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New York University

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The best thing about NYU is the connections you make-no contest. Most of my professors in the music department are composing works and conducting major ensembles. My choir conductor teaches at Juilliard. Believe me, when you come here, you are most certainly going to get people who are the best in the business. However, the one thing I would change about this is that I wish the professors were more personable and less adamant about their graduate work. Hell, half of my professors don't seem to care, mainly because there are nearly 40 people in one class. I would say that, yeah, this school is way too big. NYU always complains about how they are "the best of the best" and that they should be higher in the ranking. Well maybe because you accept anyone with a 3.6 GPA and a composite 2000 SAT score. Seriously, I ask myself why certain people are allowed to come here. When I tell people that I go to NYU, I usually get a look of awe or someone asking me if I've met anyone famous. However, it depends on who you tell. If you tell someone in New York, you'll get a shrug at best. If you want to go to best school in New York, go to Columbia. That is what will get you the attention you want. Yet people from back home tend to think I'm a genius of some sort because I got in. I don't necessarily think that way at all. NYU may be a tough school to get into for some, but if you are a consistent student in high school with some extracurriculars, you'll have no problem getting in. Since I am a commuter student, I tend to spend more time at the Kimmel Center For Student Life or Bobst Library. Kimmel pretty much has it all in one building-practice rooms, lounges, computers, a dining hall. It has served me well as my base of operations. Meanwhile, Bobst is probably the most expansive library I've ever been in. Granted, I've toured some colleges and I've seen some pretty big libraries, but NYU is definitely ranking up there in terms of sheer volume. There are lounges downstairs, along with some conference rooms. There is also the Avery Fisher Center For Music And Media, which is a great place is you want to catch a film or listen to some new, avant-garde music. When it comes to college towns and NYU, people usually say "well, that's what I came here for". But really researched the city and really get a feel for it. I thought I liked New York when I would come visit some friends or go see a Broadway show. But there's a difference between visiting and living in New York. Within six months, you will grow bored of the city. That's just a plain fact. It doesn't matter how many museum exhibits you go to or how many baseball games you attend, New York may seem expansive, but you'll soon see how much you wish there was more to do once you've lived there for a while. And it is expensive as well. All the clubs, the restaurants, everything you've wanted to do in the city will not come cheap. Granted, there are special "city dives", such as Pizza Mercato where two slices of pizza is $3.00, but when you add up all the money spent for tuition, books and room and board, you ask yourself if it's ethical to ask your parents for more money just so you can hang out. The NYU administration is horrible. Probably next to Rutgers for worst college administration. I've had classes dropped for no reason. To get a practice room, I need to fill out a form and wait a day before it becomes open. If you're having problems in terms of adjusting, they'll tell you to go read a book. This school does not care about its students. It only cares about the money and making itself even grander and bigger. But it doesn't matter how much money the school pours into itself: until they learn to treat their students like individuals that matter, they will never see above number 30 on the US News and Report rankings list. Probably the biggest controversy on campus is the Take Back NYU group and the acts they pull off so they can get everyone against NYU. You see, the students, being curious as always, would like to know what their money is going towards, such as salaries, projects, etc. But NYU, being a private university, refuses to show a budget and what it is going towards. While colleges like Northwestern and Brown happily show their budgets on their website. But that gives no reason for kids to take over a dining hall for four hours and heap a bunch of bad publicity on the school. Seriously, you ask yourself who is dumber at this school-the administration or the students. There is absolutely no school pride. In fact, it is not out of the ordinary to hear your friends talk about transfering. Hell, I may be transfering next semester. The fact is, kids like knowing that they are at NYU their senior year. But as soon as they show up to cash in on what their parents are paying, they become ornery and "past" the fact that they are at NYU. I would not be transfering if NYU had more school pride. Considering they refuse to endorse the athletics or anything great done by the undergraduate body, it seems you will not be cheering for anything about NYU any time soon. The most unusual thing about NYU is that despite being located in the middle of Greenwich Village, it is not New York. NYU and NYC are two completely separate entities. Sure, you may feel like you're in the city, but the truth is-NYU is totally different from actually living in New York. You'll understand once you visit the campus...it'll hit you that you're no longer in Midtown anymore.

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The best thing about NYU, in my opinion, is the fact that you have Manhattan as your playground. No other college, even those in NYC, can say that they are located right in the heart of the city, where there are so many great restaurants, clubs, bars, and a million things to do. I can truly say I never get bored in Manhattan. Just the other week, I went to a bar where and ended up hanging out with a few Yankee players who were there. This city really does always have a way of surprising you. Perhaps the only thing I could say about NYU that I wish were different is that there is absolutely no campus, and that is something I was not prepared for. While NYU is centered around Washington Square Park, you don't necessarily get that feeling of a small college community, like you would at Columbia, for example. However, there are trade-offs. The other schools in Manhattan that do have more of a "college campus" are also located very far uptown, where the city is quiet and there is nothing to do. So if I had my choice, I would choose NYU all over again. Not to mention that when I tell people I go to NYU, the reaction I get is one of being impressed, and I know immediately that i have attained more respect from the person with who i am conversing, due to NYU's academic reputation. While I believe that students should be going to college to "get away", become independent, and grow into the adult that they will become, I also believe that there is more to choosing a college than the "typical" fratty lifestyle. I love that manhattan is my "campus" which is full of bars, clubs, and restaurants Because of this, I rarely go to the same place more than once or twice, as there is always a new restaurant opening, or a new club to be explored. But more importantly, living in Manhattan can open up a lot of doors because of the connections that you can make in this city (due to internships, professor recommendations, general networking). If I take anything away from NYU, it's that I believe that I can honestly say I have made good connections that I know will help me long after graduation.

