What is a Supplement Essay?

College application comprises of several elements, like grades, results of tests, and your overall academic success in various high school subjects, with a supplement essay, such as why NYU essay, being the most critical element. There exist common guidelines as to what an application essay should look like, but various educational institutions may have their own requirements for such type of essays.

A supplement paper provides examiners with an opportunity to get acquainted with an applicant and understand their interest in applying to a college.

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New York University Supplement Essay Guide

New York University (NYU) is located right in the heart of one of the world’s most popular cities. An absolute epitome of an urban campus, NYU is integrated into this thriving city to such an extent that it can be difficult to say where the university ends and the city begins.

Submitting a supplement essay is one of the requirements of getting into NYU, and its prime location along with its status as one of the USA’s leading universities make admission quite a challenge.

Nowadays, it is essential for anyone hoping to get into NYU to ensure that they get noticed. Fortunately, students have an opportunity to impress examiners by submitting a supplement essay. However, you must make sure it is done properly. Keep reading this guide to find out how you can use NYU supplement essay to present yourself in your best light and increaseyour chances of getting admitted.

NYU Supplement Essay Examples

“Tell us why you are interested in New York University. We are keen to know what made you choose NYU, and specifically, why you are applying to or are interested in a chosen college, school, campus, field of study, and/or program. If you chose to submit several applications, indicate your interest in each of the programs, colleges, schools, or campuses. Whether you are highly focused on a specific field, or just looking at various options offered by our institution’s global network, we would like to know why you have chosen NYU” (a 400-word response).

In the first place, you are asked why you think NYU is a good match for your needs. So, rather than writing a 400-word document covering the university’s prestige and location (which every other student will be doing), focus on how you can make your paper be as specific as possible. Your response needs to be specific to both you and NYU. Tip: if it is possible to put the name of another university every time you mention “NYU,” you are not being sufficiently specific.

A good thing about this supplement essay prompt is that it provides a number of ideas to help you to be specific: college, school, campus, field of study, program, etc. Let us breake this down:

Choice of Campus

NYU can certainly be called the biggest private educational institution in the USA by the number of applications it gets. It is also possible to obtaining the university’s degree in two other campuses, such as NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. Additionally, there are several academic centers of NYU located all over the world (in Berlin, Accra, Buenos Aires, London, Flornce, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Tel Aviv, Sydney, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. The university consists of 25 schools total, namely 10 undergraduate and 15 graduate schools.

Is it clear why this is an effective option now? When an applicant mentions their career goals, this makes the essay specific to them. However, mentioning that a particular city can enhance your career development will show readers that a school really does match your needs. The answer like this is entirely specific to both NYU Abu Dhabi and you, as it demonstrates that you have carefully researched your options.

While responding to the New York University essay prompt, there are some points to bear in mind:

  • Why did you choose this campus over others? What made you decide on it, and what are your reasons to consider this campus your number one choice?
  • If you select NYC as your first-choice campus, you do not necessarily have to mention the campus’s location as you might with others, unless your reason for choosing to study in NYC is very specific (e.g., you hope to find employment in the world of entertainment, New York is a noted hub for this industry, and it would give you access to invaluable networking opportunities.). You can proceed with the next part.

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Choice of College or School

New York University consists of a number of colleges and schools with its College of Arts and Science (CAS) being the largest. What caused you to choose the college or school you chose? In case you did not select the CAS and prefer another college, your answer should be devoted to this choice. However, if you chose CAS, you may move on discussing the area you are interested in.

Let us suppose you have chosen Stern Business School. The following is a weak explanation why choosing it:

Because Stern is known to be a very prestigious school for business students, it is my ambition to study for an undergraduate degree in business here.

Does the statement tell much about this school? Not really. What can the admissions committee learn about your motivation to study at Stern? Not a lot.

