.” Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Commencement Address
  • “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
  • “You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address
  • “It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” Taylor Swift, “Change,” Released 2008, 2022 NYU Commencement Speaker

To add to the candidates’ flexibility, they are also allowed to write about a short quote spoken by personalities other than those mentioned in the list. 

What Not to Exhibit in NYU Supplemental Essays?

There are certain aspects that NYU supplemental essays are not designed to evaluate. Focus on these to avoid mistakes: 

  • The essay should not be an academic or literary analysis 
  • It should be devoid of already shared information 
  • It should not exceed the provided word count 

What Should Be Your Brainstorming About?

A practice to answer such essays is brainstorming for ideas first and then structuring them as per the requirement. Now, to come up with ideas, you can take cues from the question itself. As they are willing to welcome candidates making social change, capable of innovation, taking up challenges, and possessing creativity, any of your thoughts or ideologies that resonate with these words would be the answer. 

Sharing your experiences on acting as stated quotes to the solution will help you formulate your answer. You can also look for your inspirations who share the same ideology or who inspire you through them. Alternatively, you can talk about the speaker’s ideologies, values, what you learned from them, and other aspects. 


Tips to Write NYU Supplemental Essays

Here are some tips for writing NYU supplemental essays: 

  • Begin with an interactive introduction 
  • Have a broad perspective and identify the problem and solutions being conveyed 
  • Add in your values, past experiences, or thoughts based on the ideology and solution 


The NYU supplemental essay is a new addition to the first-year application process. The new question requires the candidate’s thought process and ideologies to understand their personality. The topics are from the NYU commencement address and reflect NYU’s values. 


Besides the provided aid in the article, if you wish to develop your skills further for additional exams, Turito is your friend in need! Find expert educators to train for national and international competitive exams. Explore our innovative methods of teaching and assessing our students. 


Are there NYU supplemental essay examples

Since the supplemental essays have been newly introduced, there aren’t any available NYU supplemental essay examples. 


Is it possible to skip NYU supplemental essays

Yes, these questions can be skipped, as supplemental essay questions are optional. 

What subjects is NYU famous for? 

NYU holds top rankings globally for subjects such as mathematics, psychology, philosophy, accounting and finance, and law and legal studies. 

NYU Supplemental Essays


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