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I just received a funding package to IU for roughly 16k a year, and was wondering for any advice on Studio apartments, or small 1 bdr apartments for about $500 per month? I'd like to be walking distance to campus. I don't mind loud noise, but I won't be doing shots with undergrads either. I'm 22, so I don't need to be in a family area either. 

 

Thank you in advance!

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On March 28, 2016 at 8:57 AM, mecsansclope said:

I just received a funding package to IU for roughly 16k a year, and was wondering for any advice on Studio apartments, or small 1 bdr apartments for about $500 per month? I'd like to be walking distance to campus. I don't mind loud noise, but I won't be doing shots with undergrads either. I'm 22, so I don't need to be in a family area either. 

 

Thank you in advance!

I don't think you're going to find a 1 bedroom for $500. It seems at least $600 is more the norm. If you're looking for $500 I think your best bet is to find a 2+ bedroom house or apartment with someone to split the rent.

Does anyone know anything about the town houses on Covenanter (undergrad vs grad students, neighborhood demographics, noise, maintenance/management staff, etc.)? They seem nice but more expensive and further away from campus than Fountain or Meadow Park. But the proximity to College Mall and other stores could be an advantage.

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Just want to drop in and say that pics don't do the IUB campus justice (though they come close). I stopped in Bloomington today/tonight to crash at a friend's place on my drive west for the summer, and received a guided stroll through the western part of campus and shopping/restaurant area close to Sample Gates area. Campus is stunning! The area directly west of campus is so well kept, clean, and just looks like a cute little college area. (though I was surprised by the homeless population in the area....mainly because college kids are the last people I'd try to panhandle money from)

I'm still on the fence about what I want to do after my Masters, but luckily IU is one of the few schools with a PhD in my field and would be my top choice if I go that route....I've already geeked out on all of them. Enjoy IU, wish I had more time to check it out during this trip!

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There are several companies that organize students into groups for apartment or dorm style living in the city and provide furnished rooms. Not many graduate students take advantage of these, however, because as far as I understand they usually house lots of rowdy undergraduates. If you're up for dealing with that though (or can find another graduate student to go in on an apartment with you, perhaps?) it might be something to check out. Many of them are a bit further to campus but run private busses to school. For instance: https://www.americancampus.com/student-apartments/in/bloomington/campus-corner/floor-plans or http://villagemp.com/.

If you're willing to do an unfurnished or partially furnished place (like maybe there's a bed but you have to get the other stuff), you might be able to find places on craigslist or the graduate student professional organization housing board: http://www.indiana.edu/~gpso/resources/housing/. My general recommendation in terms of walkable neighborhoods are the area just south of campus (Elm Heights/Bryan Park) and just west of campus (Prospect Hill/Near West Side). I do know of graduate students who live North of campus, but its by the stadium so it gets kind of noisy. The east side by the mall is fine if you don't mind taking the bus to school and being a bit further from downtown. My first year I found some other graduate students renting a room in a semi-furnished (bed only, pretty much) 3 bedroom house in Bryan Park through craigslist; it was a lot cheaper than living on campus, and I don't think I spent more than $150 on furniture. 

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Hello all! I pretty much know where to look for housing and what to expect of Bloomington. But, I wanted to bump this thread and see if there's anyone out there looking for roommates.

I'm finding that most of the affordable living options involve splitting a house with fellow students. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone in Bloomington at the moment and most folks who rent their homes out expect you to come in as a group, rather than renting out individual rooms at a time. 

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Does anyone have any opinion about the Gateway Apartments? It seems to be a very good-looking option, but I didn't find any reviews about it. Is the location good at least?

Edited by qrt

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On 4/19/2017 at 9:09 AM, qrt said:

Does anyone have any opinion about the Gateway Apartments? It seems to be a very good-looking option, but I didn't find any reviews about it. Is the location good at least?

This complex is practically brand new. I cannot speak to what it is like to live there—I live in a house a few blocks away. Looks like the property is managed by Cedarview Management, who owns one of the fancy downtown apartment complexes on 10th. Honestly, it's on the pricier side for student housing, but it is a decent location. Gateway is close to the bus line, which is a blessing in this town. 

