I want to go to nyu. i already have many other academic rec letter options. a mentor of mine, who is not a teacher but does theatre/comedy work through the school, is an nyu alum. he graduated from my high school and went to college for the same major as i am planning to. would a recommendation from him help my chances?
No, not necessarily. NYU has many colleges and some of them require 3 recommendations and others 4. If you are applying to a Arts and Sciences or Stern, I think you are limited to 2 teachers and 1 HS counselor for your recommendations. I'm not sure about Tish, Gallatin, or Steinhardt.
Some colleges like Dartmouth have a 4th recommender which has to be peer recommender such as a classmate or Dartmouth student who knows you. I'm not sure if NYU allows outside recommenders such as alumni to vouch for you. I know that if you are a development candidate or some celebrity, then the admissions office will most likely welcome a recommender who can support evidence that your family will donate $5 million to fund a Chair or name a building or something like that. But in general, most T25 schools in the US DO NOT accept alumni recommendations in lieu of Teacher Recommendations unless your HS teachers went to NYU which is in theory possible in rare cases.
To keep this community safe and supportive: