New York University Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Sarah

The best thing about NYU is living in the city and never running out of things to do. Also that being emmersed in the city helps me to be independent and mature. Things I would change- have more gyms, pay less for tuition, get better and more accessible food for all the dining halls. I spend most of my time at my acting studio or in the area surrounding Washington Square Park. I think NYU has pretty great administrators...at least I can speak for the Drama dept. Not a lot of school pride. NYU is unusual in that it's not the stereotypical college in any sense-- no real campus, not a large greek/party life, no big school sporting events, BUT every room has its own bathroom!

Parker

I think NYU's size is one of its greatest attributes. There are 16,000 undergrads, yet no matter where I go I run into people I know. On the other hand, it's great knowing that you won't be sick of all the same people by junior year, because up until the day you graduate, you are constantly meeting new people (including those in your own class). And believe me, there are so many different types of people here that you wish you could find a way to know all of them. Nonetheless, the wide range and diversity provides an incredibly exciting (not to mention refreshing) opportunity to connect with people on so many different levels. The size also makes it so that if you don't like someone, it's easier not to see them. There are less chances that you'll have mutual friends, be in the same class together, etc. Another great thing about NYU is that you'll never feel claustrophobic. The campus is not an isolated dome, separated from the real world. NYU, instead, is integrated into the outside world so that students can feel more like adults and have the freedom and breadth to be around new things, people and environments whenever they feel like it. This isn't to say that NYU has no campus, though. The library, student center, several dining halls, and most academic buildings where classes are held are located right around the perimeter of Washington Square Park. In addition, most of the deli's and coffee shops right around campus are basically primarily NYU student-filled - so much so that almost all of them offer discounts to NYU students or the option for students to pay via their meal plans. The underlying concept here - and one of the best things about NYU - is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. It can be very campus-like, anti-campus, or anywhere in between. It all depends on how you choose to look at it and what type of dynamic you prefer.

Andy

The greatest thing about NYU is the location! Where else can I see Mario Bertolli walking up and down 5th Ave. in his orange crocs? Or see Robert DeNiro pushing his kids in a stroller? Everything is so convenient, and I feel like I am being a good person because I walk everywhere instead of driving. One thing I would change is the cost! It's mad expensive here- not just attending, but living in the city, period. It's the perfect size for me. I know it's really like, what, 40,000 students or something? But I don't see them all- I have some really big classes, and then I have recitations and classes with like, 15 people. It's nice. People's eyes get big when I tell them I go to NYU. They ask me if I go into the city all the time...and I say yes. Because the school is in the city. As a matter of fact, NYU IS THE CITY, pretty much. I spend most of my time either in Weinstein (the residence hall with 2 dining options) or in my dorm studying, or at Kimmel where all of the student activities stuff happens. This isn't a college town by traditional definition. To me, college towns mean that the entire city knows when there is a football game, and all the kids grow up knowing everything about the university and wanting to go there all of their lives. Here, NYU just owns most of the property in the city, so it takes up a lot of space, but there is no sports team that all the families rally around. We're not really known for our sports, but we do all right. Administration I am skeptical of, since some people are friendly but many are not. Also, they don't like it when you point out their mistakes- especially financial aid! The biggest recent controversy? Well, there was the time that the politics department caught all these students cheating on a midterm, resulting in the "destruction" of over 250 student's tests. I don't know if there were other controversies, though. Maybe. There isn't much NYU pride as a whole, but that is because most people are busy cheering for their own "schools" within NYU. The business school is the most fanatic, but that is because they are all competing for jobs and such.

Maggie

NYU is huge. There are thousands upon thousands of undergraduates, but NYU compensates by having thousands upon thousands of course offerings, professors, and clubs. It's a big college with all the advantages that entails and none of the disadvantages. It's situated in a lovely corner of Manhattan, just around the corner from $2.50 falafel and a plethora of specialty bars. The village is your campus, and it is huge. The downside to this is that if you're not careful, classes can be very far apart indeed. This is usually avoidable, so long as you're not a language major and you pay attention to the location before you sign up for a class. Language major? You'll get a lot of exercise.