 

On 4/6/2017 at 3:38 PM, Joasia0429 said:

Hello all! I pretty much know where to look for housing and what to expect of Bloomington. But, I wanted to bump this thread and see if there's anyone out there looking for roommates.

I'm finding that most of the affordable living options involve splitting a house with fellow students. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone in Bloomington at the moment and most folks who rent their homes out expect you to come in as a group, rather than renting out individual rooms at a time. 

I'm not sure where you're at with registration, etc. but IU students have a in-house classified systems where some students mine for roommates there, so that might be contributing to the trouble you're having with networking with established student residents. (see https://one.iu.edu/ and look for "Classifieds" module—you likely won't be able to use the service until you receive your student credentials, which may not happen until Orientation this fall). FWIW I had a good experience when I moved here just by using Craigslist. You might get lucky, and I recommend living with someone who is from around here or has lived here a few years, if possible. Even if they aren't students!

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2 hours ago, ibull said:

I'm not sure where you're at with registration, etc. but IU students have a in-house classified systems where some students mine for roommates there, so that might be contributing to the trouble you're having with networking with established student residents. (see https://one.iu.edu/ and look for "Classifieds" module—you likely won't be able to use the service until you receive your student credentials, which may not happen until Orientation this fall). FWIW I had a good experience when I moved here just by using Craigslist. You might get lucky, and I recommend living with someone who is from around here or has lived here a few years, if possible. Even if they aren't students!

 

Thanks, @ibull! I actually ended up signing a lease with a fellow graduate student a couple of weeks ago. (We're sharing a house with another student.) I actually ended up using craigslist and that worked out fine. :) Thanks for the tip about the classifieds forum.... but unfortunately I don't have a sign in yet. Seems like registration for most things has been moving kind of slow! But, I'm all set for my living arrangements, so I can't complain. 

Any other tips about living in Bloomington? I'm moving from the west coast (Seattle area), but I'm originally from Chicago and my family still lives there. 

Either way, thanks for responding to the original call-out! 

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On 5/5/2017 at 11:19 AM, Joasia0429 said:

Thanks, @ibull! I actually ended up signing a lease with a fellow graduate student a couple of weeks ago. (We're sharing a house with another student.) I actually ended up using craigslist and that worked out fine. :) Thanks for the tip about the classifieds forum.... but unfortunately I don't have a sign in yet. Seems like registration for most things has been moving kind of slow! But, I'm all set for my living arrangements, so I can't complain. 

Any other tips about living in Bloomington? I'm moving from the west coast (Seattle area), but I'm originally from Chicago and my family still lives there. 

Either way, thanks for responding to the original call-out! 

If you're a stereotypical west-coaster like I am:

Coffee Joints to Check Out:

  • Soma (on Grant St)
  • Hopscotch
  • Crumble

If co-ops are your thing, I have enjoyed being a member of Bloomingfoods while living here. Membership fee seems steep at first, but you can split it with others and have multiple people on one account. For as much organic and hippy-dippy shit I enjoy eating, I have definitely gotten my money's worth of this place.

There are local ordinance laws that give food trucks a hard time, so be sure to check out Food Truck Fridays if that is your thing. 

I love biking around here and lived comfortably without a car for a year. Now that I have a car, I still bike routinely because parking around the downtown area is terrible (unless we're talking about summer time and/or weekends). 

If you're into punk/alternative performances, be sure to follow what happens at The Void.

Both the Habitat for Humanity Restore and IU Surplus Store were incredibly helpful when I first moved here and needed to find used stuff. Sometimes the finds are absolutely incredible, so if you're into that kind of thing I recommend watching their facebook pages (linked). 

Finally, one of the most cherished treasures in all of town is the IU Cinema. Do not delay your first viewing. The selections are consistently amazing, so don't be afraid to try something new. Once you get your id most movies will be free, but even if you have to pay it's seldom more than $3. Totally worth your time. One of my biggest regrets is waiting until the end of my 2nd year to see a movie there with some new-found friends. 