Here is a better response:

Ideally located in the dynamic New York City, Stern Business School is steeped in that unique commercial culture it teaches in its classrooms. The school location provides opportunities and resources not available at other business schools, from the Alumni Career Engagement program to SternTalks. Coupled with a large number of recruitment managers that Stern attracts, I am confident I will learn various strategies in class and will be able to apply them in the city through internship opportunities. The Leadership through Innovation Program for freshmen is exceptional and will help me to achieve my goal of securing an internship at a large cosmetics company at the end of my first year, since I will receive unrivalled exposure to leadership, innovation, and networking.

In this specific example, mentioning the school’s location is a good idea, because it is connected with specific goals and opportunities. By including a number of specific study programs, you also show that you have conducted meticulous research and have a clear plan as to how you will use this opportunity if you are accepted. An additional benefit is mentioning precise internship you would like to undergo, because this shows that you are ambitious.

With regards to the New York University requirements, there are some points to keep in mind when answering the prompt:

  1. While it is good to mention particular programs, do not list them just for the sake of name-dropping. If there is a program you really like, say why it appeals to you, or what you hope to achieve through that specific program if accepted.
  2. Generic declarations and/or statements such as the ones below should be avoided:
  • This is a prestigious school;
  • The resources here are endless;
  • The school’s teachers arehighly respected. 

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Study Program or Field of Study

Each of the NYU colleges and schools has a wide choice of majors and programs. Which of these appeals most to you and for what reason(s)?

Have you ever seen a “why choose this program or major” essay prompt? Well, this section is pretty similar. Because of the word restriction, you may want to avoid including an excessive amount of detail about how you developed interest in a certain major. Instead, you may want to get straight to why you have chosen to study at this specific school.

Imagine such situation: you are absolutely sure you want to study journalism, since your uncle, an experienced journalist, once allowed you to attend an important interview when you were eight, and you even got to ask one question. Afterwards, you vigilantly read news items every day and actually started writing stories yourself when you were aged fourteen. The major in journalism at NYU suits you perfectly, since it combines learning journalism with studying abroad, and this would facilitate your ambition to write about politics and culture in countries other than your own.

This approach is fine. Nevertheless, because the prompt requires you to cover other topics besides your choice of program (e.g., college, school, campus, etc.), it is unlikely that your word count limit will allow you to delve into much detail.

Instead, you should focus on what New York University can offer for your particular major with a short reference to your reason for pursuing it. Something similar to this:

The major in journalism at NYU suits me perfectly, since the combination of journalism and studying abroad will help me to realize my ambition to write about politics and culture in countries other than my own.

Why this reasoning is better? It says something specific about majoring in journalism at NYU while simultaneously revealing your motives for pursing this major. It does save a great deal of space when the backstory about how you first decided on that major is removed. Put simply, this part of the essay prompt is very like the ‘why choose this particular major’ prompt, with the primary difference being that it is focused on your reason(s) for wanting to study at a certain college or school rather than on how or why you chose your major.

Even if you are still deciding, this part of the essay prompt should be answered. You can discuss how attending NYU will enable you to explore your areas of interest while choosing your major. Being specific is the key!

By now, all of the main parts of the prompt have been answered by you. In case you are submitting applications for multiple programs, colleges, or campuses, the format for each area you are interested in should be the same. Your writing must be condensed and concise, and we suggest you place the most focus on your first choice.

One final thing you need to consider is not to divide your essay into three distinct sections (field of study, college, campus). A better way is to organize your discussion as a one coherently-written essay. The final paper should not sound as if three separate essays were pasted into one.

Take a note of how our example talks about Stern, New York, and marketing (even though the latter is quite brief and not elaborated on) without dividing the entire paper into three separate sections. Instead, it appears as the cohesive “Why choose New York University” essay, while also addressing each part of the essay prompt.

Now you know how to get into New York University! That is it! The supplemental essay for New York University in its entirety … unless your application is aimed at the Tisch School of the Arts! Keep reading!

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Prompt#1: Why NYU Essay Sample For Students Applying to the Tisch School of the Arts

“Your essay should be based on a movie, director, or some other movie-related topic of your chooice.” (Length: five to ten pages).

A good thing about this essay prompt is the scope and freedom you have. At the same time, you can feel overwhelmed by so much freedom. Remember that the purpose of the essay is to reflect what you think. Show readers that you are passionate about your chosen topic and able to discuss it in detail. Provide proof that you deserve a place in this school.

