Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Council of Trustees approved changes to the residency requirements for commuters and transfer and international students, effective for the 2020–21 academic year.

The new policy will require transfer and international students who have not yet earned 30 credits, and students who commute more than 50 miles to IUP from the home of their parent or guardian, to live in a university residence hall.

Prior to this new policy, transfer and international students who came to IUP with less than 60 academic credits, and students who commuted more than 35 miles to IUP from the home of their parents or guardian, were required to live on campus.

“This revised policy reflects the needs and wants of our students, especially in these challenging times,” IUP Vice President for Student Affairs Tom Segar said. “We want to make IUP as accessible and affordable as possible for students and families.”

An on-campus living residency requirement for IUP students was first adopted for the 2006–07 academic year.

“We've seen consistent data showing that students who live on campus for their first year have a smoother and more successful transition to university life, including higher grade point averages, than those who aren't on-campus residents,” Segar said.

IUP's residence halls are all suite-style living, offering nine living-learning communities and special individual clusters within the communities to reflect academic and co-curricular interests and courses of study. Specialized resource rooms are available in the halls related to the themes of the communities.

The living-learning communities include Social Justice and Civic Engagement, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Leadership Development, Health and Wellness, Global Awareness, Fine Arts, Education and Communications Media, Business, and the Cook Honors College.

Resident assistants stage many programs and activities for students in the halls, many related to the theme of the community. Residential students also can participate in a scientific communication living-learning community certificate program. A global scholarship certificate program will be available in fall 2021.

IUP completed its $245 million residential revival—replacing its residence halls with suite-style buildings—in 2010. Its buildings have been honored by the Green Building Alliance of Pennsylvania as one of 25 projects that have significantly advanced the region's green building movement. The project also was recognized in September 2012 with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the US Green Building Certification Institute.