Rachael

The best thing about NYU is that you can pursue any interest that you have, the possibilities are endless. One thing I would change is the gender ratio at NYU, I would want it to be more even. Our school is very large, but the schools within the university make NYU it small as well. When I tell people I go to NYU, they assume that I have a lot of money and that I am very artsy/cultured. I spend most of my time in the student lounge at the Stern School. This is NYC, there is no college town, but a city that I think rivals any college town. NYU administration are very kind and helpful when you persist, but overall the adminstration is pretty impersonal. The biggest controversy is NYU's new study abroad site in Abu Dabi, and how it will be funded. We have very little school pride as a whole, but everyone is proud they go to NYU. There are many things unusual about NYU, we are not a typical school. One experience I will always remember is looking out into the city at the top of an NYU building the first week of school. Students frequently complain about how expensive NYU is.

Samantha

The best thing about NYU...probably how pretty diverse it is. I've met a lot of pretty amazing people, from completely different backgrounds and perspectives. I'd probably make some changes in the housing office at NYU. For starters, I'd hire competent people. Since I was a sternie, I spent most of my time on "campus" in front of that R2D2 building in Gould Plaza. I've always hated that name, I feel like I have rotten cheese in my mouth when I say it. Each school is relatively small, but NYU in general is huge. Seems like everyone still knows everyone though. Facebook keeps me updated. I don't think NYU provided me with any one experience that I'll always remember. I did spend a whole lot of time overnight in the student lounge in Stern. Going to Seoul over spring break with stern was pretty rad too. Although that wasn't much of an educational trip, that was more of a week long alcohol binge that I barely remember.

Dylan

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.

Cody

All things told, NYU is a fantastic institution with great opportunities, but it is definitely not for everyone. If you’re looking for the ultimate university experience with rolling lawns, outrageous frat parties, and a football team, then keep moving. If you’re interested in a metropolitan experience that makes you feel a little closer to the real world than prolonging high school, then look no further. The thing about NYU is that while most students will complain about it until the cows come home, they sort of knew what they were getting themselves into. We’re in New York City, and there’s no one here to hold our hands, so we may have to grow up a little bit faster than some of our state school friends (maybe).

Andy

NYU is an extremely populated school - too populated in my opinion. I think we need to concentrate more on the students who are already attending NYU, instead of trying to recruit more and more than we used to if we can't even afford to support the students that are currently students.

Jane

The best thing about NYU is living in NYC. Even though we don't have a "campus" exactly, I wish that there was more of a community in the residence halls and stuff. Sometimes I feel like you have to try so hard to meet people and make friends and I can see why some people wouldn't like it, especially if they are shy. I guess, since I consider NYC my real campus, I spend most of my time traveling around from thing to thing. I babysit way up town, I have to go to club meetings in Queens and Brooklyn, and then I give tours all around Washington Sq Park. But I do spend a lot of time in Starbucks!

Victor

I like the school size. It's all over the place in the east and west village. I wouldn't call it a college town for sure....the campus is the city, though the concentration around Wash Square Park gives you a false sense of community. In terms of school pride, I never really noticed much of any until I went to a guys basketball game. Not sure if they were screaming because they even know what the rules of the game were and who was winning, or if they were drunk and just passing the time.

