With a population of over 40,000, Indiana University Bloomington’s total enrollment rivals the size of a small town. Businesses this size? They’re major economic players. The Willis Tower can only fit half that many people inside it. With a school this large, undergraduates looking for IU apartments face fierce competition from both other students and town residents.
But IU Bloomington’s administration is used to thinking on this scale. After all, as the largest school in the IU system and its flagship institution, IU Bloomington has a considerable sway on everything from Bloomington’s population makeup to its economy, and it maintains its hold on the community by attracting students from all corners of the globe.
So why is it a Goldilocks university? And what does that mean, anyway?
- It’s what locals describe as “just the right size.”
You’re probably wondering why residents would say something like that when they’re living next to a major school. But the truth is that the town of Bloomington itself (Indiana Bloomington University included) only has a population of about 80,000. It’s big enough to include the bars, restaurants, parks, schools, theatres, concert venues and other attractions that are commonplace in major cities while avoiding some of the nastiest problems of metropolitan areas: bad parking, crime, lack of greenery, pollution and high rent. That’s where the name Goldilocks comes from: not too big or too small — but just right.
- It’s the perfect mix of natural and architectural beauty.
Goldilocks couldn’t have picked a better home herself. IU Bloomington is consistently rated one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation by a variety of different ranked lists, and if you take a stroll through its gardens, parks, flower fields and freshly mowed lawns, you’ll know why. College students are well known for documenting their lives through Instagram, but you’ll find that it’s especially prevalent here: the university campus was named USA Today’s Most Instagrammed Place In Indiana. But one of the best things about Bloomington is that the beauty doesn’t stop when you step off the campus quad.
The entire city is known for its parks and architecture, and residents regularly comment on how regal Bloomington’s buildings are. That’s because, like the university itself, much of Bloomington’s architecture is made from Indiana limestone — the same limestone that was shipped to make the Empire State Building, the Pentagon and even Yankee Stadium.
- Summers are hot and winters are mild.
Now, not everyone is going to agree with us on this one — after all, one student’s mild summer day might be another’s blistering hellscape. And someone’s arctic wasteland might be another’s perfect snow angel conditions. But when your average temperature doesn’t fluctuate much more than 40 to 60 degrees for most of the year, it’s hard to complain too much. Summers range from the 60s to the 80s, and winters don’t often go below 20 degrees. If that sounds too extreme to you, tell that to the students up in Minnesota or down at the tip of Florida. They’d probably kill to have Goldilocks temperatures like these.
- The rent? You guessed it. Just right.
The final great thing about IU Bloomington is that while its actual campus is huge, Bloomington rent prices aren’t high at all. Most places range from 500-700 monthly, a price that any recent college graduate can get excited about. That’s a far cry from other big universities. New York University has a comparable enrollment (59,000 compared to IU’s 48,000), but it’ll be difficult to find any NYC apartments for rent under 2,000. Of course, you’d be right in pointing out that New York is one of the most expensive places to live, but Bloomington’s low rent prices still hold true compared to other, smaller university towns. Take State College, Pennsylvania, the home rule municipality that Pennsylvania State University is located. It’s a school of similar size (40,000), but its rent has gone up considerably in the past few years, with current Penn State rent prices in State College coming in at around 1,300 monthly.
If you prefer your campus and the town that surrounds it to be perfectly sized, don’t wait for something too big or too small to try and push you in a direction you don’t like. Instead, get yourself situated early by finding the perfect apartment in Bloomington. Find one that’s just right.