CM’s Guide to Indiana University

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Indiana University—Bloomington, IN

Indiana University’s Instagram

The Vibe

Academic, spirited socialites

What it Feels Like to Go Here

After stepping through the Sample Gates and traveling through the natural areas, brick paths and stone buildings, students immediately feel at home to an academically-stimulating and inclusive campus with over 550 academic programs and 750 different student organizations. IU earns its high rankings as one of the most beautiful college campuses with natural spaces, like Dunn Meadow, filled with lush grass, tall, shady trees and blooming flowers. As one of two Big Ten schools in Indiana, you can bet IU hosts some great sporting events full of outdoor tailgates, screams of “HOO-HOO-HOOSIERS,” voices singing “Indiana, Our Indiana” and candy-striped athletic basketball pants. Even if almost all of the student population and alumni couldn’t tell you why they’re called Hoosiers, they still proudly rep their nickname on campus, out-of-state and even sporting events against their biggest rival, Purdue.

P.S. Indiana is one of the top 10 schools for dancers.

Awesome Alumni

Isiah Thomas helped win IU’s fourth national title and two Big Ten Championships during his time at IU, a school that prides itself on its banners earned as NCAA Basketball Champions. The Detroit Pistons chose Thomas with the second overall pick in the 1981 NBA draft. After his time with the Pistons, he worked as a coach for the Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks and Florida International University. Even though you probably see Mark Cuban weekly on Shark Tank investing in new entrepreneurs’ businesses, before his wealthy career he started out at IU’s Kelley School of Business. If you aren’t constantly binging on the show, you may know him as the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. With 15 books in one series, Meg Cabot should be crowned queen of Genovia for creating The Princess Diaries. Without her great novels, the world would not have two wonderful Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews movies. Before Kevin Klein won two Tony Awards and an Academy Award for his acting, he graduated from IU. As the voice of Captain Phoebus in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, his voice can instantly bring us back to our childhood. As the author of Hunger Games, IU alumna Suzanne Collins has earned plenty of success not only from the novels in the trilogy, but also the popularity of the four films.

Where We Hang

IU students connect easily with campus and to the surrounding Bloomington city area. Visiting Bloomington means exploring natural beauty with extensive trails, such as the Bloomington Rail Trail and the Hoosier National Forest. If you crave an adventurous nightlife, an exciting downtown district with bars, clubs and live music engulfs IU. Students only walk a block from campus to visit the hotspot Kilroy’s on Kirkwood, a favorite bar for alumni, students and general visitors with constant drink specials and a bustling atmosphere. With the nation’s largest student section for college basketball, students flock to see the players compete against top ranked teams at Assembly Hall.


1. How much are students partying?

“If you want to party there are definitely parties for you, but if you don’t, you don’t have to. There are a bunch of people who don’t party.” – Olivia Seton, Class of 2017

2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?

“Things like underage drinking in unsafe/populated areas, academic dishonesty—cheating [and] having others write your papers. But for the most part, as long as you do what you’re supposed to and don’t make extremely poor decisions, you should be all right.” – Vija Veinbergs, Class of 2017

3. How much sex are students having?

“I know that Tinder is pretty big. Online dating is pretty common and hooking up through apps is pretty common on campus.” – Malina Xiong, Class of 2017

4. What would you tell incoming freshman about your school?

“Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. I know especially as a freshman you just want to stay in your dorm and chill and not go anywhere sometimes, and especially since IU is a large campus, it can be kinda a hassle to go to club meetings but I feel like getting out there and getting out of your comfort zone is a way to meet people…you will be surprised how many cool friends you can get out of that.” – Holly Ellis, Class of 2017

5. What’s the best part about being a Hoosier?

“I really feel like I have a home in Bloomington, and there are so many different types of people from so many countries and backgrounds, it’s impossible to not make friends.” – Fiona Clark, Class of 2017

Overall Experience

“I think other students should go to IU for the extremely diverse culture and the insane amount of opportunities that are given to students. You can get involved in basically anything you want, and find people who are interested in the same things you are. The campus is also absolutely gorgeous, and you can always find something fun to do in Bloomington.” – Vija Veinbergs, Class of 2017

