A person wearing an NYU T-shirt, smiling and giving a thumbs-up.

As of August 1, our application for the 2022–2023 Academic Year is online! It’s an exciting time to be applying to NYU and diving into to all of the possibilities that come along with a new start. But we also know wading into college applications can be anxiety-inducing for our prospective students.

NYU Admissions does not take any part of our job more seriously than designing an application and evaluation process that is as clear, equitable, and accessible as possible. We want to do all we can to help applicants put their best self forward. Therefore, every year, we spend months researching, discussing, and debating (we’re New Yorkers after all!) to ensure each part of applying to NYU meets those goals. And if they don’t, we change them. 

To that end, here are some changes, both big and small, you will encounter in our application this year:

New Guidance for Recommendation Letters

We removed the limits previously in place for recommendation letters. Now we only require one letter of recommendation from applicants. What’s more, any authority figure can write it. 

For some applicants, that letter may still come from a teacher or counselor, but it does not need to. We understand a lot of our applicants have someone else in their lives who can best express their experiences and strengths. Therefore, applicants can ask anyone in a position of authority (for example, a music instructor, a soccer coach, a volunteer or work supervisor) to write a letter of recommendation.

Now for the fine print. Applicants can still submit up to three letters of recommendation. The second two are completely optional (we really mean optional!). And though we still require the Secondary School Report for first-year applicants, which can be found in the Common Application, we no longer require the accompanying recommendation letter.

NYU Still Doesn’t Require Testing This Year

NYU continues to recognize the challenges that the pandemic created with students preparing for and taking standardized tests. As a result, we will not require standardized testing once again for this coming year’s application cycle. We use any standardized test scores you do choose to submit to help us support our academic evaluation. And thanks to our flexible testing policy, we accept a lot of them. If we don’t have a standardized test score, that’s OK (they really are optional). We will just use your high school transcript in our evaluation. 

The one thing that is required when it comes to standardized testing, is for you to tell us on your application whether or not you plan to submit test scores. If you tell us on your application that you are submitting testing, your application will be incomplete until we receive it. Do keep an eye on our English Language Testing requirements , as there are some cases where one of those tests may be required. Read more about what “test optional” really means here!

New Optional Common Application Question

Beginning this year, first-year applicants applying to NYU no longer need to answer the Why NYU? essay. Instead, we ask an optional question that allows you to tell us a little more about yourself and how you will contribute to this community that we love so much. Here is the question:

NYU was founded on the belief that a student’s identity should not dictate the ability for them to access higher education. That sense of opportunity for all students, of all backgrounds, remains a part of who we are today and a critical part of what makes us a world class university. Our community embraces diversity, in all its forms, as a cornerstone of the NYU experience.

We would like to better understand how your experiences would help us to shape and grow our diverse community. Please respond in 250 words or less. 

It’s really optional. Students who do not submit an answer when applying to NYU will not be penalized in our review process. This question, if you choose to answer it, will help us expand the view we have of your application. 

Financial Aid Reminders for Your Support Network

While you need to completely fill out the application you submit to us, we know you may have help if you are applying for financial aid. We want to help make NYU affordable for you, but we are only able to do that if you apply correctly for financial aid and do so on time. To help you do that, we now ask if there is anyone you would like us to email reminders and information about applying for financial aid at NYU. This can be a parent or guardian, sibling, other family member, or maybe a counselor who gave you permission to add their email address. Don’t hesitate to add some emails here! We will not share any personal information about your application with them. We only share information with you—the applicant—or the counselor submitting the Secondary School Report. 

Final Thoughts

While we change the application a little every year, one thing about applying to NYU has never and will never change: we are here to help you. If you or anyone in your support network ever have any questions at all about applying to NYU, please contact us. In the meantime, I wish you the best of luck with your application process. We can’t wait to learn more about you!