Alex

Most people think NYU is a great school, and an expensive one when it is mentioned. I spent most of my time in the dining hall or in the park if I was on campus. It looks like a college town during the 4 minutes between classes, when all the students are on the streets around Washington Square Park trying to get to lunch or their next class. But it is definitely a "college town" in the city. You dont just see professors and student around. There are residents, children, and a lot of squirrels around. NYU administration sucks. They are unorganized, slow, and not very helpful. The best thing about NYU is definitely its location in the heart of NYC. I didn't mind going to a very large school such as NYU but some people will find it overwhelming. NYC is pretty much the most wonderful town to be in if you are in your late teens and early twenties. You learn a lot of independence and you get to experience the diverse cultures that inhabit NYC. You also get to meet so many different types of people with different ideas, accents, backgrounds. You grow up and learn fast at the reality of how life is. You have homeless people on your campus. There are just so many people around you, rapidly going about their life around you. Yet you do not know any of them. There are a lot of opportunities for cultural events, you just have to seek them out. The Graduate Student Union strike dominated the news 2 years back and the administration has made it pretty clear that it will not negotiate with them. In the end, I believe that everything went back to the status quo. Most of the complaints are hear (some which I have made myself) is in regards to scheduling classes and housing. It is a mess. I tried to get in a class and I got in but could not get into a recitation that would fit my schedule so I couldnt get in. But one of my friends got in through the help of another professor. You have to have some connections sometimes and actively push for what you want, which I never really did.

Madeleine

My first three semesters at NYU were difficult. I didn't feel like I had found a place for myself or a group of friends that I really connected with. NYC is a huge city and it is overwhelming at first. It may take longer to get settled at NYU than at what NYU students fondly refer to as "campus colleges", but once you do you can't imagine going to school anywhere else. The residences are mostly converted from apartment buildings so you have your own kitchen, common room and bathroom. There is the option to do all your own grocery shopping and cooking or eat in the dining halls. Security personnel are friendly and courteous. NYU does an impeccable job of keeping its students safe. As a student at NYU you will feel like you are a true resident of New York City. Its were you will eat and socialize and walk everyday. I wouldn't say that there is as much of a school pride at NYU as there is a NYC pride.

Tate

Best/worst thing: trading in the traditional American college campus experience for the NYC experience. The distinction between NYU and NYC is minimal, as is the one between campus and City. The campus (aka Washington Square Park) is open to students and everybody else. City dwellers soaking up the rare good weather, tourists snapping photos of the Arch just because it's a big thing in the middle of a park, vendors overcharging for water because snap-happy tourists will buy them, street performers sharing their talent or atrocious lack there of, crazies making others feel surprisingly sane, dogs trying to escape their Burberry vests and wondering why their owners spent so much money to make them so uncomfortable, and finally, fanatics using lightsabers to recreate scenes from the trilogy that changed their lives, . Initially, finding a sense of community can be pretty difficult because much like the City, the population is dense but the distance among individuals can be great. But no worries, sooner or later everyone finds people who tickle her/his fancy. Some social groups are composed of people baked from the same dough while other groups are composed of people who couldn't be more different from each other. You got the same-colored M&M's, the rainbow Jelly Beans, the trail mix, etc.

Harper

The best thing about NYU is that it's in New York City. You have every opportunity at your fingertips. The trouble with NYU is that you have to do everything on your own. It is extremely impersonal if you are in one of the larger majors. I had two internships, both of which I found on my own. The departments designed to help with those kinds of things aren't very effective. People generally react positively when I say I went to NYU. Often they respond with something like, "Wow, that's a really good school; you must be really smart," which always makes me uncomfortable, because how do you respond to that without coming off totally arrogant? "Why, yes, it IS a really good school and I AM a genius. Thank you for reminding me."

Ash

The best thing is the location. Living in new york is amazing. I'd change the advising. NYU has the worst advisers I've ever met. That might be because I'm in CAS, but the undergraduate advising is Horrible. There's a high turnover rate of advisers. After my first semester freshmen year my adviser left and I haven't had a set adviser since then. It's hard to try and plan your life out with someone who has no idea who you are or what you want to do with your career. And even if you explain to them they don't really guide as to what classes to take. I've wasted at least 4 courses doing things that I didn't need or want to do to get my major/minor/ or fulfill interests. That's a LOT of money wasted. I think the school is too big... because I went to a really small grade school (K-12th grade) and I liked that personalize interest given by the teachers. I came to NYU because I wanted a bigger school and to take advantage of the diversity fo the student body, which I didn't get in high school, but for me the school is just too big. I spend most of my time on campus because I live downtown and to get to and from school just takes too much time to do multiple times per day, usually. I also have a lot of extra-cirriculars, so I need to stay on campus to work on those after my classes are finished. Even though NYU is in the middle of the city, I still feel like we have a little bit of a "college town" feel, ust because around campus most of the people you do see are students... and there are a lot of activities geared toward just students/the NYU community specifically. There's not a lot of school pride. People who do go see games and such is usually because they know people on the teams, which is fine, but it's not my thing. Besides sports, I think there is some school pride, just because you tell other people, "I go to NYU." and they know the name and will probably be somewhat impressed... The experiences I'll remember about NYU mainly concern my involvement in extracurricular activities. The most frequent student complaints have to do with teachers who aren't interested in their teaching (but rather their research, considering this is a university) so they put none, or barely any effort into actually teaching their students. Also, advisers are a big complaint, as well, as I already demonstrated.