“[W]ithin two weeks of living [at Indiana University], I loved it. It really surprisingly does offer a world class education, as I’ve been able to put into practice things I’ve learned at IU [studying] abroad in London. Plus, when people say the campus is beautiful—it is everything you ever imagined a campus should look like.” – Fiona Clark, Class of 2017

“I like how big [IU] is because you can meet new people all the time and there are lots of things to do. It has a lot of opportunities, anything you want to do you can probably find it here. Sometimes you have to walk very far. My freshman year, our dorm was 30 minutes from my first class, so you would have to get up so early for your class. Once you know where things are everything’s good.” – Olivia Seton, Class of 2017

“IU has a lot of different kinds of opportunities. There’s so many different types of clubs. There’s a sweet potato club here, where all they do is eat sweet potatoes and different kinds of sweet potatoes. IU has a lot to offer no matter what your interest is, you will most likely find it. Even if you don’t you can easily create your own club, which I think is pretty cool. I think what scares a lot of people about IU though is [that] it’s a large campus. So I know some people think ‘Oh there’s so many students, you won’t have a relationship with a professor,’ but  [if] you make it your goal to go meet with your professor, go to office hours, it becomes a small school.” – Holly Ellis, Class of 2017

“When there’s a lot of people on campus, there’s a lot of events going on and a lot more things to do. Everything is pretty close to each other, the bars and the restaurants are right off campus or even on campus. They have a diverse amount of programs at IU. They also have really good schools like the Kelley School Business and the Jacobs School of Music. I think the campus life at IU is really good too as long as you put yourself out there.” – Malina Xiong, Class of 2017

Top 3 Majors

1. Business

2. Social Sciences

3. Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Popular Student Organizations

1. The Indiana University Student Association acts as the student body government on campus. Within IUSA, there are three different branches, just like the real American government. According to its website, each of the branches try to protect student rights, enrich student life and improve the university. “Being involved in the Indiana University Student Association is the best way to be the bridge between your fellow peers and University administrators,” President Sara Zaheer said. “Whether you’re advocating for more access to CAPS or planning collaborative events to connect students to their student government, there’s a place for every Hoosier to make their campus a better place.”

2. The Indiana Cycling club provides students the opportunity to compete for IU in USA Collegiate Cycling Races. The organization offers many different disciplines including road racing and track racing. IU Cycling Club president Megan Huibregtse said they’re looking to expand to mountain biking and cyclocross this year. “The Cycling Club brings together cyclists of various disciplines to train and grow as student athletes,” Huibregtse said. “If you like riding bikes, this is the club for you.”

3. Held through the Kelley School of Business, Scholars Without Borders stresses the importance of overcoming language and culture shock barriers by bridging the gap between international and domestic students. “At IU, there are so many amazing people that you haven’t met, and sometimes it is hard to make connections.” SWOB President Jonathan Jercha said. “Scholars Without Borders can help you find some amazing friends at the same time that you refine and grow your professional skills.”

Getting In

IU accepts students on a rolling deadline, which means applicants will be notified of their status based on the date they completed their application. IU stresses academics on the application. IU likes to see students with at least 34 credits of college-preparatory courses—either Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advance College Project courses. GPA and SAT and ACT test scores are also important to consider when applying to IU. The admissions office requires a brief essay and also looks into supplemental information like extracurriculars, recommendations and work experience. Students who apply before the early action deadline (November 1) have a better chance to win renewable achievement scholarships based on test scores and academic performance.


Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Tuition & Fees: $10,388 (Out of State: $33,740

Total Cost on Campus: $24,538

Undergrads Enrolled: 38,364

Grads Enrolled: 10,150

Total Enrolled: 48,514

Acceptance percentage: 76.1%

Percent Admitted who Enroll: 28%

Percentage of Male Students: 49%

Percentage of Female Students: 51%

Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 71%

Percentage Receiving Federal Grants: 19%

Percentage Receiving Federal Loans: 37%

Maija is a senior Journalism, Strategic Communications and French major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can most likely find her running around Madison, eating lots of cheese curds, dancing at Zumba, singing spontaneously or baking banana bread.

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