SUNY New Paltz Guide to Resident Tuition Policy
Many parents, families and students express interest about the requirements for New York State resident tuition at the State University of New York. The difference between the resident and non-resident tuition rates is significant, and the requirements can be complex. So, please read the information below and contact the Office of Student Accounts if you have further questions. Each individual SUNY campus is responsible for determining a student's residency status and tuition charges, and the campus determination is final.
This policy summarizes and clarifies the State University of New York’s (University) definition of residency for purposes of determining eligibility for in-state tuition at University campuses.
An emancipated U.S. citizen or permanent resident whose domicile has been in the State of New York for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the time of registration for any period of attendance shall be considered a New York State resident for the purpose of determining the tuition rate payable for such period. Generally, an unemancipated student's state of residency is considered the same as that of his or her custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s). All other persons shall be presumed to be out-of-state residents for such purpose, unless domiciliary status is demonstrated in accordance with guidelines adopted by the University and in 8 NYCRR §302 (Tuition and Fees). Certain non-residents and holders of non-immigrant visas may qualify for in-state tuition, as discussed in section V below.
Students enrolled at University campuses are considered New York State residents if they have established their domicile in New York State. A domicile is a fixed, permanent home to which an individual intends to return whenever absent. Determination of a student’s domicile will be based on the factors set forth in the "Guidelines for Determining Residence/Eligibility for Resident Tuition" section below.
Persons domiciled in New York State for twelve months or more:
Emancipated individuals who have maintained their domicile in New York State for a period of at least twelve months prior to registration shall be considered New York State residents. Persons who have been physically present in New York State for at least twelve months but have maintained a fixed, permanent and principal residence outside of New York State shall not be considered New York State residents.
Persons domiciled in New York State for less than twelve months:
Emancipated individuals who have maintained their domicile in New York State for a period of less than twelve months prior to registration shall be presumed to be out-of-state residents. These individuals may challenge this presumption by presenting sufficient evidence to prove that they have made New York State their fixed, permanent and principal home. (See the "Proof of Domicile" list below)
Applying for New York State Residency
Initial Determination of Residency
The initial determination of residency status should be based on the information provided by the student during the admissions process. For this reason, the University Common Application Services Center’s (“ASC”) undergraduate application for admission includes a description of residence as follows: "If your principal or permanent home has not been in New York State for a 12-month period immediately prior to the date you intend to enroll, you will be considered an out-of-state student for tuition purposes. Please note that if you are financially dependent and your custodial parent lives in a state other than New York State, you will be considered a resident of that state."
Submission of Residency Applications
Completed residency applications should be submitted to the Office of Student Accounts prior to registration for the semester in which tuition is due. The term "registration" shall mean the "last date" for registration at each campus.
A written residency determination and any supporting documentation shall be placed in the student’s permanent file.
Students who wish to appeal the Residency decision may do so at the Office of Student Accounts. Additional information in support of the student's claim should be submitted at that time.
Guidelines for Determining Residence/Eligibility for Resident Tuition
In order to determine residency status, the campus must ascertain whether the student or the student’s parent has established a New York State domicile. The following principles govern the determination of a student’s domicile:
- A domicile is a fixed, permanent home to which a person intends to return following an absence.
- A person may have multiple residences but only one domicile.
- A person retains a domicile until it is abandoned and another domicile is established.
- A person does not acquire a New York State domicile only by being physically present in New York for the sole purpose of attending a New York State campus.
- A person does not acquire a New York State domicile solely by being physically present in New York State for a period of twelve months.
- An unemancipated student’s domicile is that of his or her custodial parents or other legal guardian. (Factors to be used in determining emancipation are discussed in the "Emancipation of a Student" section below.)
- An unemancipated student of divorced or legally separated parents will acquire aNewYork State domicile if:
- The custodial parent is a New York State resident; or
- The student resides with a non-custodial parent who is a New York State resident and the student intends to continue to reside with that parent throughout his or her attendance at the University.
Proof of Domicile
Proof of a New York State domicile is demonstrated by documents that support an applicant’s contention that his or her permanent home is located in New York State. For unemancipated students, the campus shall review documents pertaining to at least three (3) of the following factors relevant to the determination of a New York State domicile by the parent or legal guardian. Documents which may be submitted include;
- Duration of the student’s physical presence in New York State;
- State of residency of the student's family (i.e., parents, spouse or children);
- New York State voter registration;
- New York State driver's license or non-driver identification card;
- New York State motor vehicle registration;
- Proof of ownership of New York State real property;
- Residential lease for property in New York State;
- New York State income tax returns (IT-201 form or equivalent); and
- New York State bank account statements.
An applicant need not submit all of the above documentation in order to demonstrate a New York State domicile; however, the campus should examine the totality of the circumstances in each individual case. Documentation should provide the duration of the student’s physical presence in New York State as well as th state of residence of the student's family (i.e., parents, spouse or children) when the student is considered a dependent.