Sara

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.

Adrienne

I think everything's great

White

The best thing about NYU is that it is in New York City. I would change the tuition, so that families who make under $60,000 get a full financial aid package. Our school is just about right. I spend most of my time in classrooms and in my dorm hanging out with friends. We have moderate school pride--def. not sports though. One experience that I will remember would definitely have to be welcome week. Frequent student complaints would have to be that NYU is looking to far ahead into the future rather than focusing on its current students.

Amy

Best thing: professors/programs/opportunities for students and of course...living in the city Change: Administration-don't seem to care much about students, lots of red tape. There are too many students for anyone to get real individual attention and have all their needs met. People's reaction: Every time I say it, especially in Texas, I am met with wow's and you must be smart. Where I spend my time: When it's nice I spend the time in Washington Square Park-outside of that NYU has a beautiful student center that overlooks the park, fifth avenue, and empire state building

Andy

The administration was wonderful. The financial aid office was a but screwy, but eventually they got the job done. My advisor Linda Vega was a saint, seriously. I was a permanent fixture at the Barney Building. Thats where most of my classes were, and thats where I did all of my work. I also spent a lot of time in Washington Square Park. Downtown New York is really a fantastic place to be located as a student and artist. I would say there's just enough school pride to be the right amount.

Kaitlin

The best thing about NYU is, hands down, the location. If I could change one thing, I would make it so that there's less red tape standing in your way whenever you want to do anything. There are so many nonsensical rules to break through or find your way around. You can accomplish alot but sometimes the amount of administration you have to go through to get there makes it not worth it.

Ash

NYU's college town is NY City below 23rd street and Williamsburg/Bushwick in Brooklyn. Technically campus is from Union Square South to Washington Square South, from 6th avenue to Broadway, but it really radiates much farther out than that. NYU has a wonderful administration, a president who has hugged 80% of the student body before their graduation, and amazing professors. There is no school pride, but students are very proud. We dont walk around in NYU sweatshirts, or have flags in our dorm rooms, but we're very proud of our school within a city. Unfortunately we've recently been known as a school of many controversies (suicides and drug busts), but its actually a very warm environment. The biggest student complaint is probably about Weinstein Dormatory being a concrete prison, but once you get past it, you realize its the same dorm that the Beastie Boys used to practice, and then its not so bad.

Katie

NYU has no gated campus, which is amazing. The best thing about this school is that it is fully a part of the community and you get to experience the city every day! One thing that I don't really like is that NYU has no football team. I guess because it's a very "smart" school and we don't have room for a football stadium it makes sense, but at a lot of schools that's where the school spirit is built, in the football stadium. I think there'd be more school pride if we had some sort of sports team, not just football. Intramural sports don't really cut it. In the film department, the most frequent complaints are definitely about the allotments. We already pay a very large amount for tuition (and there's an extra fee for being in the film department, I believe) and then we have to buy most of our own supplies on top of that? That makes a lot of film students upset.

