I think it is hard to tell if LSP will be harder to get into with the recently changed policy of direct admission into LSP.
Generally, it takes a little time for a "new program" to establish itself, haha, at least for the first year. For instance, NYU Abu Dhabi, where there were great incentives to entice attractive candidates to the school in its first year.
Moreover, LSP has traditionally being one of the larger programs at NYU.
I think around 3,000+ students admitted each year, very close in numbers to CAS.
I think the program would not vary that much initially since it will take time to get the word around. Most candidates would probably still want to apply to CAS first. My speculation. So, your friend has an edge in that she is interested in the nature of LSP for what it truly has to offer.
Just let her know she should be very clear about the fit between LSP and herself as a candidate in her essay. Of course, she should work to make the other parts of her application as strong as possible, showing particularly strong interest and performance in liberal arts studies.