Exceptions to the Domicile Rule
Persons with the following status or participating in the following programs shall be accorded the benefits of in-state status for the period in which they hold such status or are engaged in such programs:
- Members of the U. S. Armed Forces who provide documentation showing that they are on full-time active duty and stationed in New York State, 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. (Refer to NYS Education Law §355 (Regulation of Tuition Generally) and 8 NYCRR §302 (Tuition and Fees).
- Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements for educational assistance under federal GI bills, even if the individual is not actually receiving or using such benefits. In order to prove veteran status, a student must provide U.S. Department of Defense Form DD214 or a Certificate of Eligibility from the U.S. Department of Defense or the Veterans Administration. (See Attached Chart)
- Spouses and dependents who are eligible for educational assistance under federal GI bills. Generally, these are the spouses or dependents of service members who died or were disabled by their service, or to whom the veteran has transferred his/her veterans’ educational benefits. In order to prove status as a child or spouse of veteran, the child or spouse must provide a Certificate of Eligibility from the U.S. Department of Defense or the Veterans Administration.
- Individuals using education assistance under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the “Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program” (VR&E Program) (See 38 USC §3679(c).
For additional residency information regarding Military personnel and their dependents and\or spouses, please visit: https://www.newpaltz.edu/veterans/policies_in_state_tuition.html
Certain individuals defined as 'non-immigrant aliens' under 8 USC §1101(a)(15) may be eligible for New York State Resident Tuition if;
- 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 admission to SUNY 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 admission to the University within five years of receiving 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. (See NYS Education Law §355(h) (8)). Such affidavit shall be viewed by the appropriate campus official, and either destroyed or returned to the student. The appropriate campus official making the residency determination shall fill out a form indicating that the student has provided all the appropriate information to the campus if the student is then eligible for in-state tuition. (See attached Sample Form for Residency Determination)
IV. Qualifying Immigrant Statuses and Non-immigrant Statuses
A. Lawful Permanent Residents (Resident Aliens)
Current Permanent Resident Status
Resident aliens may lawfully reside in the United States on a permanent basis. There are two acceptable methods for verifying status as a resident alien. The first method is that a student who has requested Federal financial aid, which has been verified by the Federal Financial Aid Central Processor, has his/her status automatically matched by the USCIS, which will be evident through SUNY’s coding of the student as a lawful permanent resident or resident alien. In that case, there is no need for a student to submit a Permanent Resident Card or any other form of documentation regarding permanent residence.
The second way a student can prove he/she is a resident alien if not confirmed through the above match is such student must present proof of their status by providing the campus with a Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as the “Alien Registration Card” and commonly known as a “green card”) prior to registration.
The following proofs are acceptable:
- Permanent Resident Card: Form I-151 (old) and Form I-551 (new). Expired cards may be accepted; or
- Unexpired Conditional Permanent Resident Card: Form I-551 with a two (2) year expiration date; or
- Receipt for USCIS Form I-751: Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence; or
- Receipt for USCIS Form I698: Application to Adjust Status from temporary to Permanent Resident; or
- I-551 Stamp in Passport indicating evidence of lawful permanent residence. Expired stamps may be accepted; or
- Copy of USCIS Form I-90: Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (old: Alien Registration Card), along with a U.S. Postal Service return receipt or with a cancelled check or money order.
Once a student’s immigrant status has been verified, the student may then establish New York State residency by meeting the criteria set forth in Section III (B).
'Pending Permanent Resident Status.'
A student may also provide a valid application for permanent residency status and upon verification that the application is pending; the student may then also apply for New York State residency status. Proper documentation indicating that a valid application for permanent residency is pending includes:
- A receipt for USCIS Form I-485 (Adjust Status), which must include the petitioner’s name; or
- A USCIS Receipt Notice for the Adjustment of Status Application: Form I-797C indicating that the receipt is for an I-485 Adjustment of Status application; or
- A USCIS Receipt indicating that the fee for the adjustment application has been received. This receipt usually lists application type, name of applicant, alien number (“A” number) and the amount paid; or
- Employment Authorization Card (I-766) with the code (c)(9) or (c)(24)
Note: Students who filed or have an approved petition (Form I-130 or I-140), but have not yet applied for adjustment of status are NOT eligible for in-state or resident tuition.
