New York University Admissions Statistics

Learn About NYU and the GPA and SAT / ACT Scores You'll Need to Get In

Washington Square Park, New York City, USA
Washington Square Park at the center of the NYU campus. Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

NYU is a highly selective private university with an acceptance rate of just 28 percent. Admitted students generally have grades and standardized test scores that are well above average. NYU uses the Common Application and requires SAT or ACT scores, a personal essay, and letters of recommendation.

Why New York University?

  • Location: New York, New York
  • Campus Features: Located in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, NYU's campus occupies some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Housing is guaranteed for four years.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 9:1
  • Athletics: The NYU Violets compete in the NCAA Division III University Athletic Association.
  • Highlights: NYU is one of the largest private universities in the country. The school offers over 230 fields of study and ranks among the top New York colleges. NYU has additional campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.

NYU Admissions Statistics 2017-18

In the 2017-18 admissions cycle, the acceptance rate at New York University was just 28%. Below you'll find standardized test scores of admitted students organized by score percentile.

Test Scores — 25th / 75th Percentile

  • SAT Critical Reading: 650 / 730
  • SAT Math: 640 / 760
  • ACT Composite: 29 / 33

If you compare SAT scores for top New York colleges, you'll see that only a few highly selective colleges—Columbia, Cornell, Hamilton, and Vassar—are more selective than NYU.

New York University GPA, SAT Score, and ACT Score Graph

NYU GPA, SAT Score, and ACT Score Data for Admission
NYU GPA, SAT Score, and ACT Score Data for Admission. Data courtesy of Cappex

The GPA and test score data in the graph is self-reported by the actual applicants to NYU, and the GPAs are unweighted. To see how you measure up at NYU, you can see the real-time graph and calculate your chances of getting in with a free account at Cappex.

Discussion of NYU's Admissions Standards

In the graph of admissions data above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. The data reveal that the great majority of students who got into New York University have an unweighted GPA above a 3.3, an ACT composite score above 25, and a combined SAT score (ERW+M) of 1200 or higher. The chances for admission look best for students with GPAs of 3.6 or better, ACT scores of 27 or better, and an SAT score of about 1300 or higher. With a few exceptions, successful applicants tend to be solid "A" students.

You'll notice that a few students were accepted with test scores and grades below the norm. NYU has holistic admissions, so the admissions officers are evaluating students based on more than numerical data. Students who show some kind of remarkable talent or have a compelling story to tell will often get a close look even if grades and test scores aren't up to the ideal. Also, because NYU is a diverse, international university, many applicants are coming from countries that have different scoring systems than U.S. schools.

The university is a member of the Common Application, a widely used application that provides plenty of opportunities for you to share information other than numerical grade and test score data. Letters of recommendation, the Common Application essay, and your extracurricular activities will all play a role in the admissions process. Students applying to the Steinhardt School or Tisch School of the Arts will have additional artistic requirements for admission. The university does not typically conduct interviews as part of the admissions process, although admissions staff may invite some candidates to interview if they feel a conversation would aid them in making an admissions decision.

Finally, like all selective colleges, New York University will be looking at the rigor of your high school curriculum, not just your grades. Success in challenging AP, IB, Honors, and Dual Enrollment classes can all improve your chances of being admitted, for these courses represent some of the best predictors of college success.

NYU Rejection and Waitlist Data

NYU Rejection and Waitlist Data
NYU Rejection and Waitlist Data. Data Courtesy of Cappex 

In the graph above, we've stripped away all of the accepted student data to get a better view of the students who were rejected and waitlisted. This graph shows how selective the university is: Many students with strong SAT and ACT scores as well as "A" averages in high school were rejected.

Even if you are a strong candidate for NYU, you should never consider it a safety school, and you might be wise to consider it a reach even if your grades and test scores are on target. 

More New York University Information

Cost can be a significant barrier for students wishing to attend NYU. Despite the school's nearly $72,000 price tag, fewer than half of students receive any grant aid from the university. Of those that do receive grant aid, average financial awards cover less than half of the school's cost.

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 51,123 (26,417 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 43% Male / 57% Female
  • 96% Full-time

Costs (2017 - 18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $50,464
  • Books: $904 (Why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $17,664
  • Other Expenses: $2,758
  • Total Cost: $71,790

Financial Aid (2016 - 17)

  • Percentage of Students Receiving Aid: 54%
  • Percentage of Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 45%
    • Loans: 33%
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $31,542
    • Loans: $7,526

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Business, Cinematography and Film, Communications Studies, Computer Science, Drama, Economics, Drama, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Political Science, Psychology

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 93%
  • Transfer-out Rate: 9%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 82%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 85%

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Fencing, Golf, Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, Wrestling
  • Women's Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Fencing, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball

If You Like New York University, You May also Like These Schools

Students who apply to NYU are often looking for a bustling private university in an urban area. some of the universities that are popular with NYU applicants include Boston University, Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago. Realize that some of these schools are even more selective than NYU, so you'll want to be sure to apply to a few places with a lower admissions bar to increase your chances of getting a few acceptance letters.

If you really want to stay in the New York City area, check out Columbia University (more selective than NYU) and Fordham University (less selective than NYU).

Data Source: Graphs courtesy of; all other data from the National Center for Education Statistics