Students sitting in front of the NYU Stern building.

You’ve done your research, built your college list, and visited campus (virtually!). Now it’s time to submit your application to NYU. Before you celebrate, there are a few things you should do before you press the submit button. Trust me, I’ve read a few thousand applications, and I can always tell when a student’s taken the time to read it cover to cover before I do. This is your time to shine! Make sure your application says all you want it to say and nothing you don’t.

Check and Then Double-Check

Options, Options, Options

Let’s face it, our NYU application asks a lot of questions. From whether you plan to live on campus to if you are submitting standardized testing, the list goes on and on. While that can be fun and exciting, it can also be overwhelming. It’s possible the goals you had when you first started your application have changed. Be sure to review all of your responses so they’re up to date with your current goals.

For example, if you’re applying to NYU in New York City, you’ll need to list at least one school or program on your application. I’ve often worked with students who started applications early in the fall and by the time they’re ready to submit, they decided they wanted to apply to Gallatin instead of the College of Arts and Science. Or maybe you virtually attended one of our School Spotlight sessions this fall and fell in love with Sport Management. It’s OK to change your answers! Double-check to make sure you selected the correct program or school before hitting submit.

This also stands for the campuses you’re applying to. The NYU application lets you apply to NYU in New York City, Shanghai, and Abu Dhabi. Confirm you selected only the campuses you intend to study at. If you select it on your application, you’ll be considered for it! So when you attended our Global Information Sessions this fall and learned how you can spend your first year away through our Liberal Studies program, be sure to rank the sites in order of your preference! From London, Madrid, and Florence to Washington, DC, and New York City, every selection matters.

Now that you’ve double-checked your responses to the application questions, let’s talk about reviewing your essays and activities sections.


Remember when you were in elementary or middle school and your teachers told you to practice public speaking in front of your stuffed animals? This doesn’t have to be anything like that, but it does help to read your application out loud or share it with someone else to read. Your NYU application has many sections and, while making sure your responses are correct when it comes to your major or home campus of study, other parts of your application, like your activities section and essays, need proofreading. There are a few ways you can proofread your application.

1.) Read it out loud—this method brings out grammatical errors and missing or repeated words, or maybe it will help you realize a sentence doesn’t make sense at all. Make notes as you come across errors so you can go back to make corrections.

2.) Enlist the help of a teacher, counselor, neighbor, friend (or anyone you trust to share your story with)—having another opinion can help you clarify ideas or topics. They may even remember a club or project you forgot to add to your activities section. If you have specific questions about word choice, punctuation, or grammar, now is the time to ask.

3.) Take a break—often when we’re too close to our own work, it becomes challenging to pick up on the tiniest errors. Read your essays or activities section on a few different days. Coming in with a fresh perspective will help you make the most of your editing time.

You’re almost there! You’ve proofread and checked all of your responses. Now what?

When Not to Make Changes

Your college application shouldn’t be filled with what you think the admissions committee wants to hear. Teachers and friends are great partners for assisting with the final product. However, the application should still sound like you and be a true reflection of who you are. Read your application from start to finish. Does it still tell your story? Is it honest? It should be 100 percent you and no one else.


The Final Countdown

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute!

I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you not to wait until the last minute. It’s so true! While you can plan around your schedule, there are some things you can’t plan for. Give yourself at least a few days before the deadline to review last-minute updates and changes.

Oh, and if you think you’ll receive your NYU ID and access to your applicant portal the moment you hit submit, think again! A lot happens between the time you hit submit and when you can access your applicant portal. This is important to know if the school or program you’re applying to requires additional materials such as an audition or portfolio. Give yourself enough time to submit all of your application materials on time.

If you do experience challenges when submitting your application, reach out to the Common Application directly.

Now Celebrate!

You did it! You’re ready to submit your application. Getting to this point takes a lot of hard work. Take a few moments (or more!) to celebrate your accomplishments. We wish you all the best!

Kelly Vann is a Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission at NYU. Prior to joining NYU, she worked in Undergraduate Admissions at Seton Hill University and Carnegie Mellon. She enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants and English Breakfast tea. A Pennsylvania native, Kelly currently resides in Hoboken.