How ‘Hip’ Is NYU?: University Asks Students in New Survey

A random group of students were chosen to participate in NYU’s latest marketing campaign.


By Mansee Khurana, Deputy News Editor

A select number of NYU students woke up to an email on Friday morning asking them to participate in a survey about how they perceive NYU.

SimpsonScarborough, an educational consulting firm which is currently conducting this survey on behalf of NYU, sent out an initial email on April 7 to students to tell them the goal of the survey. Five days later, students found the voluntary, anonymous survey in their inboxes.

Your feedback will help inform a comprehensive initiative to support and advance NYU’s image and reputation,” the email read.

The survey asks a range of questions about NYU and other universities, from “Which of the following BEST describes Columbia University as you know it?” to “Select the statement you feel is the LEAST true of NYU?”

CAS first-year Andres Cortez ignored the email to take the survey.

“I didn’t even do [the survey],” Cortez said. “I thought it was complete spam.”

The survey also asks students to choose whether or not they believe NYU is a diverse university, socially and economically.

“[NYU is] trying to make their reputation better and it was so obvious,” said CAS first-year Patricia Len, who took the survey. “I am definitely not so happy about some of the things in this survey, like how their propaganda is all ‘diversity.’’’

One question asked students to pick from a list of adjectives which best described NYU. Among the answer choices were the words “nimble,” “hip” and “intrepid.”

“Some of the questions make sense, but some of them are rather odd,” Gallatin first-year Zoe Chandler said. “I also hate this type of survey because a lot of my opinions of the school are not black and white.”

The survey is part of an initiative to get feedback from students to improve university communications in fundraising, recruitment and student satisfaction. University spokesperson John Beckman wrote in an email to WSN that this survey is one of the methods that the university uses to get information from students for internal university use.

“In this case, at the University’s request a survey is being conducted by [SimpsonScarborough] of various important, valued stakeholder groups to get their feedback,” Beckman said. “This type of approach can elicit a lot of useful information.”

The email also promised students who complete the survey a chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card.

While Stern first-year Anisha Ghosh found the survey to be tedious, she still filled it out for the Amazon gift card.

“I thought it was pretty long and the questions were monotonous but the [$500] Amazon gift card was great incentive to fill it out,” Ghosh said.

Email Mansee Khurana at [email protected]