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The academics. The professors are really knowledgeable about their subject and it's so awesome to get to learn from them. I would get rid of the General Studies Program. It's for students who need to go to community college for two years first. NYU is too large. People are always impressed when I tell them I go to NYU. I spend most of my time in my room or exploring the city. What college town? NYU's administration is awful. It's too decentralized so it's difficult to know who to complain to about something. Then, when you find who to contact, there's no one above them to contact if they aren't helpful or if you want to complain about that department. The biggest controversy was liberal professors giving conservative students a hard time for being conservative, however, it's only been about two professors who have done that, so it's not as big of a deal as it was made out to be. There isn't a lot of school pride. A lot of people resent NYU for not being as much of a dream school as it seems to be before anyone gets there, but I think it's just different from what it's portrayed as, but I still love it. NYU holds some classes in the classroom inside Starbucks. There are people begging for money on your way to class. It's really big on "Going Green". It is always working on building more international campuses as well as buying other schools, such as Polytechnic University. One experience I'll always remember is when Barack Obama came to speak at Washington Square park, which is at the heart of NYU. The most frequent student complaints are that NYU isn't the dream school that everyone thought it was. It's too big. You never see the same people on your way to class. The lines for the elevators when going to class are ridiculous. Housing is too expensive for what you get.

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NYU is POWERFUL. And when I say powerful, I mean it. NYU is the largest private real estate holder in NYC. They just buy property all the time. I find that this gives students a feeling of power as well. When people hear I go to NYU, the usual reaction is "WOOOW YOU GO TO NYU?" We're not arrogant, but we know we're in a great school, in the greatest city in the world. I am a New Yorker and I can honestly say that everyday I fall more and more in love with my city. There is never a dull moment in this capital of the world. I can not even imagine what it is like for out of state students to experience the grandiosity and splendor of NYC. This is not a college town. The city is your campus (seriously, we own most of it). I notice that a lot of freshman find it difficult to adapt at first. There is no sense of community as a whole, but each school has its pride. And there are plenty of extracurricular activities that get students involved. But still, in a school and a city so big, it is easy to feel alone. People get through it for the most part. And when they do, they start to enjoy all NYU and NYC has to offer. Many of the classes are small. The science classes are huge though. About 400-800 students per section. This is all made up for with small recitations for almost every class, and office hours from professors. Dining halls are great. Residence halls are for the most part excellent. Probably the only thing I would change is the cost of tuition and the availability of financial aid. Like I said, NYU has power. And this power makes them money hungry. Tuition goes up 2% a year. I'm going to love paying off my student loans. But has it been worth it for me? 100%.

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Basically, I'm glad I'm here. Some of the greatest things here are that it's within and throughout the city, there are SO many opportunities here because of it (job-wise, activity-wise, socially...), you'll meet tons of different people from all over the world, it never gets boring, and you'll always be impressed by your classmates. I like the size. It's big enough to always be meeting new people, but the classes are small enough to get to know them. People are really interested to hear stories, when they find out where I go to school. I think that it's publicized enough, that they want to know what it's really like. I spend a lot of time in the Kimmel building, it's a more casual place to just relax and study. Take breaks between classes. Otherwise, I'm constantly in the Silver building for most of my classes. Since we're based in the city, we don't really have an official "campus," but I think some consider Washington Square Park to be our campus. But really, Greenwich or all of Manhattan is our campus. Administration is very helpful as far as jobs go. They want you to succeed. But man, is it complicated. There are many resources, you just have to figure out where to go. I don't think that there are many controversies? It's pretty much what other schools have. Kids get stressed out with the big and constant competition. Most people were the best at something in high school, so coming here... everyone else was too. It definitely humbles you. But that's the biggest "issue" I see. Kids falling under stress. I'd say there's a lot of school pride. People want to be here. Everything here is unusual. Haha. There is no norm.

