NYU vs Amherst: A Comprehensive Look

July 28, 2023
By AdmissionSight

NYU vs Amherst: A Comprehensive Look

For many high school students, selecting the right college to attend can be a challenging decision. With so many options available, it is crucial to consider several factors before determining the best fit. In this article, we will compare NYU vs Amherst based on various criteria, ultimately helping you make an informed decision.


One of the biggest differences between NYU and Amherst is their locations. Amherst is nestled in western Massachusetts, surrounded by rolling hills and forests. The town of Amherst has a population of around 38,000 people, and the college itself is located in a small, rural area. NYU, on the other hand, is in the heart of New York City, one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world. The city is home to over 8 million people, and the NYU campus is situated in the bustling Greenwich Village neighborhood. If you are looking for a rural, slower-paced college experience, Amherst may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you thrive in a fast-paced, urban environment, NYU may be the way to go.

Another factor to consider when choosing between NYU and Amherst is the availability of outdoor activities. While Amherst’s rural location provides ample opportunities for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities, NYU’s urban location may limit access to nature. However, New York City does offer many parks and green spaces, such as Central Park and the High Line, where students can enjoy outdoor activities and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Ultimately, the decision between NYU and Amherst will depend on your personal preferences and priorities.

Amherst campus from afar

Campus Size and Environment

Another major difference between NYU and Amherst is the size of their campuses. Amherst has a much smaller campus, with around 1,800 students enrolled each year. The college is known for its intimate, close-knit community, where students and faculty often know each other personally. NYU, on the other hand, is much larger, with around 60,000 students enrolled across its many campuses around the city. The university is known for its diverse student body and global reach, with students from over 130 countries represented at the school. When it comes to campus environment, both schools offer unique experiences; it comes down to personal preferences.

Aside from the size of the campuses, another factor that affects the campus environment is the location. Amherst is located in a small town in western Massachusetts, surrounded by natural beauty and a peaceful atmosphere. The town is known for its vibrant arts scene and outdoor recreational activities. On the other hand, NYU is located in the heart of New York City, one of the most dynamic and exciting cities in the world. The city offers endless opportunities for cultural experiences, internships, and networking.

Furthermore, the campus facilities and resources also play a role in shaping the campus environment. Amherst College has state-of-the-art facilities, including a science center, an arts center, and a library with over 1 million volumes. The college also offers a wide range of academic and extracurricular programs, including research opportunities and community service projects. NYU, on the other hand, has a vast network of resources, including libraries, research centers, and institutes, that provide students with access to cutting-edge research and innovation. The university also offers a wide range of student services, including career counseling, health services, and student clubs and organizations.

NYU vs Amherst: Admission Rates and Requirements

Admission rates and requirements are always a major factor when choosing a college. Amherst is known for its highly selective admissions process, with an acceptance rate of around 11%. The college looks for students who have excelled academically and demonstrated leadership potential and involvement in extracurricular activities. NYU, meanwhile, has a slightly higher acceptance rate of around 20%, but still considers applicants who have strong academic records and demonstrated creativity and intellectual curiosity.

It is important to note that admission rates and requirements can vary greatly depending on the program or major you are applying to. For example, some programs at Amherst may have even lower acceptance rates than the overall college rate, while others may be more lenient. It is important to research the specific requirements and expectations for your intended major.

In addition to academic and extracurricular achievements, many colleges also consider factors such as essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews in their admissions process. It is important to put effort into these components as well, as they can provide insight into your personality, character, and potential fit for the college.

Tuition Fees and Financial Aid

Another key factor when choosing a college is the cost. Amherst is a private liberal arts college known for its generous financial aid; around 60% of students receive need-based aid from the college. The total cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year is around $78,000. NYU, meanwhile, is a more expensive school, with a total cost of attendance that can reach over $80,000 per year. However, NYU also offers significant financial aid and scholarships to students who qualify, and many students receive significant support.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance at a college goes beyond just tuition fees. Other expenses such as room and board, textbooks, and transportation can add up quickly. At Amherst, the average cost of room and board is around $16,000 per year, while at NYU it can be as high as $20,000 per year. It’s important to factor in these additional costs when considering the overall affordability of a college.

When it comes to financial aid, it’s not just about need-based aid. Many colleges also offer merit-based scholarships, which are awarded based on academic achievement, athletic ability, or other talents. At Amherst, for example, there are a variety of merit-based scholarships available, including the John Woodruff Simpson Fellowship for students interested in public service, and the Thomas H. Wyman ’51 Scholarship for students who demonstrate leadership potential. NYU also offers a range of merit-based scholarships, such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars Program for students who have demonstrated a commitment to social justice.

Majors and Programs Offered

The academic programs available at a college are also crucial when choosing which school to attend. Both NYU and Amherst offer a wide range of majors and programs across multiple disciplines. Amherst is a liberal arts college, with a strong emphasis on critical thinking and interdisciplinary studies. The college offers majors in fields like anthropology, dance, computer science, and neuroscience. NYU, meanwhile, is a larger university with more specialized programs. The university is known for its programs in business, law, and performing arts, among others.

