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Kimberly Liu
6 How to Get Into

How to Get Into Indiana University Bloomington: Admissions Stats + Tips

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What’s Covered:

 

Founded in 1820, Indiana University is a public research institution with seven campuses across Indiana. Its Bloomington campus is IU’s main and largest campus, home to more than 40,000 undergraduates and graduates. Bloomington offers more than 550 academic programs, a strong sense of school spirit and many lively school traditions, new and old. IU prides itself on being the quintessential American ideal of higher education: the values of academic freedom, creativity, innovation, an inviting atmosphere, and career-focused learning experiences. 

 

How Hard Is It to Get Into Indiana University?

 

For the 2019–2020 admissions cycle, Indiana University’s Bloomington campus received 44,129 applicants, of which  35,469 were accepted. This means that last year, IU Bloomington’s acceptance rate was 80.3%, making it a least-selective school. Indiana University does not have a binding early decision application option, but it does have a non-binding early action option.  

 

Want to get a better idea of your personal chances of admission into Indiana University? Our free chancing calculator can help you better understand your chances of acceptance into any college. By taking into account multiple elements of your profile, including your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more, we’ll estimate your odds of acceptance, and give you tips on improving your profile! 

 

Average Academic Profile of Accepted Indiana University Bloomington Students

 

GPA

 

The average high school GPA of IU Bloomington’s Class of 2024 was 3.75. 38.2% had a GPA of 4.0. 24% had a GPA between 3.75 and 3.99, and 18% had a GPA between 3.5 and 3.74.  

 

Class Rank

 

Of the 37% of IU Bloomington’s class of 2024 who submitted class rank, 32% graduated in the top 10% of their high school class, and 66% graduated in the top 25%. 94% graduated in the top half. 

 

SAT/ACT

 

Indiana University is test-optional. Applicants are not obligated to submit test scores, and those who don’t will still be given full admission consideration. Of the students who enrolled in Fall 2020, 77% submitted SAT scores, and 63% submitted ACT scores. The top 25% of students scored above a 1340 on the SAT, and above a 31 on the ACT. 

 

What is Indiana University Looking for?

 

With more than 200 undergraduate programs, Indiana University has “a degree for every dream.” In short, there’s a place for everyone. With majors in sport marketing to musical theater, IU Bloomington can open up possibilities for any student. 

 

How IU Bloomington Evaluates Applications

 

According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, IU considers the following factors “very important”:

 

  • Course rigor
  • Class rank
  • Academic GPA
  • Standardized test scores

 

These factors are “important”:

 

  • Application essay

 

These are “considered”:

 

  • Recommendation letters
  • Interview
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Talent/ability
  • Character/personal qualities
  • First generation
  • Alumni/ae relation
  • Geographical residence
  • State residency
  • Volunteer work
  • Work experience
  • Racial/ethnic status

 

And these are “not considered”:

 

  • Religious affiliation/commitment
  • Level of applicant’s interest 

 

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Indiana University 

 

1. Achieve at least a 3.7 GPA while taking the most challenging classes available

 

As the average GPA of enrolled IU Bloomington students last year was a 3.75, in order to be a competitive candidate, you should aim for at least a 3.7 GPA. In addition, IU wants to see that you’ve challenged yourself, so you should try and take advanced honors, Advanced College Project, AP, or IB classes.

 

Schools of IU receive a massive number of applications and use a tool known as the Academic Index to sort through them. Academic Index consolidates your entire academic performance into a single number which is used to see if you meet a school’s academic standards. If you fail to meet a college’s Academic Index threshold, you risk not having your application read. 

 

If your GPA is lower, and you’re still a freshman or sophomore in your high school, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get a higher test score.

 

2. Report your SAT scores if above 1300, and ACT if above 32

 

While standardized test scores are optional for students applying to any of the IU campuses, IU will still consider your test scores if you submit them. Additionally, if you score in the top 25th percentile of IU students, submitting test scores will likely give your application a boost. High standardized test scores are a valuable way to display your academic aptitude in addition to your transcript. If you score above a 1300 on the SAT or a 31 on the ACT, you should report your scores. 

