School Spotlight: Indiana University

Updated: Apr 18



Indiana University is a large, public research university with its state flagship campus in Bloomington, Indiana. The Bloomington campus alone enrolls over 40,000 students in over 1000 different academic programs. The IU system is known best for its Business and Nursing programs, robust greek life, and of course, a storied Basketball program.


IU’s Kelley School of Business is highly ranked for a reason, and 10 of its 18 business-oriented majors are considered to be among the top 20 in their fields nationwide. Many Kelley students apply for direct admission, which requires submitting their applications by November 1, meeting test score requirements of 30+ (ACT) or 1370 (SAT), and maintaining a weighted GPA of 3.8+. Test-optional applicants to Kelley must petition the school directly to obtain direct admission to its Business programs. Undeclared students are invited to transfer into Kelley after their first year if they have maintained B grades in all IU courses and met specific coursework completion requirements.


So how do you get in? The application process to IU isn’t especially unique relative to other large schools, but they do ask each applicant to answer the following supplemental essay prompt in 200-400 words:


  • Describe your academic and career plans and any special interest (for example, undergraduate research, academic interests, leadership opportunities, etc.) that you are eager to pursue as an undergraduate at Indiana University. Also, if you encountered any unusual circumstances, challenges, or obstacles in pursuit of your education, share those experiences and how you overcame them. This essay may be used in scholarship consideration.

  • To address this prompt, VIZE recommends adopting a direct and formal tone as you tie your personal passions to specific aspects of the IU campus. Though it’s not entirely imperative that you follow this formula, one successful approach to this prompt would be to begin by declaring your passions and interests, verifying those interests by describing what you’ve already done to pursue them, and finally, explaining how you’ll direct your passions to specific parts of IU’s campus and programs.

  • While researching those specific aspects of IU’s programs, we recommend that you follow the 2-Click Rule, which means that you should try to reference parts of the campus that are only discussed on their website after going at least two clicks away from their main page.

  • Additionally, VIZE recommends that applicants to IU not worry about the second part of that prompt unless any of those circumstances or challenges have affected your academic performance in an appreciable way. If they have, though, be sure to explain in detail the specific steps you’ve taken to right your ship, and back up those adjustments by getting your grades back up to what you’re capable of.

  • Notably, IU does not track demonstrated interest as part of their evaluative process, so there’s no need to contact local admissions representatives or other officials unless you have specific questions. The most important parts of an IU application, similar to other large institutions, are the hard numbers: your GPA and test scores. In-state applicants should try to hit metrics of 3.5 (GPA), 26 (ACT), and 1170 (SAT), while out-of-state applicants should increase them slightly to 3.7, 28, and 1220, respectively. Outside of Kelley direct admission, IU does not evaluate applications by major, so these recommendations are accurate for all other applicants.

  • As with all schools, though, keep in mind that the above numbers are just recommendations and not anything close to dealbreakers. Put your best foot forward in all parts of your application packet and you’ll give yourself the best chance possible of joining the Hoosier community!

*Photo credit: IT Communications Office