Additionally, both NYU and Amherst offer unique opportunities for students to pursue their academic interests outside of the classroom. Amherst has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with many students working alongside faculty members on research projects. NYU, on the other hand, has a global network of campuses, allowing students to study abroad and gain international experience.

Furthermore, both schools offer resources and support for students to explore their career paths and gain practical experience. Amherst has a robust internship program, connecting students with opportunities in various industries. NYU has a career center that provides career counseling, job search assistance, and networking events with alumni and employers.

Low angle view of four university students on campus

Class Sizes and Student-to-Faculty Ratios

Class sizes and student-to-faculty ratios can also impact the quality of education you receive at a college. At Amherst, class sizes are typically smaller, with an average of around 16 students per class. The student-to-faculty ratio is also low, with around 8 students for every 1 faculty member. At NYU, class sizes can range widely depending on the program, but the student-faculty ratio is slightly higher, with around 10 students for every 1 faculty member.

It’s important to note that while smaller class sizes and lower student-to-faculty ratios can be beneficial, they are not the only factors that determine the quality of education at a college. Other factors such as the curriculum, teaching methods, and resources available to students also play a significant role. Therefore, it’s important to consider all aspects of a college before making a decision.

Campus Life: Clubs, Activities, and Events

College is not just about academics; campus life and extracurricular activities can also play a major role in your experience. At Amherst, students have the opportunity to join a wide range of clubs and organizations, including sports teams, music ensembles, and community service groups. The college also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including lectures, concerts, and theater performances. NYU is known for its vibrant arts and cultural scene, with many world-renowned museums and theaters located nearby. The university also offers a wealth of student organizations and clubs, ranging from academic groups to community service initiatives.

Additionally, both Amherst and NYU offer opportunities for students to get involved in research and internships. Amherst has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with many students working alongside faculty members on projects in various fields. NYU has connections with numerous companies and organizations in New York City, providing students with access to a wide range of internship opportunities. These experiences can be invaluable in helping students gain practical skills and explore potential career paths.

Housing Options: Dorms, Apartments, and Off-Campus Living

When it comes to housing, both NYU and Amherst offer a variety of options. At Amherst, all students are required to live on campus for their first three years, with a range of dormitories and residential halls available. NYU also offers on-campus housing options, as well as opportunities for students to live off-campus in nearby apartments or dormitories. Off-campus housing in New York City can be very expensive, so it is important to budget accordingly.

For students who choose to live off-campus, there are many resources available to help them find suitable housing. Both universities have online databases where students can search for apartments or roommates. Additionally, there are many real estate agencies in New York City that specialize in helping students find affordable housing options.

It is important to note that living off-campus can have its own set of challenges, such as longer commutes and less access to university resources. However, it can also provide students with a greater sense of independence and the opportunity to experience life in the city outside of the university bubble.

Diversity on Campus: Student Body, Faculty, and Curriculum

Diversity is an important consideration when choosing a college. Both NYU and Amherst are committed to creating inclusive environments for students of all backgrounds. Amherst has a diverse student body, with students from over 54 countries represented at the college. The faculty is also diverse, with around 41% of faculty members identifying as people of color. NYU is also known for its diverse and international student body, with students from over 130 countries. The university offers a variety of courses and programs focused on diversity and social justice.

In addition to the diverse student body and faculty, both NYU and Amherst have made efforts to incorporate diversity into their curriculum. Amherst offers courses such as “Race and Ethnicity in American Literature” and “Global Blackness,” while NYU has programs like the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. These programs and courses provide students with the opportunity to learn about and engage with diverse perspectives, promoting a more inclusive and understanding campus community.

Portrait of happy students walking with bag and mobile phone

NYU vs Amherst: Athletics and Sports Teams

Athletics can be a major part of a college experience for many students. At Amherst, the college is known for its strong athletics program, with 27 varsity teams and a competitive Division III program. NYU also offers a range of intramural and club sports, as well as competitive NCAA Division III teams in sports like basketball, cross country, and fencing.

Additionally, both Amherst and NYU prioritize the well-being and safety of their student-athletes. They provide access to top-notch athletic trainers, medical staff, and facilities to ensure that athletes are able to perform at their best while minimizing the risk of injury. Furthermore, both colleges offer opportunities for students to get involved in sports beyond just playing on a team. They host events like sports clinics, fitness classes, and recreational leagues, allowing students to stay active and engaged in a fun and supportive community.

NYU vs Amherst: Career Services and Networking Opportunities

Career services and networking opportunities are also an important part of a college education. Both NYU and Amherst offer resources like career counseling, job searches, and alumni networks. Amherst has a strong reputation for preparing students for successful careers or graduate school, with high rates of post-graduation placement. NYU also offers a range of career services and opportunities for students to network with professionals in their field.

