Skip to main content

Resident Tuition Policy

Resident Tuition Policy

Many parents and students are interested in understanding the requirements to qualify for the resident tuition rate at Alfred State. The difference between the resident and non-resident tuition rates is significant. The requirements can be complex, so please read the content below carefully and contact the campus if you have further questions.

Eligibility Basics

At the state-operated campuses, students are generally considered NYS residents if they have established their domicile in New York State for at least 12 months prior to the last day of the registration period.

  1. Generally, individuals who have maintained their domicile in New York State for a period of less than 12 months prior to the end of registration are presumed to be out-of-state residents and are not eligible for the resident tuition rate.
  2. Individuals who are financially dependent and whose custodial parent(s) lives in a state other than New York are generally not eligible for the resident tuition rate.
  3. Individuals do not meet the 12-month residency requirement if domiciled in New York State for the sole purpose of attending college.
  4. Dependent students of divorced or legally separated parents may acquire a New York State domicile if the custodial parent is a NYS resident or if the student resides with a non-custodial parent who is a NYS resident and the student intends to continue to reside with that parent throughout their attendance at Alfred State.

Determination of Domicile

To determine a student’s domicile, campuses use the following principles:

  1. A domicile is a fixed, permanent home to which a person intends to return following an absence.
  2. A person may have multiple residences but only ONE domicile.
  3. A person retains a domicile until it is abandoned and another domicile is established.
  4. A person does not acquire a NYS domicile only by being physically present in NY for the sole purpose of attending a NYS campus.
  5. 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.

Proof of Domicile

Campuses rely on documents and circumstances such as the following to determine if an individual’s domicile is in New York State. For financially dependent students, the campus typically relies on documents relating to parents or legal guardian.

  1. Duration of physical presence in New York State for purposes other than education.
  2. NYS Driver License, Learner Permit, or Identification Card (if you do not drive)
  3. NYS Motor Vehicle Registration
  4. NYS Voter Registration
  5. Proof of ownership of NYS real property or a signed residential lease for property in NYS
  6. Utility bill
  7. NYS bank account
  8. NYS Income Tax Returns
  9. Proof of public assistance received from New York State or from a city, county, or municipal agency in New York State

Exceptions to the Domicile Rule: Military Personnel

  1. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces while on full-time active duty and stationed within New York State, as well as their dependents and spouse.
  2. Dependents of full-time active duty personnel who are stationed outside New York State qualify for resident tuition if the service member’s “Home of Record” is New York.
  3. 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, as well as their dependents and spouse.
    • 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.
  4. 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).

Exceptions to the Domicile Rule: New York State High School Graduate

Certain non-resident students may be eligible for the resident tuition rate if they meet the following requirements:

  1. Are not non-immigrant aliens within the meaning of 8 USC §1101(a)(15), and
  2. 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 the University within five years of receiving a New York State high school diploma; or
  3. 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
  4. 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)).

Students with Out-of-State-Resident Parents or Guardians

Generally a dependent student’s state of residency is considered the same as their custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Students aged 24 and older are considered independent of their parents and are not deemed to have the same state of residency as their parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

To be designated a New York State resident, a student with out-of-state parent(s) or legal guardian(s) must fall under an exception to the Domicile rule or present evidence of one of the following:

  1. The student, despite being financially dependent on out-of-state parents or guardians, has changed their domicile. Such a showing must be made by clear and convincing evidence. Students who claim that New York is their domicile are expected to have a New York State driver’s license or New York State-issued identification card dated a minimum of twelve (12) months prior to the start of the semester, and shall not provide a New York State-issued identification card while holding any out-of-state driver’s license.  In addition, a student is expected to submit documentary evidence indicating they have changed their domicile to New York, such as the following: 

    • Evidence that the student has filed a New York State resident income tax return for the previous calendar year.
    • Evidence that the student resided in the State of New York for at least twelve (12) months for other-than-educational purposes prior to attending SUNY.
    • Evidence that the student resides in property owned by the student or his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in the State of New York.
    • Evidence showing that the student uses his/her New York address as their sole address of record for all purposes including on health and auto insurance records, bank accounts, tax records, loan and scholarship records, school records, military records, leases and similar kinds of documents. 
  2. The student is financially independent from their parents. Independent 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 off-campus housing. The term income includes any financial aid received as an independent student. Proof of this financial independence must be documented. 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
    • 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
    • Student’s assets and liabilities
       

Permanent Residents (Resident Aliens)

  1. Resident Aliens whose status has not been verified through the Federal financial aid application process, must present proof of their status by providing the campus with a valid Permanent Resident Card. Once a student’s immigrant status has been verified, the student may then establish NYS residency by meeting the domicile criteria. The following proofs are acceptable:

    • Permanent Resident Card: Form I-151 (old) and Form I-551 (new).  Expired cards may be accepted. 
    • Unexpired Conditional Permanent Resident Card: Form I-551 with a two (2) year expiration date. 
    • Receipt for USCIS Form I-751: Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence. 
    • Receipt for USCIS Form I698: Application to Adjust Status from temporary to Permanent Resident. 
    • I-551 Stamp in Passport indicating evidence of lawful permanent residence.  Expired stamps may be accepted. 
    • 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.
  2. Students with pending permanent resident status can provide a valid application for permanent residency status and upon verification the application is pending, the student may then apply for NYS residency status. Proper documentation indicating there is a pending includes: 

    • A receipt for USCIS Form I-485 (Adjust Status), which must include the petitioner’s name. 
    • 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. 
    • 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. 
    • Employment Authorization Card (I-766) with the code (c)(9) or (c)(24).

Non-Immigrant Aliens

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 that prohibit them from establishing a United States residence are not eligible for resident tuition. Non-immigrants included in categories that permit them to establish a United States residence may be eligible for the resident tuition if they meet the domicile criteria.  The following non-immigrant status types are eligible for residency: 

  • 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

Refugees and Asylees

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.  The following are acceptable proofs of this status:

  • Decision from USCIS or the Immigration Judge granting Asylum or Withholding of Deportation or Removal.
  • Refugee Travel Document
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure record with Employment Authorization Stamp and the notation “Asylum granted” or “Refugee granted.”
  • 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.

Residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma

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. 

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. The following are acceptable proofs of this status:

  1. A USCIS Receipt of Application for TPS (Form I-821); or
  2. A USCIS letter granting TPS; or
  3. Employment Authorization Document (I-766) with the codes (a)(12) or (c)(19).

Applying for Residency

If you are charged tuition at the out-of-state rate and believe you are eligible for in-state tuition rates, you will need to complete the Application for New York State Residency for Tuition Billing Purposes and submit at least three (3) documents demonstrating NY State domicile. Please view the the application instructions for more information.

Glossary of Terms

Some terms in the Resident Tuition policy have special meaning:

  1. Domicile - A fixed permanent home to which an individual intends to return whenever absent.
  2. Home of Record (Military)- Part of an armed services record, which indicates the state of residency upon joining the military.
  3. Non-resident – a person whose domicile is not New York State
  4. Resident Aliens - May lawfully reside in the United States on a permanent basis and hold a valid Permanent Resident Card (green card).
  5. Non-immigrant – Those who enter the United States on a temporary basis for a specific purpose.

Contact Us

Each individual SUNY (State University of New York) campus is responsible for determining a student’s residency status and tuition charge. The campus determination is final.

Questions about resident and non-resident tuition rates should be directed to the Student Records and Financial Services Office.

Student Records and Financial Services
10 Upper College Drive
Alfred, New York 14802
Phone: 607-587-4253
Email: sfs@alfredstate.edu