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NYU is not your typical college. There is no quad--just the park. That is not one cafeteria or lounge where everyone hangs out--NYU has several. And there are not that many traditional college parties with keggers--you'll have to find the frats or go to some of the larger, loft-style apartments in Brooklyn to find that. NYU is a huge university. After almost four years here, there are still hundreds of people I have never meet or never seen. For the most part, you'll get to know the people in your dorm, in your department or in your clubs and extracurriculars. Some people struggle with this freshman year. They expect more of a traditional college experience. I'm telling you now. You will NOT get that at NYU. Going to NYU is like moving to New York City, where you happen to take a few classes. If you're a city person, you'll flourish. If you prefer big green spaces and a closed campus, you'll wish you had gone to state school. That being said, NYU does its best to try to give students as close to a traditional experience as it can. Freshman year, everyone lives in dorms which are located as close to campus (Washington Square Park) as possible. Resident Assistants on each floor try to create a community with activities and floor outings. Dining halls around campus give students a quad-like, cafeteria experience. Frats and sororities--yes, there are a few at NYU--recruit new students for what is the probably the most typical college experience. So to sum up, going to NYU is not a typical college experience. But if you want it, you can probably find it somewhere within this huge university.

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The best thing about NYU in my opinion is the breadth of classes that are offered and the quality of the professors that teach these classes. The History Department has some of the most amazing classes and magnificent professors whose own published studies compliment the work of the classes. NYU is a large school, and I liked that it was so big. You could meet a different group of people every semester through classes, clubs, and your friends' classes and clubs. In general, people are impressed that I went to NYU; the academics in the departments I am familiar with are great. It is also in the center of Greenwich Village, so people tend to be envious that NYC was my homebase throughout school, and has continued to be post-graduation. There is no enclosed campus, but Washington Square Park and its surrounding area is consistently flooded with NYU students, so it doesn't feel strange that NYU lacks gates. Students often complain that NYU's administration is bureaucratic, and its true that there are, at times, many steps that need to be taken to get something done. However, with a student population as large as NYU's, it seems that these steps are the best way possible, in practice, to get things done. One thing that's difficult about NYU is how expensive the school is. Personally, I got a great deal of merit-based financial aid scholarship from the College of Arts and Science, but I know that this is definitely not true for many students. This does contribute to a large population of NYU students being from upper middle class to upper class backgrounds.

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NYU is definitely too big, at least for my taste. If you want a place where your advisor knows what your extracurricular activities are by heart and your professors invite you out for coffee DO NOT COME TO NYU. However, in spite of the lack of community and hustle and bustle, NYU does give you a "real life education." You learn to look out for yourself and be responsible for yourself. NYU isn't a stepping stone to the real world, like other colleges are, it IS the real world. The best thing about NYU is the location, the dorms, and the dining halls. The dorms are insane. You're going to be paying more for housing than your friends that go to college in, say, Pennsylvania (obviously) but you're going to get some of the best apartment spaces in Manhattan for way less than they're real estate value. The dining halls have great food and there's literally like at least 10 of them so you're always bound to find something you like. I spend most of my time in academic buildings and in my dorm. The library is drab, plus it's unlikely that you're going to be studying in big groups anyway just because classes are huge so there's not many classmate-friends to be made unless you are very outgoing. There is not much school pride, there is hardly any athletic scene, the greek scene is a joke to anyone that isn't in it. That aside, it's a good school academically and telling people I go here always impresses them.

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NYU was an incredible experience for me, but did not lack its' struggles. I think that NYU is a more difficult school to adjust to than many others because you are not in a campus but rather just plopped into the middle of New York City. That fact requires some combination of bravery, insanity, self-direction, and focus to succeed at NYU. You have to take responsibility for your own education and your post-graduate career, because although there are terrific resources available, one must take the initiative to seek them out. If you want to be led by the hand through the ins and outs of college life, NYU is not for you. Needless to say, NYU WAS for me. I needed to be pushed out of my comfort zone in the way that my time at NYU did, and feel like I can tackle anything and everything now because of the challenges I've met over the years. I encountered incredibly inspiring professors who took time out to speak with me and further my understanding of coursework. I found a perfect niche where I felt supported and motivated, but again, i had to seek it out myself. Some people say that NYU has no school pride because there is no campus--but I will always share a secret journey with everyone else who went to NYU. We all took a chance when we were 17 and 4 years later, are stronger because of it. Some cons: the administration is tricky to navigate, lots of red tape.

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NYU takes some getting used to, especially if you're not used to a huge city. There isn't really school pride as sports aren't a very big thing; NYU doesn't even have a football team. There are many great things about it though. For one, there is always something to do in the city. It is impossible to get bored, unless you're not trying. For some, it is too big. The sense of community isn't as strong as is it at schools that have a campus, but this is an easy problem to resolve. You just have to join clubs or sports leagues. There are many ways to meet new people. NYU also has an amazing study abroad program. They are relatively small so students can get the small college feel abroad and the benefits of a large city on the main campus in NYC. I am currently a sophomore and am studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Originally I was only going to be abroad for a semester, but I decided to extend it to a year because I loved it so much. It has been the most amazing experience of my life so far. Next Fall I am going to do an exchange program with a school in Paris, France and be there for a semester also. See, NYU has a lot of study abroad opportunities. I also plan on double-majoring and minoring and graduating in four years. This is all made possible by NYU's study abroad program.

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