Additionally, both NYU and Amherst provide students with internship opportunities to gain practical experience in their chosen field. These internships can be completed during the academic year or over the summer, and often lead to job offers after graduation. NYU has partnerships with a variety of companies and organizations in New York City, while Amherst has connections with businesses and non-profits in the surrounding area. These internships not only provide valuable experience, but also help students build their professional network and make connections in their industry.

NYU vs Amherst: Alumni Network and Success Stories

Another factor to consider when choosing a college is the success of its alumni. Both NYU and Amherst have produced successful graduates across a range of fields. Amherst alumni include Nobel Prize winners, CEOs, and high-ranking government officials. NYU graduates have gone on to work in fields like business, entertainment, and activism, and have won numerous awards and accolades.

However, it’s not just the success of individual alumni that matters, but also the strength of the alumni network. Amherst has a tight-knit community of alumni who are known for supporting each other in their careers and personal lives. NYU also has a strong alumni network, with chapters in cities around the world and opportunities for networking and mentorship.

Additionally, both colleges have impressive success stories when it comes to entrepreneurship. Amherst has a thriving entrepreneurship center that provides resources and support for students and alumni looking to start their own businesses. NYU has a similar program, the Entrepreneurial Institute, which has helped launch successful startups in industries like tech, fashion, and healthcare.

NYU vs Amherst: Study Abroad Opportunities

Studying abroad can be a transformative experience for college students. Both NYU and Amherst offer a range of study abroad programs and opportunities for students to explore different countries and cultures. At Amherst, around half of all students study abroad during their time at the college, with programs in over 40 countries. NYU also offers a wide range of study abroad options, with programs in over 25 countries around the world.

Studying abroad not only allows students to experience different cultures, but it also provides them with the opportunity to learn new languages and gain valuable skills that can be applied in their future careers. Many study abroad programs offer internships and volunteer opportunities, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in their field of study while immersing themselves in a new environment.

Additionally, studying abroad can be a more affordable option for some students. In some cases, the cost of living and tuition in a foreign country may be lower than in the United States. Many study abroad programs also offer scholarships and financial aid to help offset the cost of the program.

a group of college students looking happy

Research Opportunities

Engaging in research can be a valuable part of a college education, and both NYU and Amherst offer opportunities for students to get involved in research projects. At Amherst, students can explore research opportunities within their major or work with faculty members on independent projects. NYU also offers research opportunities through its many research centers and institutes, as well as through partnerships with other institutions.

Research opportunities can provide students with hands-on experience in their field of study, as well as the chance to work alongside experienced professionals. At Amherst, students can participate in research projects in a variety of fields, including biology, chemistry, and psychology. NYU offers research opportunities in fields such as engineering, computer science, and economics.

Participating in research can also be a great way for students to build their resumes and stand out to potential employers. Many companies and organizations value candidates who have experience in research, as it demonstrates critical thinking skills and the ability to work independently. Additionally, research experience can be a valuable asset for students who plan to pursue graduate studies.

NYU vs Amherst: Faculty Quality and Reputation

The quality and reputation of a college’s faculty is also a key factor when choosing a school. At Amherst, the faculty is highly respected and includes numerous award-winning educators and scholars. The college is also known for its commitment to undergraduate teaching, with faculty members who are dedicated to helping students succeed. NYU is also home to many highly regarded faculty members, including Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows, and Pulitzer Prize winners.

NYU vs Amherst: Prospective Job Markets for Graduates

It is important to consider the job market and career prospects when choosing a college. Amherst graduates have gone on to work in a range of fields, from law and medicine to education and finance. NYU graduates are known for their success in fields like business, entertainment, and technology. Both schools offer strong career services and job placement support, but it is important to research the job market in your field of interest.

NYU vs Amherst: Student Opinions and Reviews

The opinions and reviews of current and former students can also be valuable when choosing a college. Students at Amherst tend to praise the close-knit community and individual attention from faculty members, while NYU students appreciate the diverse campus culture and global opportunities. It is important to read reviews and talk to current students when considering a school.

Conclusion: Which College is Right for You?

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing between NYU and Amherst. Both schools offer unique experiences and opportunities, and the right choice for you will depend on your personal preferences and goals. If you are looking for a rural, intimate college experience with a strong focus on liberal arts and critical thinking, Amherst may be the right choice. If you prefer a more diverse, urban environment with numerous opportunities for global exploration and specialized programs, NYU may be the better option. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

a line of graduates wearing their graduation gowns

How AdmissionSight Can Help You With College Admissions

AdmissionSight is a college consulting firm that provides personalized assistance to students throughout the college admissions process. Here are some ways that AdmissionSight can help you:

Admissions strategy: AdmissionSight can help you develop a strategic plan for your college application process. Our professional consultants can assist with identifying schools that are a good fit for your academic, extracurricular, and personal goals and help you plan and prioritize your application strategy.

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Overall, AdmissionSight can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the college admissions process to help you maximize your chances of getting accepted into the college of your choice.

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