Is Indiana University – Bloomington a Good School For You?

Being one of the oldest and largest institutions in the US and the flagship and biggest campus of the Indiana University system, it’s no wonder why many in-state and out-of-state students want to apply to Indiana University – Bloomington (IU Bloomington). But are these superlative titles enough to make it the perfect school for you?

Indiana University – Bloomington is a good school in that its academics and value are highly ranked. It’s also a party school with one of the best Greek life in the US. With a 78% acceptance rate and a population of 43,064, IU Bloomington is ideal for students who want to attend a diverse college.

Here’s an IU Bloomington fact that will surely make you smile: The formula for the toothpaste Crest, which was first launched nationally in 1956, was developed by three researchers from the institution. Crest, by the way, was named one of the greatest discoveries in the past 100 years back in 1976 by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Whether you use that brand of toothpaste or something else, you will find the following Indiana University – Bloomington quick stats helpful in deciding whether or not you should apply to it:

  • Location: Bloomington, Indiana
  • Founding date: 1820
  • Motto: Lux et Veritas (Light and Truth)
  • Campus size: 1,944 acres
  • Campus type: City
  • School type: Liberal public research university
  • Reputation: Party school
  • Selectivity level: Somewhat selective
  • Number of majors: Over 80
  • Popular majors: Biology, Business, Communication, Computer Science, Education, Music, Social Sciences
  • Student body: 43,064 (as per Common Data Set 2020 to 2021)
  • Students per class: 10 to 19 in most classes
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Retention rate: 91%
  • Graduation rate: 77%
  • Athletic affiliation: NCAA Division I
  • Color: Cream and crimson
  • Number of varsity teams: 24
  • Sports: Baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, wrestling

Want to know more about IU Bloomington, especially admissions-related matters, just before you add it to your college list? Read on — below, you will come across some very important ones!

Indiana University Sample Gates
Indiana University Sample Gates

What is the Ranking of Indiana University – Bloomington?

US News ranks Indiana University – Bloomington #26 in Top Public Schools and #68 in National Universities. Niche, on the other hand, ranks it #32 in Top Public Universities in America and #5 Most Liberal Colleges in Indiana. College Simply ranks IU Bloomington #43 in Best Public Colleges in the US.

When it comes to academics and value, Indiana University – Bloomington is highly ranked. The public institution also ranks high when party schools and Greek life are the categories.

For instance, it is #1 in Top Party Schools in Indiana and #15 in Top Party Schools in America by Niche. The same college ranker also ranks it #1 in Best Greek Life Colleges in Indiana and #15 in Best Greek Life Colleges in America. Meanwhile, it is #3 in Top Party Schools by Best Colleges and #14 in the 25 Top Party Schools in America by Newsweek.

Here are some other rankings of IU Bloomington by various college ranking sites:

  • #1 in Best College Campuses in Indiana (Niche)
  • #2 in Best Public Colleges in Indiana (College Simply)
  • #5 in Best Value Colleges in Indiana (College Simply)
  • #10 in the Midwest (Forbes)
  • #24 in Colleges With the Best Student Life in America (Niche)
  • #34 in Public Colleges (Forbes)
  • #37 in Best Colleges for Veterans (US News)
  • #71 in Best Undergraduate Teaching (US News)
  • #90 in Top Colleges (Forbes)
  • #145 in Best Value Schools (US News)

What is the Acceptance Rate at Indiana University – Bloomington?

Most students who apply to Indiana University – Bloomington as first-year students end up getting admitted into the school. With an acceptance rate of 78%, IU Bloomington has a moderate selectivity level. A lot of colleges and universities located in the state of Indiana have 100% acceptance rates.

The majority of institutions in the Hoosier State accept all applicants who apply. Sadly, Indiana University – Bloomington is not one of them. Even with a 78% acceptance rate, the school is still one of the most selective in the state.

Here are the colleges and universities in Indiana with the lowest acceptance rates:

University of Notre DameNotre Dame16%
Trine UniversityFort Wayne24%
Purdue University – North CentralWestville50%
Oakland City UniversityOakland City55%
Manchester UniversityNorth Manchester56%
Purdue University – CalumetHammond59%
Indiana Institute of TechnologyFort Wayne60%
Purdue University – MainWest Lafayette60%
Marian UniversityIndianapolis62%
Anderson UniversityAnderson63%
Earlham CollegeRichmond63%
Goshen CollegeGoshen63%
Indiana University EastRichmond63%
DePauw UniversityGreencastle64%
Wabash CollegeCrawfordsville64%
Hanover CollegeHanover65%
Indiana Wesleyan UniversityMarion67%
Saint Mary of the Woods CollegeSaint Mary of the Woods67%
Taylor UniversityUpland68%
University of EvansvilleEvansville71%
Ancilla CollegeDonaldson72%
Butler UniversityIndianapolis73%
Indiana University – KokomoKokomo74%
International Business CollegeFort Wayne74%
Rose Hulman Institute of TechnologyTerre Haute74%
Huntington UniversityHuntington75%
Indiana University – NorthwestGary75%
Ball State UniversityMuncie77%
Saint Joseph’s CollegeRensselaer77%
Indiana University – South BendSouth Bend78%
Indiana University – BloomingtonBloomington78%

Does Indiana University – Bloomington Offer Early Decision?