Dependent Student’s Parents With Immigration Status Permanently Abandon New York State Domicile
In cases where a dependent student’s parents have established immigrant status but subsequently abandon their New York State domicile, the student also loses New York State residency status and the in-state tuition benefit, unless the student can establish New York State domicile under the criteria specified above in Sec. III(C)- 'Students With Out-of-State-Resident Parents or Guardians'
B. Students In Certain Non-Immigrant Statuses
The United States Supreme Court has held that certain non-immigrant aliens have the legal ability to establish New York as their domicile. Non-immigrant aliens are those aliens who enter the United States on a temporary basis for a specific purpose. Non-immigrants are grouped in categories depending on the type of visa presented at the port of entry. Non-immigrants admitted to the United States in categories which prohibit them from establishing a United States residence would not be eligible for in-state tuition. Non-immigrants included in categories which permit them to establish a United States residence may be eligible for in-state tuition if they meet the criteria set forth in Section III(B)(See lists below for categorization). To seek in-state tuition, persons included in non-immigrant alien categories permitting establishment of U.S. residency must provide documentation of residency in accordance with Section III(B), above.
Non-immigrant Status Eligible for U.S. Residency
The following is a list of the visa categories of non-immigrant aliens who under federal law have the capacity to make New York State their domicile and therefore may qualify for the resident rate of tuition if they otherwise meet the requirements:
- A – Ambassador, diplomats and certain other foreign officials and their families
- E – Treaty trader/Treaty investor, spouse and children
- G – Certain government or international organization officials and their families
- H-1B – Temporary worker in specialty occupation
- H-1C – Temporary worker performing essential nursing services
- H-4 – Spouse or children of alien classified as H-1B or H-1C
- I – Representatives of foreign information media and their spouse and children
- K – Fiancé(e) or Spouse of a U.S. citizen and dependent children
- L – Intra-company transferee (such as managers who have worked abroad for a branch of a U.S. firm) and their spouse and children
- N – Parents and children of certain officers and employees of international organizations who were in turn granted permanent residency as special immigrants
- O – Aliens who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, Business or athletics, motion pictures or television (Note: O-1 and O-3 visa holders are eligible, and O-2 visa holders are not eligible).
- R – Religious workers and their spouse and children
- S – Crime witnesses and their spouse and children
- T – Victims of severe forms of human trafficking
- U – Victims of serious crimes
- V – Certain spouses and children of lawful permanent residents who have a relative petition filed on their behalf before December 21, 2000 which has been pending for at least three (3) years
A student who is in one of the above categories must provide proof of such status by furnishing his/her I-94 Arrival/Departure record with either the notation Duration of Status (D/S) or an expiration date not yet reached.
Note on applications for extension of stay: Where a qualified non-immigrant has made a timely application for an extension of stay as evidenced by a filing receipt for USCIS Form I-539, he/she remains eligible for in-state tuition. To “timely” file an application means that a person must file the application before his/her current period of authorized stay expires.
Non-immigrant Status Not Eligible for U.S. Residency
The following visa categories of non-immigrant aliens do not qualify for the resident rate of tuition:
- B – Temporary visitors for business or pleasure
- C – Visitors in transit
- D – Crewmen
- E-3 – Certain specialty occupation professionals from Australia
- F – Academic students
- H-2 – Temporary workers performing special services
- H-3 – Trainees
- H-4 – Families of H-2 and H-3 visa holders (Note: H-4 family of an H-1B or H-1C are eligible)
- J – Exchange visitor (student, scholar, professor)
- M – Vocational students
- O – Aliens who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, Business or athletics, motion pictures or television (O-2 visa holders are the only O category ineligible).
- P – Athletes, group entertainers, reciprocal exchange programs
- Q – Participant in international cultural exchange programs
- TN – Temporary workers under NAFTA Trade Agreement
C. Students Admitted As Refugees, Or Granted Asylum, Or Granted Withholding Of Deportation Or Removal
Refugees and asylees may also reside permanently in the United States. Students submitting proof of refugee or asylee status or application pending status should be treated as immigrant aliens and permitted to provide evidence of a New York State domicile (See Related Information for Acceptable Documentation).
It should be noted that a person whose evidence of Refugee or Asylum status has expired is nevertheless eligible for in-state tuition. The following are acceptable proofs of this status:
- Decision from USCIS or the Immigration Judge granting Asylum or Withholding of Deportation or Removal; or
- Refugee Travel Document; or
- I-94 Arrival/Departure record with Employment Authorization Stamp and the notation “Asylum granted” or “Refugee granted”; or
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD or work permit) (I-766) with the following codes: (A)(3) for Refugee, (A)(5) for Asylee, and (A)(10) for Withholding of Deportation or Removal.
D. Temporary Protected Status
Foreign nationals may also be granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As long as the individual has TPS, he or she can establish domiciliary status, because the underlying non-immigrant visa status is superseded by the TPS. If the student loses TPS, he or she will revert to the underlying non-immigrant visa status, unless it changed. For example, an F-1 student who has TPS can establish domicile for the time she is in such status. If during the time the student is in school, she loses TPS, then she will revert to F-1 status, and would not be eligible to establish domicile. If her underlying status changed from F-1 to asylee or asylee pending, then she could continue to establish domicile and therefore be considered and in-state resident for the duration of her tenure as a student.