This is the right approach to answering this prompt:

  • Select a topic

It is good if your topic concerns something you feel passionate about so you have plenty of things to discuss and not get short of ideas. A five-page essay is quite hefty, but you will complete it quickly if your interest in your topic is genuine.

The safest option is to select a particular movie or director, but regardless of the topic, make sure you are able to say something unique about it. This essay should not be a biography or a movie review. It needs to set out your thoughts and viewpoints, and these should be unique.

You will have greater freedom if you choose a movie-related topic, and most likely, you will feel more passionate about it. However, be carefull not to lose your focus and start rambling.

  • Decide on a thesis

Your main focus will be your thesis. A good thesis can comprise of multiple sub-parts, with each one relating neatly to the other. Every paragraph in your paper should somehow link back to the thesis. Look at this example:

The repeated themes of sleep and time give Christopher Nolan’s movies an unrivalled glimpse into the psyche of humans, particularly in today’s world, where it would seem that sleep and time are in a constant struggle with each other.

There are a number of directions you can develop a thesis like this in. You can write several paragraphs about the way the themes keep recurring in Nolan’s movies, and then, proceed with discussing how these give uniqueness to his works. You can also add a commentary about relevance of these two themes in the modern society.

It may be that you want to include opinions and/or research material from the outside sources. If so, make sure every source is correctly cited in-text and on a works cited or reference page. Be aware, however, that approaching an essay of this type in the same way you would approach a research paper is not always the best decision. The NYU admissions committee will not want to hear what a particular expert or critic thinks of your topic. Rather, they will want to know what you think. They will want to see your thought process.  

Prompt#2: Why NYU Supplement Essay Example for the Tisch School of the Arts

“Write a concise statement in which you answer these questions: Have you ever taken any classes related to cinema? What aspects of cinema are you most interested in and would like to study (e.g., movie types, cinema theory, movie directors, etc.)? What aspirations do you have for your future career (movie critic, journalism, movie-making, curating, etc.)? (Length: one page).

This is a relatively straightforward prompt, but let us break it down even more.

  • Have you ever taken any classes related to cinema?

This part is designed so that the readers can see what experience – if any – you have. You need to prove that your interest is not just whimsical but, instead, a long-term passion. Have you taught this subject yourself? If so, tell your readers about it. Maybe, you have been attending classes for as long as you can walk. Tell the readers about your experience!

  • What aspects of cinema are you most interested in and would like to study?

Once again you have an opportunity here to demonstrate your passion. You should not simply mention the areas you are interested in; explain why. Why are you interested in them? What have you done in pursuit of your interests (make sure the way you phrase this amply demonstrates your experience and drive without digressing too much from the actual prompt)? If desired, you can sneak in one or two lines about your plans for pursuing your interests when you get admitted to college.

  • What aspirations do you have for your future career?

Show readers that you are ambitious and that you have given careful thought to the future. Where possible, be specific – as specific as you can be. If there is a company you dream of working in, mention it.

Give as much overall detail as you can, answer the questions they have asked you, and keep to the single page limit. 

Prompt#3: Why NYU Sample Essay for Students Seeking to Study Television and Film

“Collaboration and Leadership Anecdote: Tell us about a time when you participated in a collaborative production and/or showed leadership (Length: One Page).  

The aim of this essay prompt is to show the admissions committee how good you are at working with others. In the event you are more the leader type, tell of a time you got a lot of things completed by delegating. Remember that telling about a time you did everything yourself is different to leadership and would not be received favorably.

If you decide on the alternative option, choose an event or time where you collaborated effectively with others. Show that you properly understand collaboration and its value.  

In any of the above cases, a possible format may be to talk about a challenge or obstacle that you overcame either by showing leadership or through effective collaboration.

