Indiana Bloomington Application Essay

Next, detail your accomplishments and experience in this field — remember to show more than tell. Provide evidence of your interest through your actions during a research project or an extracurricular activity. For example, instead of saying “I like both science and art,” illustrate the year you spent researching the brain’s ability to store memories through Dali’s paintings, and how this caused you to view the process of recollection as more of an art rather than a hard science, leading to your desire to study both neuroscience and art history. Not only does this show your interest in both fields, it also implies you are curious and innovative.


This paragraph is also a chance to portray your ability to grow and conquer challenges in your given field. So, rather than writing “I won state for Mock Trial,” describe the struggles you overcame and the growth you experienced in your role as president of your school’s mock trial team. By weaving narration throughout the paragraph, you will be able to portray a more authentic and unique story.


Lastly, connect your aspirations to IU. Specificity is key here. Avoid being vague and general with sweeping statements like “Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business is perfect for me” or “As a student at IU, I could study abroad.” Vague statements demonstrate a lack of interest and lack of effort. Research and learn about the qualities and programs that make Indiana University unique and special to your needs. What are unique programs or extracurriculars at Indiana University, and what will they teach you? What is a quality of IU that is important to you? Avoid generic responses that could apply to any other university.


If you want to be an investment banker through Kelley, describe the focused skillset you will gain from the school’s investment banking workshop, or the network you will create from the small classes and tight-knit community of the Kelley Business Honors Program. An aspiring global correspondent could describe the IU’s worldly approach towards learning and interning in London through the Media School’s “Summer in London” program.


Your primary goal is to connect your accomplishments and aspirations with the opportunities that await you at IU; however, avoid listing every possible activity you could participate in and stay focused.


To review:


  1. Start with a personal, vivid anecdote conveying your interest in a single field.
  2. Share a narrative of you overcoming an obstacle in this field; provide evidence of your experience in this interest.
  3. Describe the essence or quality of a program or activity at IU that would help you grow in this area.


Good luck!


Want help on your Indiana University application or essays? Learn about our College Apps Program and Essay Editing Program.


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Review admission standards, deadlines, and English proficiency requirements

Before you begin the application process, you should check our admission standards to make sure you qualify to apply. It is also very important to review the application deadlines for freshmen.

Research scholarship opportunities

Merit scholarships are awarded based on the academic information you provide through your application for admission.

To be considered for IU Achievement and Selective Scholarships, you must submit a complete application for admission (including official transcript, test scores, and essay) by November 1.

If you meet the November 1 deadline, you may submit updated SAT and/or ACT scores until January 15 for additional scholarship consideration. Updated scores will be evaluated and notification will be made on a rolling basis for those who qualify. After the November 1 deadline, scholarship opportunities are limited.

February 1 is the deadline to be considered for the IU Global Engagement Scholarship—a merit-based award specifically for international freshmen.

For all other scholarship information, visit the Office of Scholarships.

Research majors

Before you apply, make sure you spend some time exploring our different schools and 200+ majors.

When you fill out your application, you’ll be asked to choose an intended major. If you know what you’d like to major in, select that major.

If you don’t know what you want to major in, that’s OK. IU students who have not yet chosen a major are considered exploratory students. It’s fine to spend time discovering the path that’s right for you. Indiana University promotes academic exploration above all else. It’s why most freshmen begin their studies in University Division (UD), where they fulfill the general requirements needed to certify into a degree-granting school or college.

Learn about direct admission

Most new students at IU begin their studies at University Division (UD) to complete the general requirements needed to certify into a degree-granting major or school. However, each year, about 20 percent of incoming students are directly admitted into a school or college.

Get details on direct admission
Learn about receiving credit for AP, IB, and other advanced coursework

IU recognizes many British-style Advanced Level exams and International Baccalaureate higher-level exams when awarding credit.

Learn more about receiving credit for advanced coursework
Review our application tips

Indiana University Bloomington accepts the IU eApplication, Common Application, and Coalition Application.

Which application do I choose?

You can choose whichever application platform you’d like. We don’t give preference to any one application platform, and you have to provide the same information for each. We also use the same review process regardless of platform. You can choose whichever method works best for your situation. You can learn more about the Common Application and Coalition Application on their websites.

