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Pros + Cons of NYU?

spanglishspanglish Posts: 355Registered User Member
edited February 2010 in New York University
So, I've applied to NYU against my will and due to the demand of my parents (I didn't put up much of a fight because I found the essays pretty fun to write).

I've visited the school and really didn't like it (death rainstorm), so I was wondering if you could tell me the pros and cons of a school like NYU. I'll list some of the reasons why I do/don't like it.


City -- I like having many things to do but I feel like I would just get sick of everything after a while; I like being to myself/more secluded at times.
Size -- Wayyy to many people for me at one school...but do you even notice that with such a spread out campus?
Programs -- I want to study English/Spanish/Writing and I've heard they have good programs for such majors.
Cost -- Expensive! Do they offer many scholarships?

Here are some things I'd like to know more about: dorms, class sizes/academics/teaching quality and any other good/bad things you have to share about the school!
Post edited by spanglish on
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Replies to: Pros + Cons of NYU?

  • classicalguitar8classicalguitar8 Posts: 206Registered User Junior Member
    I'm a freshman, so here is my perspective on it:

    City: I'm from a rather rural area, and the times I did visit the city I was slightly overwhelmed with the amount of people and noise and motion, just thinking about all the different people I'd never get to know and where they are going, but really its not at all as bad as people make it out to be, NYC has over 1,900 parks and the smaller ones (even Washington Square though and Union Square sometimes) can be really peaceful and relaxing. Certain parts of town like the West Village tend to be a bit more chill with less people and traffic.

    Size: Yea there are a lot of people, but most of the time you don't even notice, I think partially because you're in such a big city already.

    Programs: English, languages, writing are all wonderful here.

    Cost: It is rather expensive and FA is not so great, and scholarships are rather selective.

    Dorms: All very nice, I live an apartment style and its great, plenty of space.

    Classes: Most of the classes are pretty small (but I am a classics major so that may be why) but some people I know have 500+ Chem/Bio lectures but for the most part the class size has been small if not intimate. The teacher's in most departments are of the best quality and very approachable for the most part. The work is challenging, but not too stressful.

    Overall I love it so far and am glad I am here...
  • spanglishspanglish Posts: 355Registered User Member
    Thanks, I found that helpful!
  • hankdddhankddd Posts: 54- Junior Member
    City -- I like having many things to do but I feel like I would just get sick of everything after a while; I like being to myself/more secluded at times.
    This is true - you will probably enjoy the city at first but it will get boring after a while. It is one of the better cities in the US, but there are better cities out there. The locale shouldn't be a prime deciding factor in deciding to attend a school, since you can always travel to a favorite location later in life and stay there for a prolonged period if you enjoy it.
    Size -- Wayyy to many people for me at one school...but do you even notice that with such a spread out campus?
    I'm not sure why this would be a con, but yes, there are a lot of people at this school compared with most schools and it's not too hard to notice since the bulk of the population is around the Washington Square area and chances are you will be in that area.
    Programs -- I want to study English/Spanish/Writing and I've heard they have good programs for such majors.
    No, they don't. The Spanish program was absolutely terrible.
    Cost -- Expensive! Do they offer many scholarships?
    The cost is perhaps the biggest con. If there is a school out there that would be in the top 5 for offering the least for your money, NYU would be one of them.

    Verdict: you're probably better off not going to NYU.
  • milkandsugarmilkandsugar Posts: 2,869Registered User Senior Member
    Why are your parents forcing you to apply?
    Where would you like to go instead?
  • spanglishspanglish Posts: 355Registered User Member
    Thanks hankddd! I think I'd agree with you. (Oh and mostly I don't like the large amount of student because the s/f ratio is high)

    milkandsugar: I'm not too sure, really. I'd like to go to a school like Dartmouth or Yale or Hopkins or Chicago or Notre Dame or Duke :)
  • Alix2012Alix2012 Posts: 1,246- Senior Member
    ^ All of those are excellent schools which will offer you a better education and college experience than NYU. Chicago and Hopkins are great if you want to be in an urban environment, Dartmouth is the stark opposite of NYU - tiny and in the middle of nowhere - but it's a top school and I'm guessing the classes will be small too.

    City - it's the opposite of what you think: being in a large city with no college campus or campus culture is isolating. You'll definitely have plenty of time to be by yourself. It takes more effort to meet friends and see them regularly here than a typical college which is smaller with everyone constantly bumping into each other on campus. The city is large and there's always tons of stuff to do so I would list that as a pro.

    Programs: NYU's top programs are in: Applied Math, Business/Finance, Philosophy, Journalism/Media, Italian, International Relations/Economics, Film, Theatre, etc...
    I honestly don't think the quality of education here is particularly good. I'm a science major (studying Chemistry and Neural Science). The intro classes literally have 600 students crammed into a lecture hall and like 10 profs for a class. I learned more from the textbooks than the professors (with the exception of my Gen Chem prof who is awesome).