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On 2/5/2018 at 8:53 PM, SlyManuel said:

Just thought I'd bump this thread.

Is Bloomington livable on the $16,000 TA stipend?

Any advice?

Time for making decisions I guess... help!

DEFINITELY! I went there for my undergrad. I have spent anywhere between 6300-8000 a year on rent. However, look quickly because housing gets snatched up pretty fast there. You don't really need a car. The transportation is pretty good in Bloom.

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Looking to bring this thread back and see how people like living in Bloomington. It seems like campus itself has quite a bit going on, but does the city itself have enough things to do for you? That's my biggest hesitation about IU, as the faculty and program seem like a great fit for me. Some of the grad students I met on my visit seemed to echo my feelings, too.

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On 4/9/2019 at 9:42 AM, FHG said:

Looking to bring this thread back and see how people like living in Bloomington. It seems like campus itself has quite a bit going on, but does the city itself have enough things to do for you? That's my biggest hesitation about IU, as the faculty and program seem like a great fit for me. Some of the grad students I met on my visit seemed to echo my feelings, too.

This is also my biggest fear about IU (that, and the weather--not too thrilled about snow!), given that I've lived near Los Angeles most of my life. I am actually leaving to visit Bloomington tomorrow so I hope to assuage my own fears by checking it out personally, but if you already visited and still feel this way, then I'm also worried I'll feel the same!

I also literally just received an $18k fellowship from them (I was previously only partially funded) so even though other people on this thread have said this is a livable amount, I'm still not sure how much I should be allocating for rent, especially since that is the pre-tax amount. Living in a high COL area means that I can't conceptualize a low COL area at all. Any insight into this would be appreciated!

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I did my undergrad at IU, and I really enjoyed living in Bloomington. Most of what's going on is on/throughout/near the campus, but I don't think you'll be disappointed. One of the things I enjoyed was the easy access to some excellent opera, theater, ballet, and music because of the Jacob's School of Music. The talent there is amazing. There's a lot of outdoorsy things you can do nearby as well (e.g. a state forest, Lake Monroe, etc.). There's always something going on in downtown Bloomington, which makes it nice. Bloomington actually has quite a few interesting restaurants - certainly more than chains, and they're fun to check out. Also some great little coffee shops, etc. Anyway, I wouldn't worry too much about not having something to do. That said, if you find yourself wanting to get out of the Bloomington bubble, Indianapolis is super close and easy to get to. 

As for the snow... No such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing ;) Bloomington in the spring/fall makes up for the winter I think. 

Cost of living is fairly low in Bloomington, certainly compared to LA. You can definitely get a 1BR for well under 1,000/mo., and if you have a few roommates you can get your costs down even more. Utilities and all that, if they're not included in your rent, are usually pretty low as well. 

Good luck and hope you enjoy your campus visit :)

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@DeNovo Thank you for sharing your perspective! I've heard lots of great things from people who've done their undergrad there, and it's reassuring. I'm essentially choosing between there and the city I currently live in, so it's tempting to stick with what I know and like.

@ergative I'm in a pretty similar boat! I live in another midwest city with similar COL, and from my experience (and speaking with current students) the stipend seems perfectly livable. If Bloomington is similar, I would think $1000/mo. would be on the excessive side. Where I live, rent can start as low as $400/person (rarer) and be as high as $1000 (1 br), depending on location/condition/roommates/etc. Echoing DeNovo, I wouldn't worry too much about COL since utilities will also be low and day-to-day spending doesn't run as high either.

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@DeNovo Thank you so much for responding and giving so much information! I'm in Bloomington now, I checked out Yellowwood forest, College Mall and the downtown area yesterday. I was surprised by how scenic the city is. Lots of trees and interesting architecture I saw from driving around. I'm used to the concrete jungle of SoCal so it was refreshing lol. I'm usually a hermit anyway so it does feel like there's enough going on to satisfy me, and as you said, Indianapolis (and other cities) are a short drive away if I really need an escape. The weather right now is too nice, I wish I had visited earlier so I truly know what the bad weather is like, but yeah I guess it does come down to suitable clothing 😅

I also appreciate both you and @FHG for clarifying about the COL. It's really reassuring because the stipend wouldn't get you very far in SoCal. Now I can breathe and not worry too much about letting finances influence my decision. I'm leaning toward accepting it, but I'm going to be one of those people who wait until the 15th to make a final decision because I only just got here. If you end up at IU, let me know!