The following are acceptable proofs of this status:
- A USCIS Receipt of Application for TPS (Form I-821); or
- A USCIS letter granting TPS; or
- Employment Authorization Document (I-766) with the codes (a)(12) or (c)(19).
E. Undocumented Aliens and Others without Lawful Immigration Status
Pursuant to the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §1623), students who are unable to present valid documentation of their alien status are not eligible for in-state tuition rates. Effective July 1, 1998, aliens not lawfully present in the United States are not eligible on the basis of residence within a state for any postsecondary educational benefit unless citizens or nationals of the United States are eligible for the same benefit without regard to state residency. However, certain undocumented aliens or others without lawful immigration status may be eligible for the resident tuition rate pursuant to Section III(D) above.
F. Jay Treaty
The Jay Treaty grants dual citizenship to certain persons for the United States and Canada. Students with citizenship under the Jay Treaty, however, do not qualify for the resident rate of tuition because they cannot establish domicile in New York if they reside in Canada.
A student may rebut such presumption of ineligibility by providing documentation to establish eligibility for the resident rate of tuition under section III of the policy.
G. Residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma
In September 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands disaster areas (“Disaster Areas”). On October 6, 2017, the SUNY Board of Trustees authorized the Chancellor or designee to amend these guidelines to make undergraduate and graduate students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have been displaced by either Hurricane Maria or Irma eligible for resident tuition rates for the 2017/18 academic year at SUNY State-operated institutions. The Board of Trustees then took the same action to extend this authorization on June 20, 2019 for the 2019/20 academic year.
Accordingly, for the 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 academic years, residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who, because of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Maria or Irma, have either been displaced from colleges and universities in the Disaster Areas or are currently enrolled as SUNY students and cannot return to the Disaster Areas. Affected students seeking the in-state tuition rate will be required to sign a notarized affidavit, attesting that they are residents of the Disaster Areas and that they have been displaced from their homes or institutions of higher education as a result of the devastation caused by the hurricanes. Additionally, students displaced from their schools will be required to show some form of documentation verifying enrollment in an effected institution of higher education.
F. Residents of the Bahamas Displaced by Hurricane Dorian
In September 2019, Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas and destroyed many of the Island’s residences. On September 24, 2019, the SUNY Board of Trustees authorized the Chancellor or designee to amend these guidelines to make undergraduate and graduate students from the Bahamas who have been displaced by Hurricane Dorian eligible for resident tuition rates for the 2019/20 academic year at SUNY State-operated institutions.
Accordingly, for the 2019/20 academic year, residents of the Bahamas who, because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian, have either been displaced from colleges and universities in the Bahamas or are currently enrolled as SUNY students and cannot return to the Bahamas. Affected students seeking the in-state tuition rate will be required to sign a notarized affidavit, attesting that they are residents of the Bahamas and that they have been displaced from their homes or institutions of higher education as a result of the devastation caused by the hurricane. Additionally, students displaced from their schools will be required to show some form of documentation verifying enrollment in an effected institution of higher education.
Emancipation of a Student
A student whose parents or legal guardian reside out-of-state may claim to be emancipated in order to qualify for in-state tuition. A student claiming emancipation must present evidence of both emancipation and a New York State domicile in order to be designated a New York State resident for tuition purposes. Proof of emancipation must include documentation demonstrating the student’s financial independence. Emancipation does not occur automatically when a student reaches 18 years of age. Students under the age of 22 must provide evidence of one year of independent living in order to be considered emancipated.
Factors relevant to the determination of financial independence include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Employment on a full- or part-time basis within New York State;
- Sources and extent of financial support from parents or guardians;
- Sources and extent of other income;
- Parents’ federal and state income tax forms which do not claim the student as a dependent (if the student continues to receive financial support, the student shall not be considered emancipated);
- Student’s place of residence during the summer or other academic term recess;
- Student’s status as financially independent for purposes of federal and/or state financial assistance;
- Independent filing by the student of federal or state income tax return; and
- Student’s assets and liabilities.
Emancipated students are totally responsible for paying all of their educational costs. The amount of income claimed by the student must equal or exceed educational expenses, including those expenses associated with living in non-University housing. The term income includes any financial aid received as an independent student. The students should not have any joint or custodial accounts with their parents or legal guardians and any income claimed must be accompanied by source documentation (tax returns, Form 1099, Form W-2, bank statements, trust documents, etc.).
Residency guidelines for the purpose of receiving a New York State TAP grant are not affected by any college residency determination. Residency for TAP purposes is determined solely by New York State HESC.
Residency applications received after the mid-point of the semester will be considered for the following term.