    NYU is great at marketing itself to the consumer, and appealing to suburban upper middle class kids who want to party in NYC. Education-wise, it's not worth it to pay full price or go into debt. The school is stretching itself thin, and expanding even more over the next 20 years. Classes will get larger and larger, and NYU will build bigger lecture halls to accommodate them. The price of attending will increase while quality of education will decrease. I came here because I got a good scholarship and wanted to live in NYC. It sounds like it's not the really the place for you...i guess your parents want you to have a "target" or "safety" school?
  • Ny0rkerNy0rker Posts: 1,632Registered User Senior Member
    well that's really optimistic.. hahah
    are stern classes, by any chance, smaller?

    all your classes can't be 600 students though, right?
  • spanglishspanglish Posts: 355Registered User Member
    Thanks, Alix, you kind of reconfirmed by beliefs about the school/campus in general (interesting tidbit on the city, though!)

    Yeah, they wanted more of a safety school for me, and I'm pretty sure I can get into NYU no problem...but it just isn't the right fit for me :/

    I appreciate your comments!
  • Alix2012Alix2012 Posts: 1,246- Senior Member
    @Ny0rker - yep, Stern classes are smaller since Stern is a smaller school. Same with Gallatin, Steinhardt, Tisch too I guess. But in general, "intro" classes like Calculus I, Macroecon, Microecon, etc, will be larger lectures while advanced classes are smaller - this is true in every college. For example, my intro classes - Principles of bio I and II, Gen Chem I and II, Orgo I and II, Calc I and II were pretty huge with 400-600 students, but advanced classes in my major are a lot smaller. This semester one of my classes only has 14 students! The lectures in other classes are fairly small too, with under 50 students. Honestly, I don't mind large lectures since there's smaller Recitation/Clinic/Lab sessions, but I'm mentioning it since some students prefer small classes.

    i'm not saying nyu is a crap school, I like it here. I do think the quality of education will worsen in the next two decades because of Sexton's 2031 plans. From how the OP described himself, I would guess he wouldn't like it here. A Dartmouth-type student probably wouldn't be happy at NYU, the schools are stark opposites.
  • milkandsugarmilkandsugar Posts: 2,869Registered User Senior Member
    Wow, Alix2012, you are dissing the school that you attend. My daughter loves it and is receiving a world class education. She loves the school, the environment and most of her professors. She passed up Johns Hopkins, Boston University who both gave her more money. NYU can open doors and opportunities. yes, NYU is not for everyone, but it definitely has its merits.
  • Alix2012Alix2012 Posts: 1,246- Senior Member
    LOL I'm not "dissing" it, please read more accurately. I'm describing my experience here as a student who has taken over 100 credits at NYU, is active in several campus clubs, is on a scholarship, has maintained a high GPA in 2 difficult majors, and is involved in research and tutoring on-campus. I'm not a HS kid who took a campus tour or a parent who visited a handful of times.

    I already said I like NYU and obviously it has merits (wouldn't waste money on it otherwise) but I'm also not going to lie about it. People who ask questions on CC deserve honest answers. The OP asked about the city, programs, and cost, and I think the students who answered on this thread were accurate. Yes, there is no campus, it's a non-traditional "independent" experience, and large lectures exist.
    I like my college experience and many of my professors. That doesn't mean I'm going to pretend for a second that the $200k pricetag is justified (most students would agree) or that colleges like Dartmouth and Chicago won't offer a better fit for this guy.
  • missamericanpiemissamericanpie Posts: 2,179Registered User Senior Member
    Hi, I'm one of those Steinhardt students in smaller classes. You can certainly sign up for intros where there are about 20 students in a room, OR you can wait and take the intros with a huge class. The one intro I took with a huge class, I ended up being really close to the professor and followed him all the way to study abroad in a foreign country.

    My roommate is in CAS anthropology, which is one of the smaller CAS majors. Her classes have been smaller as well, though some of her intros were in huge halls. So it definitely depends on the major.
  • spanglishspanglish Posts: 355Registered User Member
    Alix -- and I thank you for the honesty in your answers. I was afraid I would be getting a lot of really PRO NYU comments by posting in this forum, so I appreciate your responses :)
  • londonblondonb Posts: 401Registered User Member
    "I love this place but it's hardly for everyone."

    Someone had posted this on another NYU thread and I wholeheartedly agree. If Dartmouth is your dream school, then NYU is not for you. Yale is also an urban school but has such an entirely different feel (residential colleges, traditions, sports, traditional campus, etc.)

    I will end with my PRO NYU comment (as an alum and a parent). If I had to do it all over again, I would. The resources of the city, opportunities provided and connections of the professors are unbelievable.
  • DemiitasseDemiitasse Posts: 733Registered User Member
    ^Thanks londonb, that was really helpful!
    Yale's my first choice, but still... NYU sounds incredibly exciting!
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