College Spotlight: University of Indiana

If you’ve ever watched the TV show The Middle, you might think of Indiana as the miles of cornfields depicted in the opening credits. I know I did. But then I stepped foot on the Indiana University (IU) campus in Bloomington and I realized that basing your view of a state on a TV show is probably a bit limiting. And potentially misleading. Indiana University is absolutely beautiful! There’s not a cornfield in sight. It’s not surprising it was ranked the #15 most beautiful campus in the U.S.


There is a little creek that trickles through campus (they call it a river, but really, it’s a creek) and the majestic limestone student center rises above it like a castle. (Side note—IU is the first college I’ve visited that has an escalator in the student center.) You might think that a campus with an escalator would feel really huge, but it doesn’t. It feels like an easy campus to navigate on foot and right outside the gates is the 80,000-person town of Bloomington, which has shops and “great ethnic restaurants” according to my tour guide, Susie, a senior math and liberal arts and management major. Given Susie’s enthusiasm for the restaurants outside the gates, It makes sense that Bloomington has been rated the #3 most foodie town in America.


On the sunny, 75-degree day in early May when I visited, graduation had happened the previous weekend, the flowers were blooming everywhere and sorority member grads in high heels, spring dresses and graduation sashes where taking group photos in the many photogenic spots around campus.


Walking through the quiet, picturesque campus was like being on a retreat. In the Herman B. Wells Plaza, messages chiseled into the stone seats urged students to Think Logically, Communicate Clearly, Act Creatively, and Live Ethically. Where the old stadium used to be on campus is now an arboretum. Details are carefully thought out at IU. The windows of the chemistry building, for example, are designed like the periodic table.

Stand-out Programs

But enough about how pretty it is. You probably know of Indiana University for its well-regarded business school, The Kelley School of Business. But you may not know that IU’s global and international studies department is also nationally recognized. IU teaches 68 languages, more than any other college in the U.S. It’s four flagship programs—Arabic, Chinese, Russion, and Turkish—are partially funded by the Department of Defense. And the international perspective isn’t just relegated to the study of languages. Ten percent of student organizations have an international focus.

Flexible Curriculum

You also may not know that IU’s curriculum is flexible and customizable. For example, famed NYT Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz studied enigmatology at Indiana University. (That’s the study of puzzles for those of you who aren’t up on your enigmatology.) He created his own major because you can do that at IU. For students interested in Game Development, IU is starting this major in the fall of 2019. Data Science will also be an upcoming major.

Many students pair other majors with the Kelley School of Business. For example, Intelligence Engineering (a relatively new major at IU) is the No. 1 pairing with the Kelley School. Health Sciences is the second most popular pairing.

Insider Admissions Tip

If you want to apply for direct admission to the Kelley School of Business and you meet most of the criteria for auto admission (3.8 GPA, 30 ACT, 1380 SAT) but fall short on one, you can fill out a petition, which is on the Kelley website, to ask for a comprehensive review. It’s up to you to realize that you don’t meet the requirements and to submit the petition by the deadline. Last year it was Dec. 3. It’s worth it to petition early—over 50 percent of applicants who petitioned last year were approved!