NYU acceptance rate drops to 12.8%

The university released admissions decisions for the Class of 2025 earlier this week, offering around 13,000 applicants a spot at NYU and welcoming its most diverse class yet.


NYU will soon welcome the new class of 2025. Admissions rates have continued to drop each year. (Staff Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Arnav Binaykia, Deputy News Editor

The undergraduate acceptance rate for NYU’s New York City campus dropped to 12.8%, according to admissions decisions for the Class of 2025 released Wednesday, March 31. This makes the Class of 2025 the university’s most selective class to date.

100,131 students applied to NYU’s undergraduate programs this admissions cycle — among the highest volume of applications ever received by a U.S. university in a single year. The university extended admission offers to over 12,500 prospective students, 6,500 of whom are expected to join next year’s cohort.

Early Decision I and II applicants received their admissions decisions from the university earlier this year. Prospective graduate students — for whom the application process varies by school and department — have been receiving their admissions decisions over the past two weeks.

This is the fourth consecutive year in which the undergraduate acceptance rate for the New York City campus has dropped. The acceptance rate was 15% for the Class of 2024, 16% for the Class of 2023 and 19% for the Class of 2022.

According to NYU, the Class of 2025 is the most diverse class in the university’s history, with 29% of admitted students from underrepresented communities, 20% eligible for Pell Grants, 20% first-generation university-goers and 19% international students. The class comprises students from 102 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

The pandemic had a pronounced impact on the application process during this admissions cycle. In order to accommodate students affected by test cancellations or public health restrictions, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions broadened the scope of the university’s standardized testing policies in June 2020, making the submission of standardized test scores optional. The office extended this policy in February to the upcoming admissions cycle.

In addition, the university’s 100 application reviewers had to carry out the application review process online since many of the university’s offices continue to operate remotely.

“Having all of our staff virtual did take some adjustments, but we had been preparing for this since we went remote in March 2020,” MJ Knoll-Finn, the senior vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, wrote in an email to WSN. “We are firmly committed to a holistic review of applications and that was where we increased our training and supported staff throughout the reading season.”

Changes made by NYU’s applications team to better handle the high volume of applications included conducting bias training, extending training time for reviewers and giving additional focus to counselor recommendations submitted by applicants.

Admittees to the Class of 2025 have one month to respond to their offers.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome the newly admitted Class of 2025 this fall, and will no doubt remind students what makes this university so exceptional — our amazingly talented faculty, the vibrant cities we are located in, the students who enhance the life and energy of our global community and the impact that our resilient and diverse community has on the world,” Knoll-Finn wrote.

NYU President Andrew Hamilton released a statement congratulating the newly admitted students and reaffirming that the university plans to return to in-person instruction for the Fall 2021 semester.

“Barring something unforeseen, the arrival of these freshmen will be accompanied by the full restoration of in-person classes and what we hope will be the reestablishment of the full range of campus activities,” Hamilton said. “Amidst the recovery of the normal rhythms of campus life that will occur next fall, we shall be very glad to welcome the Class of 2025.”

Email Arnav Binaykia at [email protected].