Nyu Stern Undergraduate Essays

Located in the heart of New York, NYU Stern is one of the top business schools in the nation. Indeed, the purple school consistently ranks in the top 5 of undergraduate business programs, and each year only about a fifth of all applicants are accepted. More than just a strong background in business, Stern students also enjoy access to the Big Apple, which means vast internship opportunities and plenty to do for fun. To develop a global perspective on the topics they are studying, around two-thirds of all Stern students spend a semester abroad in cities like Shanghai and London, where they continue to learn about business and the differences in cultures across the world.

In general, it is widely circulated that NYU Stern tends to care more about applicants’ objective stats (SAT, GPA, etc.) than NYU CAS does. However, if your essays aren’t up to par, then you still might be unconfident about the likelihood of your acceptance. As such, Admissions Hero is here to help you tackle NYU’s supplemental essay.

NYU is global, urban, inspired, smart, connected, and bold. What can NYU offer you, and what can you offer NYU? (200-400 words)

This prompt, despite its assertion that NYU exemplifies a variety of cool-sounding adjectives, is at its core still just a “Why X School?” essay. This means you’ll want to research what exactly it is about NYU Stern that attracts you enough for you to apply to it—maybe it’s the experienced faculty who possess real word experience? Maybe it’s a specific educational track offered by Stern that no other schools provide? Regardless of what you decide, remember to be specific in your answer. Give examples of things that you like about NYU, and do your best to be as detailed as possible. Bonus points if you can point to evidence of your interest in those things from high school—instead of just talking about how you think NYU’s Finance track is best for you, why not show it by recounting your experiences in your school’s Value Investing Education club?

The other side of this question is what you can offer NYU. To address this question, you’ll want to introspect and emphasize what exactly makes you unique. A good angle to approach this answer from is to point to instances where you have been involved in your high school community and then suggest that you will be similarly active in the NYU Stern community. For example, maybe you inspired your classmates to participate in one of the most successful canned food drives in your school’s history. NYU adcoms would certainly be interested in hearing about your participation, since the details you mention will imply that you will bring that same level of energy to the college environment. Remember, colleges want a robust and active student body, so anything you write to suggest that will bode well for “what [you can] offer NYU.”

Since NYU’s writing supplement is relatively short, this blog post is consequently not very long. However, after reading these tips you’ll be well on your way to crafting a great NYU supplement.

Zack Perkins

Zack was an economics major at Harvard before going on indefinite leave to pursue CollegeVine full-time as a founder. In his spare time, he enjoys closely following politics and binge-watching horror movies. To see Zack's full bio, visit the Team page.

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Hello Stern hopefuls. I am currently a student at Stern, and in an effort to procrastinate applying for internships/jobs next summer (yes, it starts this early) I decided to write some things I wish I knew when applying to Stern. Being one of the only direct admit business school programs in the country and a top school for finance/related fields (academically and location wise), NYU Stern is a great option for people that want a world class business education in NYC. With an acceptance rate of 12% and college applications due in 4 months at most (almost 2 if you ED), it's best to get informed and started on the process as early as possible. Without further ado, here is my $.02 on getting in.

A Very Useful Resource

This is a website that is consistently updated, and has a lot of useful facts and figures (where I cited the acceptance rate from). If you want to compare your test scores, see job placement, or any other relevant statistics - this is the place.

Affirmative Action?

Stern does not have any ethnicity quotas (just like UCLA, Berkeley, and all the other UC schools). Asians rejoice. If you look at the ethnicity breakdown of the link I shared above, it seems like there is a cap of Asians at 30%. However, Stern has slyly changed this number from over 50% as it was a few years ago, and instead allocated these other Asian students to the "International" and "Unknown" categories. URM status will not likely help you get in, as Stern doesn't really care about diversity. Check out photos of our business frats, clubs, or just come to a tour if you don't believe me.

Standardized Test Scores / Grades

This part could really screw you over, or help you. My grades in high school were decent but no where near amazing (top 25% of a large graduating class), but I worked my ass off for the SAT and ACT to make up for slacking off in high school. Even if you are a top student in high school, don't ignore standardized tests. Stern's median SAT is a 1470 / 1600; the closer you are to this the better. No information on ACT, but I would try to aim for a 34+. Another test Stern likes to see is the SAT Math II, so a 750+ on that will probably help you quite a bit.


Getting into any college is really about linking everything you've done into one coherent package. Relevant business experience (FBLA, DECA, treasurer position, etc.) is helpful, but it's not a big deal if you don't have it. You can always tie whatever you have into relevancy via the essay. That being said, you can't get away with just dicking around for the first 18 years of your life. Extracurriculars you include should have dimensions - show a length of commitment, progression of leadership, and impact.


The supplement for Stern isn't as important as other schools, but does carry weight. With a generic prompt and short length of <400 words, it's nothing like U Chicago essays. Mine was kind of cringeworthy, but still good enough to get me in. Make sure to rope in your extracurriculars with your love for business, NYC, blah blah blah. Also make sure to get specific - what in particular do you really like about Stern? Some notable professors you are excited about? Also very good stuff to have.


Feel free to post any general questions, or PM me with specific ones if you feel so inclined. Hope this 3 minute investment was useful for you future Sternies - best of luck.

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