Caitlin

The best thing about being an NYU student is living in New York City and constantly seeing so many different kinds of people. In terms of size, it's hard to remember that there are 19,000 undergrads. I've met a lot of people through my classes and clubs that I'm in, and so far, almost everyone I've met has a connection with someone I already know. That makes the student population seem a lot smaller than it actually is. I'm not a fan of NYU's administration. They refuse to disclose the details of their budget, and I wouldn't mind seeing where my $52,000 a year is going and how it's being spent. If you're looking for a school with a lot of school spirit and cheerleaders and pep rallies, NYU is not the place to be. That said, there are sports/school pride related events. We have the All-University Games, for example, which is where representatives from each school (CAS, Stern, Gallatin, etc) compete against each other in basketball, foosball, sumo-wrestling, and ping pong. The biggest controversy on campus right now is probably the renovation of Washington Square Park. I have yet to meet someone who supports the construction.

Lauren

NYU is way too large. One of the biggest complaints is that it's too hard to meet people. Lectures are too large so it's hard to get the teacher's attention, making it more difficult to learn. When I say I go to NYU to someone from my home city they think it's a big deal because it's a nationally acclaimed school and it's in New York City, however, up here NYU is not that big a deal especially with Ivy League Columbia just uptown. We don't have a campus so I try to spend most of my time in the dorm especially because I'm active on hall council so I'm needed here a lot. This is NOT a college town. NYU has a great administration that is always reaching out to the students which is nice in a place where you're just a number, it's as though they go out of their way to try to make you feel like a bigger fish. Biggest recent controversy on campus- mixed sex housing and it's broadening (we only have 1 mixed sex housing dorm). NO school pride! Complaints: no school pride, too big, socially independent, no dorm parties always bars and clubs, hard alcohol and drugs

Michelle

The best thing about NYU is, of course, the city. It's a very different experience and it requires independence and a willingness to make your own way, but if you dedicate yourself to all your efforts, you will enjoy the NYU experience. Being right in the middle of the Village, NYU is very close to the East Village, West Village, Soho, Chinatown, and Little Italy - all very fun places that are perfect for a college student. Other neighborhoods are just a short walk or a subway ride away. Everything in New York is easily accessible and it is good to know that there is always something to do. Each neighborhood has such a different personality that there is something for everyone. The lack of campus that everybody talked about is really not that bad. I run into plenty of people on the streets and in dining halls. Especially in Kimmel (the student life center), there are always plenty of students and friends around. It would be nice if the upperclassmen dorms were closer to campus to prolong this sense of community beyond freshmen year, but that is the tradeoff of being in fun places like Soho and Chinatown. If you make the effort, maintaining relationships is easy. In such a large school, there is never a single thing going on. Each weekend, everyone has different plans. Other than the occasional club, there isn't a party that all of NYU is expected to show up to. However, you make your own communities - in dorms, in classes, and in clubs. There are so many groups at NYU, with most people being a part of more than one, that it is very easy to make friends. There is a lot of red tape to get to the administration. Making an appointment with your advisor isn't easy, and even then, they aren't too useful. They just give general guidance that the NYU website could, and probably does, provide. Trying to pay bills or register for something is annoyingly difficult too. In general, NYU needs to update its technology so that NYU Home and Albert are more user friendly.

Jerry

The best thing about NYU is the wide range of experience it allows. If you want it, it's out there. I think that they might be trying to make it too large though with new mergers and acquisitions. Yes, buying property all over the place is great, but that don't leave much left for the people already at NYU. I get a mix reaction when people hear I'm from NYU. The main two responses would have to be though, did you sell an organ to get there and have you seen the Olsen twins yet? My dorm is far from campus now, but I do have breaks in between, I would saw that I'm generally at a place with couches, like Kimmel's second floor or the downstairs of Bobst. Of course during warm weather, and before the days of construction, I loved Washington Sq. Park. The latest controversy from NYU would probably have to be that graduation is taking place at a stadium now and not Washington Sq. park. I would be pretty sad not to take that symbolic walk through the arch.

Alex

No one cares about sports. There's no school spirit. You don't care nearly as much about the school as about the fact that you're living in Manhattan. NYU is HUGE. Make sure you want that.

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