She was rushed to hospital - being described in an "extremely critical condition" - where she died.
"I heard they were just getting a better view of the city", one senior student said.
Sydney Paige Monfries, 22, from Portland, Oregon, suffered fatal injuries following the horror plunge at Fordham University campus in NY, weeks before graduation.
The university is now investigating how the students gained access to the tower. "I think they were posting on Instagram when it happened".
A USA university student has died after she fell more than 12 metres from a campus bell tower in the early hours of Sunday morning.
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Sydney Monfries, a journalism student at New York's Fordham University, plummeted 12m from the campus' clock tower early Sunday morning. They're unlocked at night when they're cleaning.
Fordham Public Safety is still investigating how Monfries and her friends were able to get inside. However, a senior, Anne, who declined to give her last name, said that "the doors aren't always locked".
Monfries had been climbing the tower with a group of fellow seniors when she tripped on debris on the tower's spiral staircase and plunged more than 12 metres, reportedly smashing the back of her head open. "If he wasn't there, I don't know, she might have been worse off", he said.
The budding journalist, who was due to graduate next month, had completed a string of internships at a news network, InStyle magazine and a public relations company. "Theirs is an unimaginable loss, and we share their grief". The university said they will confer a bachelor's degree upon Sydney posthumously, which will present to her parents at the appropriate time.