IU is widely recognized as an institution that can turn floundering freshmen into impressive, work-ready professionals in four short years. A diverse selection of classes from which to choose, qualified and specialized teachers, and a myriad of extracurricular academic options available help to sustain that reputation. Regular access to professors outside of class can make or break some classes, and a student might have to go out of his or her way to dodge the anonymity that can accompany a huge student body. However, there are options that can bring a much sought-after small-school experience to a big-school environment.
Because of large class sizes (particularly the general education courses), a lot of responsibility falls squarely on the student's shoulders. This isn't like high school. No one will notice if you don't attend a lecture class of 200 or sleep through a midterm, and it's quite easy to get lost in the shuffle. Professors' office hours, mandatory small discussion sessions, and a network of undergraduates all in the same boat help combat the obscurity of being an IU student. Recent provisions for freshmen by the administration have been widely acknowledged and appreciated by the student body, and if you have enough drive, IU's academics can take you as far as you care to go.