Your Dream (or Nightmare?) Dorm Neighborhood

With the housing application being released at the end of the month, there’s a lot of stress about which dorm/neighborhood is the best to live in. Last January when I filled out my application, I was dead set on living in Northwest. While I love the Northwest neighborhood and was so happy to have been assigned Foster, there are things that I’ve learned/discovered that I love about the other two neighborhoods, Central and Southeast. So this is just a little guide that will hopefully help you in choosing where you want to live and also assure you that each neighborhood has certain things that are great.

IU neighborhoods

The Northwest Neighborhood

Dorms: Foster, McNutt, Collins, and Briscoe.

Pictures are in the same order as the list.

Foster dorm
Foster ^
McNutt dorm
McNutt ^
Collins dorm
Collins ^ (a.k.a. – Hogwarts)
Briscoe dorm
Briscoe ^

*Briscoe is an “enhanced” dorm; they’re kind of like apartments. You and your roommate get a room which connects to a living area and bathroom which connects to another room.


  • Super close to the stadium and tailgate fields, which is really convenient when it’s basketball season and it’s FREEZING outside; you don’t have to walk far to get to Assembly Hall! It’s also super convenient to be close to the stadium if you have a car as a freshman because that’s where you have to park!
  • Also very close to one of the campus gyms, the SRSC. I workout up to 6 times per week, the short walk is great when the weather is really hot or really cold. It’s also easier to make yourself get up and go when you know that you don’t have to walk that far.
  • If you’re a Kelley student, the School of Business is right down the street whereas most class buildings are completely across campus on 3rd Street.
  • It’s a very social neighborhood compared to the other ones, not that the others are antisocial.
  • We have an ice cream shop in the basement of Gresh. Which can be bad for your body but good for your heart (:
  • There are three bus stops on Fee; one in front of Briscoe, one in front of Foster/McNutt, and one in front of Kelley, so you’re bound to catch the bus at one of them!
  • I haven’t been to every dorm to see what the rooms look like, but out of the ones that I have been in or that I’ve seen picture of, I personally think Northwest has the best/nicest rooms.


  • Most of the class buildings are literally on the other side of campus. It’s takes me up to 20 minutes to get to some of my classes, and that’s a drag when you don’t feel like walking or when it’s too hot/cold or raining/snowing.
  • Gresh is probably my second least favorite food court that I’ve eaten at. I’ve been to Collin’s, Wright, and Woodlands, Collin’s being my least favorite. You have pretty limited options once you get used to everything that they have, and there are other food courts that have a lot better tasting food.
  • If you’re coming back from class, Fee Lane is entirely uphill once you pass Kelley and until you pass McNutt. Do not underestimate the power of the hill. I promise that you will be panting and slightly sweaty after you scale it. It’s known as Fee Mountain among students.
  • If you aren’t a party person or if you aren’t in the mood to party, Northwest can be pretty loud. I don’t have a lot of problems in Foster, but McNutt is always pretty crazy. So that can be annoying, especially if you’re trying to sleep or study.

The Central Neighborhood

Dorms: Wright, Teter, Ashton, and Eigenmann

Wright dorm
Wright ^
Teter dorm
Teter ^
Ashton dorm
Ashton ^
Eigenmann ^


  • Much closer to 3rd Street class buildings, especially if you take shortcuts through the paths around campus.
  • Wright, Central’s main food court, is my second favorite food court. They have a lot of the stuff that Gresh has, plus a Sbarro. They also sell chicken nuggets, which Gresh does not have. I’ve craved chicken nuggets a lot this year and didn’t have it in me to walk to Wright. So if you love chicken nuggets, this is the place for you.
  • Central is right next to the Wells Library, where tons of people love to study. This is convenient if you’re stuck there until it’s late and dark because you don’t have to walk that far to get back to your dorm.
  • Central is also a very short walk away from the SRSC, probably a shorter walk than from the Northwest neighborhood.


  • There isn’t a bus stop other than the Wells Library bus stop that’s close to Central on 10th Street. I believe there are two or three stops by Eigenmann, but that’s it.
  • Although it’s closer to 3rd Street, it’s only really close to the east end of 3rd. The class buildings that are on the west end of 3rd are probably still a 15-20 minute walk.
  • Wright doesn’t have air-conditioning, and that it so awful at the beginning and end of the school year when it’s unbearably hot. The first month or so that I was here, it was in the 90s. It’s bad enough to have to walk to and from class in that, but to live and sleep in it, too? No thank you.
  • You could be placed in Eigenmann (you can only pick the neighborhood that you want, not the specific dorm), and it’s really far away from everything except East 3rd Street.

The Southeast Neighborhood

Dorms: Read, Forest, Willkie, Spruce

Read dorm
Read ^
Forest dorm
Forest ^
Spruce dorm
Spruce (formerly known as Rose) ^
Willkie dorm
Willkie ^

*Willkie and Spruce are enhanced dorms.


  • Extremely close to 90% of class buildings. This would be really convenient if you have 8 AMs in the area.
  • Woodlands is THE BEST food court BY FAR. They have SO many options to choose from, and there’s a fro-yo place inside! The food tastes great, too.
  • There are a lot of bus stops on South Jordan and 3rd Street.
  • If you’re a Jacobs School of Music student, those buildings are right across the street.
  • Mother Bear’s, the world’s best pizza place ever (actually ranked 4th in the nation — how awesome is that?) is also right across the street. Hello delicious, amazing, heaven-sent pizza, goodbye money and nice body.
  • It’s my favorite dorm area on campus as far as how nice the nature aspect of it is. There are a bunch of paths and it’s just really nice over there. I don’t really know how to explain it, I guess it’s just a feeling. (:


  • Read doesn’t have air-conditioning.
  • Both gyms, the SRSC and the WIC, are a pretty decent distance from the Southeast neighborhood.
  • If you’re a Kelley student, you have to walk across campus to get to Kelley.
  • This neighborhood tends to be the least social. I have friends who live over there though, and they love it.

Keep in mind that I can only provide the most detailed and accurate description of the Northwest neighborhood because that’s where I live! There are probably other things, whether they are pros or cons, that I don’t know about the other neighborhoods. All of them are really great though, and I think anyone could be really happy in any of the three. They all have about the same good and bad attributes. So don’t freak out if you don’t get into the neighborhood that you want; you could end up really loving the one that you’re placed in.

Here is the RPS link if you want to do more research.

Alyssa Modos

English Major, Future Book Editor, Class of 2018, Fort Wayne, IN

I'm an English major and Marketing minor with the dream of working for a Big Five publisher in the Big Apple. I'm obsessed with my cat, I'm newly addicted to pineapple, and I like to go running for fun. When I'm not at the gym, you can find me buried under blankets in bed watching The Walking Dead. Every Friday is Pizza Friday at my place; it's my own little "slice" (heh heh) of IU Traditions and Spirit. Follow me around online and through social media to get to know IU and how amazing it is. You'll get to know me, too -- I'm a pretty cool person, just throwing that out there. (: Be sure to check me out on Spoon University (where I write about delicious, life-changing food) and The Odyssey (where I write about a little bit of everything).