The Ivy Coach Daily

September 13, 2023

2023-2024 NYU Supplemental Essay Prompt

The arch is featured under a blue sky in NYC's Washington Square Park.
NYU switched its supplemental essay prompt this year (photo credit: Diego Delso).

New York University has released its supplemental essay prompt for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. In addition to The Common Application’s Personal Statement, applicants to NYU are asked to respond to one optional 250-word supplemental essay — and it’s a different one from years past.

For this supplemental essay, NYU applicants can focus their answer on one of four quotes provided, choose their own quote, or not answer the question at all. Of course, students who don’t write optional essays put themselves at a significant disadvantage — irrespective of what NYU’s admissions officers may say to the contrary.

2023-2024 NYU Essay Question

In 250 words or less, applicants to NYU’s Class of 2028 are asked to respond to the following prompt:

We are looking for peacemakers, changemakers, global citizens, boundary breakers, creatives and innovators – Choose one quote from the following and let us know why it inspires you; or share a short quote and person not on our list who inspires you, and include why.

“We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” 

– Judith Heumann, 2022 NYU Commencement Address

“I encourage your discomfort, that you must contribute, that you must make your voice heard. That is the essence of good citizenship.” 

– Sherilynn Ifill, 2015 NYU Commencement Addresss

“If you know how to fly but you never knew how to walk, wouldn’t that be sad?” Lang Lang, 2015 NYU Honorary Degree Recipient “You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” 

– Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, 2023 NYU Commencement Address

“It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair.” 

– Taylor Swift, Change, Released 2008, 2022 NYU Commencement Speaker

Share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires you.

Not answering this optional question.

When answering this NYU essay prompt, regardless of the quote a student chooses, students must focus on how they think and wish to shape the world in one singular way rather than focus on the quote itself or the person who uttered the line at a commencement address. Ideally, the essay will fit like a puzzle piece with the Personal Statement — in a complementary rather than a redundant way — to showcase the singular hook a student hopes to bring to NYU.

On a personal note, we at Ivy Coach are pleased to see a quote included from the late disability rights activist Judith Heumann, NYU’s 2022 commencement speaker and the subject of a 2022 Academy Award-winning documentary, as she was a dear friend of Ivy Coach’s Founder, Bev Taylor.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with the NYU Essay

If you’re interested in optimizing your case for admission to NYU by submitting an NYU supplement that wows admissions officers, fill out Ivy Coach’s free consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to outline our college counseling services for applicants to the Class of 2028.

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