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Studying for a Performance Major at the Tisch School of the Arts 

“Your statement in response to this prompt should discuss your desire to study performance, why you believe you are a good match for NYU Tisch, and what you think you will gain from your studies. Tell us what you expect to learn from your studies, and then write about this with regards to Performance. What motivated you to apply for this study program rather than something more traditional, e.g., dance, theatre, or anthropology (Length: a 750 to 1000-word response).

The aim of this essay prompt is to ensure there is serious interest on the part of a student. The opening line asks, “What makes you deserving of a place?’ This is an opportunity for you to really showcase yourself. Take care to respond to each element of the opening part:

Your interest in studying Performance:

  1. Describe how your interest initially aroused or discuss what makes you feel passionate about performance.
  2. Show your commitment and passion.
  3. Do not be indecisive or mediocre; you should attempt to prove, leaving no doubt, that studying performance is something you are passionate about.

The reasons you want to study performance at Tisch:

  1. Why this university? Why study Performance at New York University?
  2. Why are you a good match for this particular department?
  3. What qualities do you have that make you fit this NYU department?
  4. For what reasons should you be admitted? What is unique about you?
  5. Do not be afraid to show off. Seize this chance to prove you are special.

The hopes you hold, and the goals you think you will achieve if you are admitted:

  1. How might you use the university resources? Here, you need to be extremely specific. The admissions committee will need as much proof as possible to see that you will not waste your opportunities if you are admitted.
  2. What opportunities and programs interest you?
  3. What do you hope to learn?
  4. Are there any experiences that you are hotly anticipating and what are they?
  5. How is this major likely to help you to achieve the goals you have, especially the ones related to your future career?

Show, you have given careful thought to this part of the prompt.

Let us move on to the next question in the prompt: Your hopes and expectations from your studies and the need to write about them with regards to Performance. This part should demonstrate the importance of your answer to the admissions committee. A generic or vague response will not get you admitted. It is vital to be highly specific about both the study program and yourself. Prove that your application is not a mere whim, but instead, the result of real interest and careful consideration.

The final question asks, “What motivated you to apply for this specialized study program?” In other words, “Are you sure that this is what you really want? Would you regret not taking a more usual or traditional path? What makes you sure that Performance is the right match for your interests and abilities?”

Prove your commitment and value to the examiners. Show beyond a doubt that you will not be happy taking another program. Demonstrate that there is not a single other course or a program that can help you to achieve your long-held ambitions. Should you manage to succeed here, your readers will see that your interest in the college and the chosen program is indeed serious.

Looking at this essay prompt, one can clearly see that the admissions committee does not want to read that you are applying because “you felt you would try it since you might have a chance.” They will want to see that this Performance program is your life dream. If it is your dream, convince, you really need to be admitted.

Applying for Studio Art at the Tisch School of the Arts

“Write a “Purpose Statement” that explains why you are applying for this interdisciplinary program on studio art. What academic and/or personal background do you have in art, and what interests, experiences, themes, and influences have had an impact on how you practice art?” (Length: one page limit).

In this prompt, the first part is the typical “why choose this art program” question. In your response, be sure to emphasise why the program interdisciplinary element suits you. You can also list a couple of other specific aspects of the program you have chosen, provided you link them to the interdisciplinary aspects. As always, check that your answer is specifically related to the NYU program. It should not be possible to put another school’s name instead of a chosen program.

The second part resembles a resume, but you should not just provide a list of your experiences and achievements. Rather, try and make your answer anecdotal.

Notice how this form of writing is more interesting and compelling than a mere resume list. It enables you to provide a background story as a way of getting the readers interested in you and your unique story. However, there is still space to discuss your achievements.

The last question of this prompt asks you to talk about interests, experiences, themes, and influences that have had an impact on the way you practice art. You can discuss where you derive inspiration, the things that influence your style, and any aspect you think bears relevance to the way your own art has developed to its current state. May be, you had an early experience or a mentor you can tell your readers about. This section gives you freedom and plenty of space to describe your art background.

With regards to how your essay progresses, we recommend changing the order to some extent. Begin with your art background – the second part. Next, mention relevant experiences, inspirations, and influences. End your essay by saying why this program is a good match for your goals. In such a way, you ensure writing progresses in a linear way.

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