 

To improve your SAT/ACT score, check out these free CollegeVine resources:

 

 

3. Write an engaging supplement response

 

Indiana University–Bloomington requires a 200–400 word essay as part of their IU supplement. You will be asked to describe your academic and career plans and any special interest (for example, undergraduate research, academic interests, leadership opportunities, etc.) that you hope to pursue at Indiana University. The essay also gives you the chance to share with admissions officers any unusual circumstances, challenges, or obstacles in the course of your education. The essay is the perfect place for you to show your strengths, character, authentic voice, and written eloquence.  

 

For tips on how to approach the IU supplemental essay, take a look at our guide on how to write the Indiana University Bloomington essay 2021–2022.

 

4. Cultivate at least one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars (find your “spike”) 

 

When your academics are as equally strong as many other candidates for a college, extracurriculars are where you have a chance to stand out and help admissions officers form a better idea of who you are and what you might bring to their campus. 

 

In general, extracurricular activities can generally be divided into four “tiers.” To really make your profile shine, you should have one to two “Tier 1” or “Tier 2” extracurriculars. 

 

  • Tier 1 activities demonstrate exceptional talent, achievement, leadership, or merit. Activities and roles on the national level or which garner field-wide recognition count as Tier 1 activities. This may include winning a national award, qualifying for international competition and therefore gaining prestigious recognition, or starting a nonprofit that gains national traction. Having a Tier 1 activity marks you as a distinguished youth in the field of your activity, so having Tier 1 activities is rare. 

 

  • Tier 2 activities are more common than Tier 1, but still show high levels of achievement and potential. Holding school-wide leadership positions like student government president, winning regional competitions or awards, and local recognition as a student athlete or musician are all considered Tier 2. 

 

  • Tier 3 activities demonstrate sustained participation rather than exceptional achievement, and are frequently seen in applications, both across the board as well as in any given individual student’s application, as some students may have more than one Tier 3 activity. These activities can include holding minor positions in school clubs or being on a Varsity team.

 

  • Tier 4 activities are the most common and have the lowest entry bar; they demonstrate interest without particular dedication. However, they are still important to include, especially if you have higher tier activities, because they can help show the diversity of your interests. Tier 4 activities can include regular volunteering, general membership in clubs or organizations, or taking any kind of music or art lesson over several years. 

 

Having extracurricular activities on your application shows colleges that you have personal passions and that you can take your skills beyond the classroom. While IU is going to be happy to see any kind of interest you’ve taken, you’re going to be a much more competitive candidate if you have a few Tier 1 or 2 activities that show dedication and excellence rather than many scattered Tier 4 activities. 

 

How to Apply to Indiana University—Bloomington

 

Deadlines

 

Planning on applying to IU Bloomington? Here are some dates to keep in mind for the 2021–2022 application cycle. 

 

Application Timeline

Admissions Application Due

Notification Date

Early Action

November 1

January 15

Regular Decision

February 1

March 15

 

Application Requirements

 

Indiana University accepts applications through the Common Application as well as the Apply IU application. To apply, you will need the following materials:

 

  • IU Bloomington writing supplement
  • $65 non-refundable application fee
  • Official high school transcript
  • Full senior year course schedule 

 

Optional materials include:

 

  • SAT/ACT scores 
  • Letters of recommendation (one counselor and one teacher, max)

 

Learn more about Indiana University—Bloomington

 

How to Write the Indiana University Bloomington Essay 2021-2022

What Are the Big 10 Schools? Should You Attend One?

Student Life at Big 10 Schools: What It’s Really Like


Short Bio
Kimberly graduated from Smith College with a degree in English Literature. This year, she has been based in Beijing, China, where she works in the education field and rescues dogs in her free time. She will be starting her masters at Columbia University in the fall.