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Residency Requirements

New York State Residency Guidelines for Determining In or Out-of-State Tuition

A student enters SUNY Potsdam as a non-resident if answers to questions on their SUNY Admissions Application indicate out-of-state status. If you believe your designation should be changed, you must complete an Application for New York State Residency Status for Tuition Billing form (PDF) and supply documentation to verify your residency eligibility. Note: a "Domicile" is "A fixed permanent home to which an individual intends to return whenever absent."

Deadline to apply: Residency determinations must be made prior to the end of the first week of classes. Any residency applications submitted after the first week will be considered only for future terms.

There are three options for submitting the completed form:

  • Electronically: Access secure file drop location here.
  • Fax: (315) 267-3438
  • Mailing Address:
    SUNY Potsdam
    Attn: One Stop
    416 Raymond Hall
    Potsdam, NY 13676

Guidelines considered when reviewing applications regarding Residency Status:

  1. Generally, individuals who have maintained their domicile in New York for a period of less than 12 months prior to the end of registration for a specific semester are presumed to be out-of-state residents and are not eligible for the resident tuition rate. Individuals who have lived in New York for less than 12 months may attempt to contest this presumption by providing definitive evidence proving that they have made New York their fixed, permanent and principal home.
  2. Individuals who are financially dependent on their parent(S) and whose parent(S) live in a state other than New York are generally not eligible for the resident tuition rate. Students must show a) that their parents have not claimed them as a dependent on their federal income tax return for the previous year and B) one year of living without parent financial support to qualify for independent or emancipated status for residency purposes.
  3. Individuals do not meet the twelve-month residency requirement if domiciled in New York primarily to attend college.
  4. Dependent students of divorced or legally separated parents may acquire a NY State domicile if the custodial parent is a NY State resident or if the student resides with a non-custodial parent who is a NY state resident and the student intends to reside with that parent throughout attendance at SUNY.
  5. Immigrant aliens, and non-immigrant aliens with visa types that allow them to establish US residency, may qualify for NY State residency if they have applied for permanent US residency and meet the other domicile requirements. A student visa is not a qualifying visa type.
  6. Certain non-residents who within the past five years have a) attended at least two years and graduated from a NY high school, or B) attended an approved NY State program for General Equivalency Diploma preparation and received a NY GE, may be eligible for resident tuition.
  7. Active duty military personnel stationed in NY, along with their spouses and dependents, are granted residency for tuition purposes for the duration of their assignment in NY.

Factors that help demonstrate an established New York domicile include:

  • registering to vote in NY
  • obtaining a NYS driver's license
  • registering car in NY
  • owning a home in NY
  • having a long-term lease in NY
  • full time employment in NY
  • paying NYS income taxes
  • maintaining a NY bank account
  • having immediate family in NY

SUNY Resident Tuition Policy

Unsure if you should apply?

Individuals deemed out-of-state residents may challenge this presumption by presenting sufficient evidence proving they are in-state residents based on guidelines set forth in SUNY policy and NYS laws. Please see our Residency Packet (PDF) for additional guidance on whether or not you might quality for in-state residency for tuition billing purposes.

Documentation Required to Establish New York Residency for SUNY In-State Tuition

If the following situations apply to you, you will need to supply the documentation listed in order to have your residency application processed:

  1. To prove that you have been living in New York for 12 months you need documentation to show your beginning date of residency, such as a dated copy of a bill, lease, or account showing a New York State address. To prove that New York is now your fixed, permanent and principal home even though you have lived here for less than 12 months, you would need to show some irrefutable evidence, such as a recent marriage to a New York resident, purchase of a home in New York, a work transfer to New York of self or immediate family member, or some similar strongly mitigating circumstance.
  2. If you claim to be an emancipated student who has been independent of parental financial support for at least 12 months, depending on your age and circumstances, you may need to supply a copy of your parents' federal income tax return(S) for the previous year showing you were not claimed as a dependent, as well as evidence of personal financial resources (such as employment wages, bank accounts in your own name, etc.) sufficient to support yourself and pay for your college attendance. This total may include college financial aid as long as any loans are in your own name.
  3. To show that you are not living in New York primarily to attend college, but rather intend New York to be your fixed, permanent and principal home, you would need documentation of at least 3 of the "Factors that help demonstrate an established New York domicile" listed on the previous page or similar evidence. If one of your parents has recently moved to New York State, you would need to supply documentation of these factors relating to your parent.
  4. If your parents are divorced or legally separated, you would need to show that the parent with whom you will be living has established a New York domicile for a minimum of 12 months prior to registration, and you would need to list their address as your permanent/home/legal address while at SUNY Potsdam.
  5. If not a U.S. Citizen, you would need proof of a U.S. residency-eligible visa category, or permanent resident alien status card or proof of application for such, plus evidence of a 12 month domicile in New York.
  6. Non-residents who graduated from a New York high school or completed a New York GE program would need to provide a copy of the official high school transcript or the General Equivalency Diploma, if one is not already on file at the college.
  7. If in the military stationed in New York State (or a military spouse or dependent), you would need to provide a copy of the posting orders to the New York base, and proof of relationship if a spouse or dependent (such as a marriage certificate).

If you have questions about the documentation you need to supply to prove your residency eligibility, please contact:

Beth Todd, Director of Student Accounts
SUNY Potsdam
Potsdam, NY 13676
(315) 267-4828