As a student, faculty member, or visitor at NYU, you may have heard a wide range of stories about the school. With a rich history and vibrant campus culture, NYU has its fair share of myths that have been passed around on the internet and from one student to another. Below, we explore some of the most common ones and separate the facts from fiction. If you’re curious to know if there’s any truth to the myths you’ve heard, keep reading!

The author outside her first-year dorm room on move-in day.
My first-year move-in day at Othmer Hall—super excited to meet my roommates!
Myth #1: It’s difficult for students to find community due to the nontraditional campus.

This is a very common NYU myth. When researching NYU, my initial impression was that many students find it challenging to feel a sense of community. However, after actually attending the school, I realized this myth could not be further from the truth. Despite not having a centralized campus, NYU offers students various ways to find their place within the University. 

Clubs, classes, and residential life are great ways for students to meet new people and build community. During my first year, I lived in Othmer Hall. It’s one of the first-year residence halls in Brooklyn for Tandon School of Engineering students. I made the majority of my friends then because we lived in the same residence hall. It was super convenient to have all my friends living in one building too. Anytime I needed help, they were all just an elevator ride away! Though I found community through a residence hall, everyone’s experience may be a little different.

One of my friends found a great community from a club she joined. And I know people who met their closest friends through on-campus jobs and classes. Many people become friends with other students in their major since they spend a lot of time together taking the same classes. That happened to me as well! If you’re worried about making new friends all over again in college, don’t fret. There are so many social events, clubs, and organizations at NYU that allow students to meet each other and form long-lasting friendships. 


Myth #2: There is not a huge emphasis on Greek life and sports at NYU.

In high school I remember seeing recent graduates go off to college and post pictures of themselves living their best lives at sports games and Greek life events. And I couldn’t wait to do the same. When I realized that NYU doesn’t have a football team, and my dream of repping the school at games wouldn’t happen, I wondered what NYU students did instead to showcase school spirit and feel a sense of community. 

While NYU may not have a traditional campus atmosphere with a strong emphasis on Greek life and sports, it does offer students a unique and enriching college experience with several opportunities for personal and academic growth. 

There will be no Saturdays spent at stadiums packed with students all decked out in NYU Violet (except graduation) like you see in the movies. However, NYU does not lack in school spirit in comparison to other schools. We showcase our school spirit in many ways. For example: 

  1. Welcome Week: At the beginning of each academic year, NYU hosts a series of events and activities to welcome new students to the university community. (Events include drag bingo, silent disco, and food excursions!)
  2. Although NYU doesn’t have a football team, it still hosts a homecoming each year. Every fall, there is a variety of activities, such as a parade, street fair, and concert. 
  3. Social justice and activism: NYU has a strong tradition of social justice and activism. Here, many students and faculty members are passionate about promoting equality, justice, and human rights. So students have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of social justice initiatives and engage in meaningful activism, both on and off campus.

Also, it’s an NYU myth that there is absolutely no Greek life and sports games here on campus. Greek life is very diverse here. There are over 25 fraternities and sororities on campus! NYU also has a robust athletic program with 23 varsity sports teams. These teams have won numerous championships over the years as well. NYU emphasizes a diverse array of opportunities for students to explore their interests. So whether that’s joining a sorority or creating a club of your own, you can definitely find something that suits your individual passions. 


A violet ice sculpture that reads, “NYU Violet Ball 2022.”
2022 NYU Violet Ball!
Myth #3: You meet people from all over the world.

Very, very true. I lived in a three-bedroom, six-person suite my first year. My roommates were from Qatar, the Philippines, New Jersey, Illinois, and New Zealand. Meeting people from all different paths of life but also living with them was an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything else—and this is definitely one of my favorite parts about NYU. The school values inclusivity and encourages students to engage with people from different backgrounds and cultures. This kind of cultural exchange is a valuable part of the NYU experience.

Growing up in small-town Maryland was definitely fun. There, I could be around the same people and form close relationships with them. However, attending NYU has allowed me to broaden my horizons. The diversity I’ve experienced at NYU helped me expand my understanding of the world and become a more well-rounded person. While I’ll always have fond memories of my hometown, I’m grateful for the opportunities that attending NYU has given me to grow and develop as a person!

Myth #4: It’s too expensive to attend this university.

OK, I won’t sugarcoat it…yes, living expenses in New York City can definitely be costly. It is more an assumed fact than a myth that New York City is expensive. So of course this concerns many prospective students and their families when they’re considering attending NYU. While the cost of living in the city is generally high, NYU does offer several resources and opportunities to help students manage the cost of attendance, and the Office of Financial Education can also offer guidance on how to live within your means while planning for your post-college future.

NYU offers a range of financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, and loans. What’s more, there are plenty of resources to help students find affordable housing. For a closer look at Financial Aid at NYU, check out this article written by NYU’s Financial Aid team.  Plus, beginning in fall 2024, the NYU Promise states that NYU will cover the full cost of tuition for students admitted as first-year undergraduate students to the NYC campus, whose families hold typical assets and have a household income under $100,000 per year. Learn more about the NYU Promise here.

From a student’s perspective, check out this article from a fellow ambassador about learning to budget in the city, and this other article about finding fun free (or nearly fee!) things to do in NYC.

Rhythm and blues duo Chloe x Halle saying, “You got this,” to offer support.

There are many myths about NYU floating around. However, it’s important to separate fact from fiction and consider the University for its own merits. (And this goes for any college!) It’s important to remember that every university has its own unique culture and strengths, and NYU is no exception. So don’t let the rumors scare you. By keeping an open mind and exploring all NYU has to offer, you may just find that it’s a perfect fit for you!

Hi guys! My name is Hridayesha, and I am a junior at the Tandon School of Engineering studying Mechanical Engineering. I am originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland. I love immersing myself in the vibrant city and learning about the new cultures that the city has to offer. Outside of being an Admissions Ambassador, I am part of the Tandon Student Council as well. I enjoy meeting new people and trying out new eats around the city!