Indiana University – Bloomington does not offer Early Decision. However, it has Early Action that lets students apply earlier and attend another school if accepted into IU Bloomington since, unlike Early Decision, the admission plan is non-binding. Early Action application deadline is on February 1.

Generally speaking, the acceptance rates for early admission plans are slightly higher. One of the reasons for such is that applying early is a form of demonstrated interest, a non-academic admissions factor many schools consider.

I enjoy my time at IU Bloomington. The campus is beautiful, the academics are stellar especially within the business school. I feel like I am getting the classic college experience I signed up for. I do wish the dining hall food was better but other than that I am glad I chose IU!

At Indiana University – Bloomington, it’s not taken into account by the admissions officers.

This means that the slight increase in acceptance rate for those who apply Early Action stems from the fact that early applicants tend to have competitive applications. But just in case you get admitted after applying Early Action, you have the freedom to attend a different institution — being penalized should be the least of your concerns.

Whether you intend to apply Early Action or Regular Decision, always keep in mind these important dates:

Early Action1-Feb15-Mar
Regular Decision1-Nov15-Jan

What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Indiana University – Bloomington?

According to the website of the Indiana University system itself, the average (not minimum) high school GPA requirement for applicants is 3.90. For the academic year 2020 to 2021, the average high school GPA of first-time, first-year students admitted into Indiana University – Bloomington is 3.75.

There are different campuses that make up the entire Indiana University system.

Among them, IU Bloomington has the highest average high school GPA requirement. The following table compares first-year admission standards by Indiana University system campus GPA-wise:

IU Bloomington3.9
IU Fort Wayne3.36
IU East3.31
IU Kokomo3.29
IU Southeast3.24
IU South Bend3.2
IU Northwest3.07
IU OnlineVaries

Just because your GPA is nowhere close to 3.90 doesn’t mean you should cross Indiana University – Bloomington off your college list. Since the public institution has a holistic admissions policy, you could still receive an acceptance letter provided that many important components of your application are impressive.

Here’s a table of the percentage of first-year admits at IU Bloomington and the range of their GPAs:

3.75 to 3.9924.00%
3.50 to 3.7417.68%
3.25 to 3.4911.51%
3.00 to 3.246.63%
2.50 to 2.991.95%
2.0 to 2.49<1.00%
1.0 to 1.990.00%
Below 1.00.00%

Wondering which parts of your application can help increase your admissions chances even if your GPA isn’t close to a perfect 4.0? Below, you will come across the different academic and non-academic factors the school’s admissions officers check out and the relative importance of each one:


  • Academic rigor – very important
  • Class rank – very important
  • GPA – very important
  • Standardized test score – very important
  • Admissions essay – important
  • Recommendation letter – considered


  • Interview – considered
  • Extracurricular activities – considered
  • Talent or ability – considered
  • Personal qualities – considered
  • First-generation – considered
  • Alumni member relations – considered
  • Geographical residence – considered
  • State residency – considered
  • Race or ethnicity – considered
  • Volunteer work – considered
  • Work experience – considered

Indiana University – Bloomington does not care at all about both religious affiliation and demonstrated interest.

What are the Application Requirements for Indiana University – Bloomington?

Applying to Indiana University – Bloomington begins with filling out the application form. It can be done with the Common App of the school’s very own Apply IU Application. Paying the non-refundable fee, submitting official transcripts and waiting for the decision notification are the rest of the steps.

Earlier, we talked about the application deadlines for both Early Action and Regular Decision.

Indiana Hoosiers Stadium
Indiana Hoosiers Stadium

Beating the deadline, however, is pointless if you fail to take the right steps to apply properly or submit the necessary documents to Indiana University – Bloomington. Failure to do things correctly could cause your application to be deferred to the following semester or not considered at all.

To make sure that you will not waste your time as well as the opportunity to attend a flagship school, make sure that you carry out the necessary IU Bloomington application steps, and they are as follows:

  • Complete the form. As mentioned above, you can apply through Apply IU Application on the school’s website or via the Common App. Both ask pretty much the same questions, although the wordings may be different. Needless to say, IU Bloomington does not accept the Coalition App.
  • Submit official transcripts. Since the GPA is a very important admissions factor, you will have to provide your official high school transcripts. Usually, your transcripts will be sent by your high school to IU Bloomington. However, you may also submit it electronically, through mail or by dropping it off personally.
  • Provide SAT or ACT score. Besides your GPA, your application will be evaluated by IU Bloomington’s admissions officers also by taking a look at your test score, if available. If you decide to provide yours, you may self-report it or submit it at a later time via the school’s Test-Optional Self Reporting Form.
  • Wait for a letter. After evaluating your completed application and all necessary documents, the admissions office of Indiana University – Bloomington will send you the decision. Most accepted and denied applicants get theirs either through email or by means of traditional mail.

How Much Does It Cost to Attend Indiana University – Bloomington?

