NYU Diversity Statistics: An In-Depth Look

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What’s Covered:

Overview of NYU Diversity Statistics 

 

New York City has long been a beacon for people of all backgrounds, races, religions, and cultures—eventually earning the city the moniker of “America’s melting pot.” It comes as no surprise that New York University (NYU), a private university located in and around Greenwich Village and Brooklyn Heights, also attracts an eclectic student body hailing from across the globe.

 

Ethnic Diversity

 

NYU has a well-established reputation for being one of the nation’s most diverse schools. The website Niche ranks NYU as the seventh most diverse college in the nation—and the school is trending toward having an even more well-represented student body; its class of 2023 is its most diverse undergraduate class in history.

 

NYU is home to students from all 50 states and more than 130 countries. In fact, NYU has the highest number of international students of all colleges and universities in the country, with a little less than a quarter (22.2%) of NYU students matriculating from outside of the U.S. each year. Additionally, U.S. News ranks NYU 26th on its list of Best Global Universities

 

NYU is a diverse school, with the majority of students identifying as people of color. Here are the diversity statistics for domestic students (international students make up 19% of the student body). 

 

Ethnicity 

Percentage of Student Population 

Asian and Pacific Islander

23%

Caucasian/White

39%

Hispanic/Latino

17%

African American/Black

8%

Other

13%

Native American

<1%

 

Although NYU has cultivated an extremely diverse student population, its faculty does not mirror that representation. The diversity of NYU’s faculty in 2018 was as follows:

 

Ethnicity 

Number of Faculty  

Asian American/Asian

649 

Caucasian/White

4,908

Hispanic/Latino

294 

African American/Black

393 

Two or more races

52 

Native American or Alaska Native

14 

Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

11

Unknown origin 

73 

 

Financial Diversity

 

NYU attracts students from high-earning families. According to a 2017 study by the New York Times, NYU ranked 94th out of 2,395 colleges in median family income—with the average student’s family earning $149,300 annually. Similarly, NYU is a hub for students from super-wealthy families. NYU ranked 73rd out of 2,395 colleges in the share of students from the top 1% in family income. 

 

Despite NYU’s appeal to students from families with financial means, it’s also a popular option for first-generation college students—19% of the class of 2024 are the first in their family to attend college or a university. 

 

Share of Students from Average Income Percentile

Percentage of Student Body 

Top 0.1%

1.7%

Top 1%

11%

Top 5%

34%

Top 10%

48%

Top 20%

62%

Bottom 20%

6.1%

 

NYU is neither need-blind nor does it guarantee to meet 100% of a student’s demonstrated need. This means that a student’s financial situation is taken into consideration when making admissions decisions and the university does not guarantee that they will meet the financial needs of every qualified student. 

 

While NYU may not have the most favorable financial aid policies, the school delivers an excellent return on investment. Payscale ranked NYU 175th on its list of Best Value Colleges—putting the university in the top 10% of institutions. 

Cultural Resources at NYU 

 

NYU has a host of resources to support its diverse student body and foster an inclusive and inviting campus. 

 

Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (CMEP)

 

The CMEP provides a variety of programming for students from marginalized groups and underrepresented backgrounds through an array of social events, programs, and educational initiatives. Popular offerings from the CMEP include:

 

  • Cultural Graduations: Celebrating the accomplishments of students of color as they graduate from NYU. 
  • FOCUS Mentorship Program: An ongoing program that mentors first-year, first-generation undergraduate students of color.
  • Nia Awards: A year-end award ceremony that honors those in the NYU community who have worked to improve inclusion, diversity, equity, and belonging. 
  • Pursuing Justice Series: An ongoing series of events including film screenings, workshops, and panel discussions covering topics centered around social justice. 

 

LGBTQ+ Center

 

NYU’s LGBTQ+ Center is a safe and welcoming space for students, staff, faculty, and alumni, providing support to the school’s broader LGBTQ+ community through a variety of programs and events. Popular programs offered by the LGBTQ+ Center include:

 

  • First Year Queers and Allies (FYQA): Provides first-year students a service-learning experience that allows them to build community with their peers and the larger New York City community. 
  • Trans Awareness Week: A week in November dedicated to celebrating the lives and experiences of the transgender and nonbinary communities. 
  • NYC Pride March with NYU: Every June, NYU and NYU Langone Health community members take part in the New York City Pride March commemorating the 1969 Stonewall uprising. 

 

International Students 

 

International students make up almost one in four undergraduates at NYU, and the school has a number of dedicated resources to support them, including:

 

  • GoWorldWise: An online tool kit for cultural competency and tips for communicating, living, and working in another country. 
  • GPH International Student Society (GISS): A student organization that helps international students transition to campus life and adjust to American culture.
  • NYU International Student Center: Brings students from across the globe together to build community and ensure students make the most of their NYU experience. 

