A general stereotype of students at Illinois State is that they are not the smartest. There is an acronym "ISU=I screwed up" implying this stereotype. It is most definitely not an accurate stereotype, and is in fact very untrue.
That ISU is a school only education majors attend. That their is no school spirit. That ISU is the back up school for students that did not get into the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
A big stereotype at this school is the "bro's and hoes", a term usually referring to frat guys and sorority girls. There's a pretty big Greek scene on campus, and the frat boys like to overuse the word "bro". Unfortunately, this vernacular is also gaining wide acceptance throughout the rest of the college (and young American) community, making it harder to distinguish between those who embody the stereotype, and those who mock it. As I personally have not been involved with the Greek scene and have not attended many parties of different frat houses, I cannot vouch for the true nature of said "bros". However, most are not very difficult to spot. The highest concentration of this particular species of male can be found grouped in the dining centers and in the dorm fitness rooms or the fitness center on the quad. Many times, these groups of boys may draw your attention by seeming to be very angry with each other and on the verge of a physical altercation. Interestingly enough, however, this is many times the simple exhibition of "I love you, man" in a very crude and vulgar way. Despite their rough exterior, many of these guys may actually be very sweet and kind at heart, but the need to live up to this tough guy/man's man standard, especially within frat houses, can turn a wonderful son and caring brother into a sex crazed, puffy-chested, protein drink swigging jerk. As for the sorority girls, it largely depends on the sorority. They like to travel in packs brandished in their Greekwear, and are sometimes very difficult to distinguish from one another. Most are very sweet, but they are very cliquey. Truthfully, you won't get much heartache caused by sorority girls, except under the conditions of alcohol and fraternity influence on weekend nights. The point is, regardless of whether you are male or female, everyone tries to seek acceptance. Some of us went to huge high schools where we didn't know most of our graduating class whereas some others could name every single person in their school, where they live, and what their dog's name is. We come to college not only looking to further our education, but to establish lifelong relationships. And we are all TERRIFIED. If Greek is your thing, go for it. But try not to lose yourself in the shuffle. All frat and sorority members are unique individuals too, but as they all try to fit in, they all look to each other for guidance rather than within themselves, and thus become a large mold of each other. A mold that becomes very difficult to break once college is over, and nothing but our degree and what we learned matters. So whether its in an academic or social environment, through tests in class or tests with friends, remember you are here to learn, and you are your best professor.
One of the more disparaging nicknames for Illinois State is I Screwed Up -- ISU is often seen as not being a "first choice" school, but rather a backup, which is likely true to some degree. Being that it is a large state school, there are quite a number of frat guys and sorority girls, and each frat or sorority has its own stereotypes (for example, the Delta Zeta sorority is known by some as the "DZ Easies") to contend with. Since Illinois State is in Central Illinois, it can be stereotyped as being in a "farm town" -- which is largely true. There is a corn festival held every year and the local baseball team is the Cornbelters, which serves as a point of embarrassment for some Illinois State students who grew up farther north. Illinois State maintains its own farm and there are a number of agricultural students. However, the large student body (20,000+) offsets the "small town" feel of Normal.
I think the typical stereotypes of Illinois State students comes straight from our name, "ISU." Students at other colleges (mostly the University of Illinois) in the area typically like to pretend that acronym refers to "I Screwed Up" - referring to the fact that we are not smart enough to get into a better school. I strongly dislike this stereotype. I didn't even apply to U of I and I never wanted to go there. Since my freshman year, I have been in the Honors Program here, and I strongly believe I have thus far received a fantastic education at a great school.
Stereotype: Most of the students are white and came here because they didn't get in to other schools such as U of I or Marquette. This is partially true; the school does seem to be predominately white, but there are all types of people here. Also, some people did not make it into those schools that are viewed with higher status, so they chose ISU, but there are others who chose ISU for their programs or simply because they really like it here. There are a lot of people here who are extremely smart and dedicated.
A stereotype of Illinois State University is that it is for kids who didn't get accepted into U of I. While this may be true in some cases, it isn't in mine. ISU has several highly recognized programs including Speech-Language Pathology, Business, Education, etc. And just putting it out there, you can get a great education at both U of I Champaign-Urbana and Illinois State University, however, ISU is cheaper.
The most common appear to be jocks, geeks, and stoners