If you’re applying for the Jacobs School of Music, you cannot use the Common Application.

Can I apply using more than one application?

Although we provide three different application options, you should select only one. You will not receive any benefit from applying multiple times, and all application fees are nonrefundable. If you apply using more than one application, it may delay processing.

Why are there three application options?

IU is committed to student access and success. We want to provide students as many options as possible for submitting their application. The Common Application is accepted at more than 600 institutions, and the Coalition Application is accepted at more than 90 institutions.

What information do I need to provide to apply?

All application platforms ask the same types of questions (although the questions might be worded slightly differently). You’ll need to provide information like your name, address, previous school history, plans at IU, and a 200–400 word essay. You’ll also be able to provide details on your achievements and accomplishments in and out of the classroom.

Review fee waiver information (if eligible)

If you are a student with limited financial resources, you may be eligible for an admission application fee waiver.

To obtain a fee waiver, you must request a fee waiver when completing your application.

  1. If you are submitting the IU eApplication, you will then need to submit a completed ACT, SAT, or NACAC fee waiver form that has been verified by your high school counselor.
  2. If you are submitting the Common Application, you will need to complete the fee waiver section on your profile and your counselor will need to verify your eligibility.
  3. If you are submitting the Coalition Application, you will answer questions within the application that will determine your eligibility. No additional form or counselor verification is required.

We will not process your application or make an admission decision until we receive a completed fee waiver or the $65 application fee.

Submit the online application and essay

Click on the link below to select your application platform and get started. Even though there are three options to choose from, you should submit only one application for admission to IU Bloomington.

The $65 application fee is non-refundable.

As part of your application submission, regardless of which platform you choose, make sure you submit the 200–400 word IU-specific essay. If you are applying through the Common Application, this essay is called the Writing Supplement for IU Bloomington.

Make sure you allow pop-ups and enable third-party cookies to ensure that your application and fee payment will be submitted correctly.

Receive your iStart login information

After you submit your online application, you will receive immediate email confirmation that it was received.

OIS will send you an email within five business days with your login information for iStart.

You will then need to log in to iStart so you can upload the additional documents you are required to submit.

Submit your supporting documents

After you have submitted your application online, there are several documents you will need to upload to iStart:

Submit your test scores directly from the testing agency using the following reporting codes (test scores should not be uploaded to iStart):

  • SAT: 1324
  • ACT: 1210
  • TOEFL: 1324
Learn more about required supporting documents
Submit financial documentation

As an international student at IU Bloomington, you are required to submit documents proving you have the financial means to support yourself for a full calendar year, including tuition, fees, and living expenses.

We encourage you to submit your financial documents as soon as possible.

Learn more about required financial documentation
Make changes to your application

If you need to make any changes to your application (like email address, contact information, name, etc.), you'll need to submit a form.

Changing information on your application
Check your admission status

After you apply, you can see the status of your application at any time in iStart.

Learn more about iStart
Receive admission letter from OIS

You will first be notified of your admission decision via email by the Office of International Services (OIS).

If you are admitted, your admission letter will be sent to you via mail after you have paid your enrollment deposit and submitted the required financial documents. OIS will mail the admission letter after the financial documents have been reviewed and approved.

Let us know you plan to enroll

If you are admitted to IU Bloomington, you’ll need to let us know you plan to attend by paying your enrollment deposit.

To officially reserve your spot as an IU student, pay your enrollment deposit by May 1.

Learn more about the steps to enroll at IU Bloomington
How to cancel your application

If you would like to cancel your application after you have already applied, you can do that on the Intent to Enroll page.

Just for IU Jacobs School of Music applicants

If you’re a student interested in the Jacobs School of Music you can apply with either the IU eApplication or Coalition Application. Visit the Jacobs School of Music website to learn about additional application requirements.

Here are some key differences in the application process:

You must complete your application for admission by November 1. Supplemental music materials must be received by December 1.

Your application fee is $145.

You’ll need to submit at least one teacher recommendation (you’ll find this form on the Jacobs School of Music website).

You’ll complete an audition and interview process.

Learn more about IU Jacobs School of Music requirements

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