Residency Determination for Tuition Purposes
The Colleges and Universities that comprise the State University of New York system were established to provide a quality education at a reduced rate for the benefit of qualified residents of New York State. As a matter of policy, the State University provided the benefits of higher education at a reduced cost to those students who are domiciled in New York based upon the quality and length of their presence in the State.
Under State University of New York policy, legal residence means more than simply living in the state. More specifically, it means establishing a domicile as opposed to a temporary residence or physical presence incidental to enrollment in a college or university in the state.
One does not acquire a new domicile merely by attending an institution of higher education in New York State. Persons do not meet the twelve month requirement if domiciled in New York for the sole purpose of attending college. The difference between the resident and non-resident tuition rate is significant and the requirements can be complex. The inital determination of residency status is based on the information provided by the student during the admissions process. Students who have missing and/or conflicting information on their application are coded as non-resident for tuition billing purposes.
SUNY Upstate enforces the SUNY Policy "Residency, Establishment of for Tuition Purposes" (Document #7810)
Establishing a Domicile
Establishing a domicile in New York requires an affirmative decision to adopt New York as ones permanent home and the place to which one expects habitually to return after absences. Your intent to remain in New York State after completing your studies implies this as well. Proof of New York State domicile is demonstrated by documents which support your contention that your permanent home is located in New York State. A student who believes that he or she has established a domicile in New York must demonstrate this through submitting a residency application along with supporting documents.
Citizens of the United States, permanent residents or non-immigrants with a Visa which permits them to establish a United States residence may be eligible for in-state tuition. Non-immigrants with a visa status which prohibit them from establishing a United States residence would not be eligible for in-state tuition.
A financially dependent student takes residence from the parent/legal guardian on whom the student is dependent.
An individual University registrant will be considered a New York State resident and be charged in-state tuition rates when that individual is determined to have had a New York State domicile (i.e., a permanent and principal home in New York) for a twelve-month durational period prior to the start of the semester. Persons who do not meet this twelve-month durational requirement will be presumed to be out-of-state residents and should be charged out-of-state tuition rates unless satisfactory proof is presented to show that domicile in New York State has, in fact, been established, notwithstanding the durational requirement.
The completed application must be notarized and submitted by the end of the second week of the term which the applicant is seeking NYS residency status. Failure to submit an application by the deadline will result in full out-of-state tuition liability for that term. Applications submitted after the deadline may be considered for the following term. Applications should include appropriate forms of documents to support an applicant's contention that his or her permanent home is located in New York State. For unemancipated students, a review is done of the parent's or legal guardian's permanent home.
Exceptions to the Domicile Rule
- Members of the US Armed Forces who provide documentation showing that they are fulltime active duty and stationed in New York State shall be charged in-state tuition regardless of the actual location of their domicile. Spouses and dependents of full-time active duty personnel stationed in New York State shall also be deemed New York State residents for tuition purposes.
- Dependents of a parent or legal guardian who is a full-time active member of the US Armed Forces stationed out of State will qualify for in-State tuition provided that the parent or legal guardian submits proof of a New York State residency, referred to as a "Home of Record". Such records are on file at the person's military base.
- Civilian employees of the military and the dependents are not eligible for these exceptions to the domicile rule.
- Certain non-resident students may be eligible for the resident tuition rate if they meet the following requirements:
- Are not non-immigrant aliens within the meaning of 8 USC section 110 (a)(15) and
- Attended an approved New York State high school for two or more years, graduated from an approved New York State high school and applied for SUNY admissions within five years of receiving a New York state high school diploma; or
- Attended an approved New York State program for a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) exam preparation, received a GED and applied for SUNY admissions with five years of relieving the GED; and
- If the student is without lawful immigration status, the student submits to the campus a notarized affidavit stating that the student has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file such an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.