The dynamics are different at every college are different right now in terms of fall enrollments in 2021 and 2022. Every college has been hit with students taking gap years and then having to be factored in the following year. I have no idea what ‘s going on at NEU, but that could have factored in. Freshman admissions may be smaller this year because admitted students who deferred for a year last fall due to Covid are taking seats next fall that would normally have gone to new applicants. They may well see you as a strong applicant who would normally have been admitted but was squeezed out due to unusual circumstances. If that’s the case, their offer may be a solid indication that they value you as a student whom they’d like to have join them.
You will not be waiting 6 years as a result of NEU’s co-ops. They have revised the co-op program so that it can now be done in 4 years by cutting back from 3 co-ops to 2 and by doing some summer course work.
The co-op system at NEU offers an interesting possibility if you prefer NEU. I wonder if they would work with you to line up a work experience this year that could later count as a co-op. I know that this would be unorthodox since their co-ops don’t normally begin until sophomore year, but they are asking for some flexibility from you. So, I think it would be reasonable for you to ask them to be equally flexible. By doing this, you would also be showing initiative and the ability to think outside the box, which could stand you in good stead later on.
You have two good choices.