Attending Indiana University – Bloomington for a year, using the academic year 2021 to 2022 rate, costs $27,298 for Indiana residents. For non-Indiana residents, it’s equivalent to $54,318. The tuition and fees for out-of-state students are more than three times higher than for in-state students.

It is said that it’s perfectly normal for tuition and fees for non-residents to be anywhere from two to three times higher than for state residents. In some instances, they are over three times higher.

This is true for IU Bloomington: from $11,332, tuition and fees rise to $38,352 for out-of-state students.

Related Article: 425 Colleges Charging In-State Tuition for Out-of-State Applicants

Planning to attend IU Bloomington but wondering if paying the sticker price is worth it? Check out the following breakdown of the estimated cost of going to the school for a year, based on the academic year 2021 to 2022 rate:

Tuition and fees$11,332$38,352
Room and board$12,098$12,098
Books and supplies$1,050$1,050
Personal expenses$2,170$2,170

It’s a good thing that there are many different types of aid available at Indiana University – Bloomington. They come in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, work-study, etc.

Based on the public institution’s website, for the academic year 2019 to 2020, up to 71% of IU Bloomington undergraduate students received scholarship aid or grant. It adds that, for the same academic year, more than $254 million worth of financial assistance was awarded to students.

How Much Do Indiana University – Bloomington Make?

Ten years after enrolling at Indiana University – Bloomington for the first time, graduates make about $56,200 per year. Their annual earnings are 64% higher than what’s regarded as the national median. Right after graduation, employed IU Bloomington alumni members make about $41,900 per year.

Most employers do not care about where applicants earned their degrees. However, the major is an important consideration for most of them as it can serve as an indicator of whether or not applicants have the necessary knowledge and skills.

Speaking of which, here are the average initial annual earnings of IU Bloomington graduates by major:

Computer Science$67,600
Registered nursing$56,800
Nursing Administration$56,800
Public Administration$41,900
Public Health$39,800
Political Science$36,800
Criminal Justice$35,300
Teacher Education$32,800
Social Work$30,200
English Language and Literature$27,300

Which Famous People Went to Indiana University – Bloomington?

Many of the alumni members of Indiana University – Bloomington went on to become politicians — governors, congressmen, senators, and even presidents and prime ministers of other countries. Some ended up as scientists, inventors, CEOs and authors. Other IU Bloomington graduates entered show business.

Wondering where a degree from a flagship school could take you? In some instances, to get a vague idea, you simply have to see if a college or university has a graduate whose name rings a bell.

I have a love/hate relationship with Indiana University. On one hand, I loved the school everything about it, but on the other hand, I made a mistake going there, and they were quite unforgiving and unkind. I made the mistake of going full throttle into a university without worrying about the money involved with it. I know it was my fault, but I wasn’t thinking at the time.

These are just some of the most notable IU Bloomington graduates or former students:

  • Michael D. Higgins – The 9th President of Ireland
  • Selim Hoss – Served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon
  • Sherman Minton – Former US Senator turned Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court
  • Vance Hartke – Served as US Senator from Indiana (1959 until 1977)
  • Birch Bayh – Served as US Senator from Indiana (1963 to 1981)
  • John H. Foster – Former US Representative from Indiana
  • Charles A. Halleck – Former US Representative from Indiana
  • Elwood Hillis – Former US Representative from Indiana
  • Joe Hogsett – The 49th mayor of Indianapolis
  • Laura Kelly – The 48th governor of Kansas
  • Arthur C. Mellette – The first governor of South Dakota
  • John Chambers – President and CEO of Cisco Systems
  • Bob Chapek – CEO of the Walt Disney Company
  • Peter Wong – CEO of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), Asia-Pacific
  • Jeff M. Fettig – Chairman and CEO of the Whirlpool Corporation
  • Harold Arthur Poling – Former chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Company
  • Frank Popoff – Former chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Company
  • James Watson – Role player in the discovery of the molecular structure of the DNA
  • Scott A. Jones – Inventor of voicemail and founder of Gracenote and ChaCha
  • Horace M. Trent – One of the scientists who discovered that the crack of a bullwhip was a sonic boom
  • Silas Warner – Video game programmer who developed the 1980s game Castle Wolfenstein
  • Jamie Hyneman – Special effects expert best known for co-hosting Mythbusters
  • Ernie Pyle – Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent of the World War II
  • Meg Cabot – Author of the series Princess Diaries, which was adapted into two movies
  • Ryan Murphy – Producer of TV shows such as Popular, Nip/Tuck, Glee and American Horror Story
  • Laverne Cox – Actress and LGBT advocate
  • Kevin Kline – Academy Award- and Tony Award-winning actor

Just Before You Apply to Indiana University – Bloomington

With an acceptance rate of 78% and a less-stressful application process as there are not a lot of requirements, it’s hard to believe that Indiana University – Bloomington is a flagship school and highly ranked, too.

But just because a vast majority of applicants get an offer to enroll at IU Bloomington doesn’t mean that an acceptance letter is guaranteed to come your way.

With various academic factors being the most important in the admissions process, making sure your application can impress is a must if you want to be a part of the school’s large and diverse population.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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