NYU’s “Marketing of Washington Square” equals $$

In this week’s Villager, an interesting “Talking Point” by Martin Tessler entitled: “Washington Square: N.Y.U.’s link to 2031 pot of gold.” In it, Tessler explores how recent articles on N.Y.U’s surge in applications and enrollment “unveil a unique financial gamesmanship that N.Y.U. has been pursuing in marketing Washington Square to hopeful applicants over the globe.”

Tessler outlines that the university received 42,242 applications for the 2015 class vying for 4,800 places which adds up to 36,200 applicant rejections. Each applicant pays a $70 application fee which is non refundable. This alone totals $2, 534,000 revenue for the University. (Washington Square News, NYU’s daily campus newspaper, reported the number of applicants at 41,058 for the “Washington Square Campus.”)

From the article:

It does not take a professor from N.Y.U.’s esteemed Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences to comprehend how the magic of a Washington Square location is generating $2.5 million in annual income for N.Y.U. Who needs the stock market when the time-honored real estate investor’s dictum of “Location, Location, Location” is paying gigantic dividends for an institution that pays no taxes on its noncommercial property? Similarly, it does not take a professor of finance from N.Y.U.’s Stern School of Business to comprehend that N.Y.U. has a major financial interest in perpetuating a wide-ranging growth model centering on Washington Square.

In addition, NYU’s 2031 Plan “delineates an area around Washington Square that it calls its ‘Core’ and a surrounding area beyond that it designates as its ‘Neighborhood.'”

Tessler assesses: “The social and physical cost of this transmutation to the Washington Square neighborhood has had an impact on the surrounding residential neighborhood where Washington Square Park and landmark buildings, such as Judson Memorial Church, are being overshadowed by hulking institutional buildings.”

Tessler ends the piece by imploring local community members to contact their local representatives and speak out against NYU’s 2031 plan and the university’s quest to further dominate the Washington Square/Greenwich Village area.

Living in New York, I’m sure you’ve noted how it is close to impossible to escape NYU advertising which, in its catalogs, on the subway, in print and elsewhere, utilize the Washington Square Arch to no end (sometimes there’s only just a snippet but it’s almost always there).

You can read the full piece in The Villager here.

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