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On 4/15/2019 at 8:29 AM, FHG said:

@ergative I hope your visit goes well! It was a very tough decision, but in the end I won't be going to IU.

Thank you, it's been going great! I have decided to attend IU, but I can understand why you wouldn't. I wish you the best of luck wherever you decided to go!

 

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On 4/9/2019 at 4:42 PM, FHG said:

Looking to bring this thread back and see how people like living in Bloomington. It seems like campus itself has quite a bit going on, but does the city itself have enough things to do for you? That's my biggest hesitation about IU, as the faculty and program seem like a great fit for me. Some of the grad students I met on my visit seemed to echo my feelings, too.

Hey there!

 

Thought I'd offer my opinion as someone who has lived in Bloomington for around 6-7 years now. It is a great town and there are SO many fun things to do. As a student, campus offers a lot but if I'm being honest the local culture is way cooler.

Some great yearly events:

Lotus Festival - Huge international/world culture music festival put on every September. Can catch some amazing acts.

Taste of Bloominton - Summer fest where all our (awesome) restaurants create small bit menus to serve food-truck style & live music

Midwest Distillers Fest - yearly distilling festival held in our neighboring town, Nashville.

Bloomington Farmers Market - Every Saturday. Literally the largest weekly gathering in the state. Street music, small art fairs, delicious produce.

Food truck Fridays

First Thursdays

Things to do:

- Restaurants; SO many good ones! We lack in some areas (namely central/South Am. cuisines) but have a huge spread of others. Bloomington has a really heavy international population, particularly Chinese and Korean so we have several awesome spots. Also some great Turkish Restaurants!

- Music! A lot of cool artists come through town and play at our local music venues; The Bluebird & The Bishop. Both are also great hangout bars. We .also have the Orbit Room which is a more underground ( also literally it is underground) punky type music venue.

- Craft artisan shops: We have tons of great local artisans. We have MADE which is a cooperative artisan, as well as GATHER which is similar but more currated.

- Outdoors! Bloomington and the surrounding area is GORGEOUS. Brown County has some of the midwests best hiking/camping if you as me. We also have two lakes with rentable paddleboard/canoes/kayaks.

- Exercise! Walk the beautiful B-Line trail (or Bike, cycle culture is huge here) and check out our wonderful parks. Or visit our indoor rock climbing gym, Hoosier Heights.

-Performances! We have an amazing music program and Theater program as well as multiple local community groups. Check out the yearly shows at the MAC or go spend a fancy night at the Opera or Ballet.

- Drink! We have great local breweries, including one that is totally dog friendly in and outside. Some local breweries: Upland, Quaff On, Switchyard and local Meadery/Ciderys: Friendly Beast, Oddball Fermentables; OR our local wineries: Oliver & Butler.

Bloomington is a wonderful town with so much to do. :) PM if you have any Q's.

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On 2/6/2018 at 1:53 AM, SlyManuel said:

Just thought I'd bump this thread.

Is Bloomington livable on the $16,000 TA stipend?

Any advice?

Time for making decisions I guess... help!

 

I've been offered the same - how are you coping?

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36 minutes ago, Edminzodo said:

 

I've been offered the same - how are you coping?

It's not as bad as I thought it be. But definitely do not think that you could save money on this stipend. The only way to make it a comfortable one is to find somewhere cheap to live. I am currently on the wait list for an apartment that is 700 but it is a two bedroom so I can find a roommate and only pay 350. That is the only way to be comfortable with the stipend. 

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18 hours ago, SlyManuel said:

It's not as bad as I thought it be. But definitely do not think that you could save money on this stipend. The only way to make it a comfortable one is to find somewhere cheap to live. I am currently on the wait list for an apartment that is 700 but it is a two bedroom so I can find a roommate and only pay 350. That is the only way to be comfortable with the stipend. 

