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Residency

In-State Students

The SUNY system was designed to provide quality educational access to qualified residents of New York state. New York state residency standards require that students have established a domicile, a principal and permanent home, as opposed to temporary residence incidental to community college or university attendance. A person may have many residences but only one domicile.

Independent individuals who have established a permanent home in New York state for at least one year or dependents of parents who live in New York state are eligible for in-state tuition rates. Living in New York state only while attending college does not qualify as permanent residence.

Out-of-State Students

Individuals who have not lived in New York state for at least one year before first enrolling at SUNY Cortland or who intend to return to a principal residence outside New York state at the end of their studies here are eligible for out-of-state tuition rates.

Residency Information

The SUNY system was designed to provide quality educational access to qualified residents of New York state. SUNY residency standards require that students have established a domicile, a principal and permanent home to which one always intends to return, as opposed to temporary residence incidental to community college or university attendance. A person may have many residences but only one domicile.

Students who have not maintained a domicile in New York state for a period of one year prior to their first registration are not considered residents. One does not acquire domicile by mere physical presence in New York for purposes of attending a college or university.

Proof of domicile is based on documented, previous and continuing intention to remain in New York state. Mere physical presence in New York for a 12-month period does not constitute domicile.

Persons who have been physically present in New York for more than 12 months, but have maintained (or are dependents of someone who maintains) a permanent and principal residence outside of New York or who intend to leave New York upon termination of their studies will not be eligible for resident tuition rates. Students who are receiving resident educational benefits from another state are nonresidents.

Dependent students are considered residents of the state where their parents live. Their documentation would rely on information relating to themselves and parents or legal guardian. Students claiming emancipation must furnish evidence of both financial independence and establishment of domicile.

Such documentation would include, but not be limited to independent filing of both federal and New York state full-year resident tax returns, documented duration and purpose of physical presence in New York, exclusion of parental income on FAFSA documents, exclusion of parental claim for dependency on tax returns, employment within New York, state of residence of the student's family (parents, spouse, children), voter registration, vehicle registration, real property ownership or evidence of residential rental lease, student's assets or liabilities, evidence of utilities in the student's name, sources and extent of parental or other income, and place of residence during school recesses.

Driving a vehicle registered to one's parent or use of PLUS loans constitutes acceptance of parental support. If a student continues to accept financial support from a parent, they may not be considered emancipated, even if the parent does not claim the student as a dependent for tax purposes.

Emancipated students are totally responsible for paying all of their educational costs. The amount of income claimed by a student must be in excess of educational expenses, including those expenses associated with living in non-university housing. Income includes financial aid awarded directly to the student with the exception of parental loans.

Non-immigrant aliens admitted to the United States in visa categories which prohibit them from establishing a United States residence would not be able to obtain resident tuition rates, regardless of the time domiciled in New York state.

Contact the Student Accounts Office to determine if your visa falls within one of these categories. Immigrant aliens who may lawfully reside in the United States on a permanent basis may obtain resident tuition rates under normal domiciliatory requirements.

Military personnel, their spouses or dependents may qualify for resident tuition rates while the military person is stationed on active duty on a full-time basis in New York. Documentation of such must be provided each semester for active military personnel and their dependents, as well as an application for resident tuition rates.

Former Governor Pataki signed an amendment to section 355 of the Education Law that provides that students who complete both their junior and senior years, as well as graduate from a New York state high school may qualify for resident tuition rates if they attend SUNY Cortland within five years of high school graduation.

The student must provide the Student Accounts Office with a certified high school transcript to substantiate this fact along with an application for resident tuition rates.

Please contact the Student Accounts Office for complete information and questions regarding residency. Applications for residency for tuition purposes may be obtained at the Student Accounts Office.

Residency applications must be completed no later than the last day to add or register for courses for the semester in question. In accordance with SUNY policy, any student who fails to complete and return the application and provide required documentation in order to confirm New York resident status will be charged nonresident tuition rates.