Indiana Daily Student

Here's a guide to off-campus housing in Bloomington

Bloomington’s offers a variety of areas for students to live after freshman year. More than half of IU students opt to live off-campus, according to IU spokesperson Chuck Carney. 

The majority of off-campus houses and apartments are located in downtown Bloomington or residential areas close to campus. According to the City of Bloomington website, core residential areas for students and families consist of downtown, the area between Indiana Avenue to North Adams Street and Second Street to 15th Street. The space east of High Street has more residential areas for students.  

In order to make the decision of where to live off camps, it is important to consider personal criteria such as price, class location and sleeping habits.


Pricing varies based on house size, location and number of roommates. Downtown housing close to main attractions like campus, bars and restaurants typically costs more. Housing further away from campus in residential areas tends to be cheaper.

Junior Taylor Knight lives east of High Street near College Mall. She said she enjoys the location, but it definitely comes with pros and cons.

“The pros are that I’m close to a lot of stores and restaurants, and I am a little less than a mile from campus,” Knight said. “Living residential or far away is good for students who don’t go out much and are hoping to save money on housing.”

Since most areas of Bloomington — downtown or residential — are near businesses, students don’t have to worry about having access to shopping areas and restaurants.


Other concerns, such as distance from campus, are based on personal preference. If students have transportation options, such as a car or a nearby bus stop, traveling to campus is doable. Bloomington Transit bus routes cover the entire perimeter of Bloomington. 

Class location is another consideration. Classes on the opposite side of campus from where a student lives will add to travel time.


Another concern may be social habits. Living in the heart of downtown, near Kirkwood Avenue, can be noisier than residential areas, but could make going out for a night more convenient.

Knight said the distance from her house to Kirkwood is one downside to her living situation.

“It’s a pretty residential area and there isn’t an easy way to go out without having to Uber or get a ride some other way,” Knight said.

Living on the outskirts of downtown is a compromise to living in the middle of downtown Bloomington or in a residential area.  

For example, apartment complexes like Park on Morton or Smallwood on College, or houses near these apartments, are about six blocks north of Kirkwood and further away from popular commercial areas.

Whether students are looking to save money or to live in the midst of all the action downtown, there is a plethora of off-campus housing options in Bloomington.

Making the decision requires a lot of research. The easiest place to start is by considering personal preferences and talking to students who already live off campus, Knight said.

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