 

Global Spiritual Life at NYU

 

Global Spiritual Life provides a variety of resources to students to cultivate inclusivity and build community. They also provide advisors available to meet with students spanning a broad spectrum of faiths, denominations, and groups, including:

 

  • Buddhist Spiritual Life Advisors
  • Catholic Spiritual Life Advisors
  • Hindu Spiritual Life Advisors
  • Humanist Spiritual Life Advisors
  • Interfaith Spiritual Life Advisors
  • Jewish Spiritual Life Advisors
  • Muslim Spiritual Life Advisors
  • Protestant Spiritual Life Advisors
  • Sikh Spiritual Life Advisors

 

Theme-Based Communities 

 

NYU offers a number of theme-based communities that blend living and learning into a unified experience. Cultural-centered communities for first-year students include: 

 

  • Black Violets: Creating a safe space and fostering community among Black-identifying students. 
  • Inequality & Justice: Learning about and creating opportunities for marginalized communities and people. 
  • L’Etage Français: For students with an interest in the French language and culture. 
  • Represent NYC: Expressions of Social Justice: Explores how art represents diverse identities, communities, and experiences, and how artistic representation can help individuals become more critical, informed, and active citizens.

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Plans to Improve Diversity at NYU

 

NYU is the largest and most global private university in the U.S. and is constantly working to further inclusivity, diversity, belonging, and equality on their campus. Recently, NYU proved its ability to quickly address issues and pivot when unforeseen challenges arise. As the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted marginalized communities and waves of protests against anti-Black racism surged across the nation, the university stepped up to form the NYU BeTogether initiative. The NYU BeTogether initiative seeks to unite all the members of the NYU community to bring about sustainable institutional change to create more equitable experiences. 

LGBTQ+ Inclusivity

 

NYU has earned four out of five stars on the Campus Pride Index, a benchmarking tool that assesses an institution’s LQBTQ+ policies, programs, and practices. NYU earns high marks for campus safety and LGBTQ training and education, but still has work to do in the field of LGBTQ policy inclusion.

 

NYU’s LGBTQ+ Center is the hub of the school’s LGBTQ+ community. There are also a variety of LGBTQ+-focused groups that operate out of the center, including: 

 

  • Aces & Aros: For students identifying across the asexual or aromantic spectrum.
  • CampGrrl: For lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer women.
  • LGBTQ+Faith: A place for LGBTQ+ students to discuss religion, faith, and spirituality.
  • New Masculinities: A community dedicated to the redefinition and exploration of masculinity.
  • Queer Union: For students with an interest in queer activism, education, and community building.
  • SHADES: For LGBTQ+ students of color. 
  • T-Party: For transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students.

 

In addition to the groups operating out of the LGBTQ+ Center, there are a large number of other groups and organizations focused on LGBTQ+ students that call NYU’s campus home. 

 

NYU has a number of gender-neutral bathrooms that are available to any community member, regardless of their gender identity/expression. To make locating these restrooms easy, the school has an “All-Gender Bathroom” list which is accessible on their website.  

How Diverse and Inclusive is New York City?

 

According to the website Niche, the ethnic breakdown of New York City is:

 

Ethnicity 

Percentage of Population 

White 

32%

Hispanic 

29%

African American 

22% 

Asian 

14% 

Two or more races 

2%

Other race 

1%

 

WalletHub ranks New York City as the sixth most culturally diverse city in the world. Often called a “melting pot,” students of almost any ethnic group, religion, culture, or way of life will find the city teeming with opportunity. 

 

With more than eight million residents and over 800 languages spoken in NYC, there’s a seemingly endless amount of cultures to experience. In the city, you will find restaurants and shops catering to a broad array of people and entertainment options abound in multiple languages from around the globe. 

 

LGBTQ+ students will find New York City a fun and inviting place to pursue their education. New York City has long been a mecca for the LGBTQ+ community and is home to the Stonewall Inn—a gay bar, National Historic Landmark, and site of the 1969 riots that began the gay rights movement. In addition to the West Village (home to the Stonewall Inn), the neighborhoods of Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen brim with LGBTQ+ businesses and restaurants.   

Is NYU the Right Fit for You?

 

There are other factors college-bound students should consider when deciding where to attend school and whether or not an institution is right for them. Some factors to think about include:

 

  • Location: NYU is located in the largest city in the U.S. which makes it a good choice for students who want a very urban experience. Its “campus” is the city, as residence halls and academic buildings are interwoven within Greenwich Village in Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights.
  • Academics: NYU is an increasingly competitive and academically rigorous university with acceptance rates competitive with schools like Emory, Cal Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University—you’ll need an excellent GPA and strong test scores to gain admission. 
  • Finances: NYU is a private university that considers a student’s financial situation when making admissions decisions and does not guarantee full funding for education—understanding if NYU makes financial sense is something prospective students need to consider. 
  • Education: NYU offers more than 230 fields of study in everything from Arts & Media to STEM, so you’ll want to ensure that the program you’re interested in available and that the curriculum and opportunities align with your goals before making your college decision. 

 

CollegeVine’s free chancing engine and school search tool can help you start answering some of these fit questions. Our chancing engine uses metrics like GPA and test scores, along with other factors like extracurricular activities to estimate your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges and universities, including NYU. Additionally, our search tool lets you search schools using a variety of filters ensuring you find one that meets your ideal vision of college.

 

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Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.

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