Okay - I wasn't planning on saving, in all honesty. Do you think I'd be able to get a 1 bed for under 700? Don't mind walking, biking or taking the bus but I'd rather not sign up to live with someone I didn't know in my first year?

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2 hours ago, Edminzodo said:

Okay - I wasn't planning on saving, in all honesty. Do you think I'd be able to get a 1 bed for under 700? Don't mind walking, biking or taking the bus but I'd rather not sign up to live with someone I didn't know in my first year?

Absolutely! There's a lot of places like that here. I lived in Sunflower apartments my first year for 575. 

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7 hours ago, Edminzodo said:

Okay - I wasn't planning on saving, in all honesty. Do you think I'd be able to get a 1 bed for under 700? Don't mind walking, biking or taking the bus but I'd rather not sign up to live with someone I didn't know in my first year?

The main problem with housing in Bloomington is that the affordable places (i.e. no roommate) are generally away from campus/downtown, so you'll likely have to take the bus/drive/ride. The bus away from the campus/mall area can be kind of annoying because many routes only run once an hour and there are a few areas that aren't serviced at all. There's also some proposed changes happening to bus routes that will probably result in negative changes to this but I haven't followed them. You can look up bus routes at https://bloomingtontransit.com/

Riding a bike is feasible most of the time but there can be some snow/cold days/rainy days. Parking sucks for students unless you want to arrive early (to get into the few spots), leave late (so you don't get charged to exit the garage), park at the stadium and take the shuttle, or park somewhere else that is free and walk.

Either way, find a place ASAP. There is an extremely large student (esp. undergraduate) population for how big Bloomington is and good housing fills up quickly because they push to re-sign leases early. West side housing tends to be the most affordable but there are places all over.

I also see many graduate students who end up going to Biolife for the extra ~$300/month (not that this is Bloomington only).

The other thing to keep in mind is some of the stipend will end up paying fees. I've heard that they're no longer charging tuition (i.e. tuition waivers in the past only covered 90-95% of tuition so you had to pay for some of it) starting in 2020, but I believe you will still be charged some fees (for me, it was about $1500 year). There was just a protest about this: https://indianapublicmedia.org/news/iu-grad-students-rally-against-unaffordable-fees.php

Feel free to PM if you have questions.

 

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On 2/10/2020 at 8:17 PM, Yas-man said:

The main problem with housing in Bloomington is that the affordable places (i.e. no roommate) are generally away from campus/downtown, so you'll likely have to take the bus/drive/ride. The bus away from the campus/mall area can be kind of annoying because many routes only run once an hour and there are a few areas that aren't serviced at all. There's also some proposed changes happening to bus routes that will probably result in negative changes to this but I haven't followed them. You can look up bus routes at https://bloomingtontransit.com/

Riding a bike is feasible most of the time but there can be some snow/cold days/rainy days. Parking sucks for students unless you want to arrive early (to get into the few spots), leave late (so you don't get charged to exit the garage), park at the stadium and take the shuttle, or park somewhere else that is free and walk.

Either way, find a place ASAP. There is an extremely large student (esp. undergraduate) population for how big Bloomington is and good housing fills up quickly because they push to re-sign leases early. West side housing tends to be the most affordable but there are places all over.

I also see many graduate students who end up going to Biolife for the extra ~$300/month (not that this is Bloomington only).

The other thing to keep in mind is some of the stipend will end up paying fees. I've heard that they're no longer charging tuition (i.e. tuition waivers in the past only covered 90-95% of tuition so you had to pay for some of it) starting in 2020, but I believe you will still be charged some fees (for me, it was about $1500 year). There was just a protest about this: https://indianapublicmedia.org/news/iu-grad-students-rally-against-unaffordable-fees.php

Feel free to PM if you have questions.

 

Thanks so much, I will drop you a PM soon. I've been told that my fees are $600 so I don't think that'll be too much of an issue, but I am quite concerned about housing. I appreciate your help!

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