Can I tell you my circumstances and will you tell me if I or my child will qualify
Because residency is complex and depends upon the ability of a student to document their situation, we will not make a residency determination without reviewing a completed residency application and documentation. We can provide suggestions about how a particular circumstance may affect your ability to meet the requirements for residency, but these should not be taken as a guarantee for or against being classified as a resident.
- Will you tell me how to become a resident?
The role of our office is to determine whether a student has met the state requirements to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes. We can provide clarifying information about those requirements and answer general questions regarding the Residency Application. We recommend independently reviewing the state guidelines for residency outlined in SUNY Policy 7810.
- I indicated that I was a New York resident on my admissions application, yet I am
classified as non-resident.
The initial residency determination is made at the time of admission in accordance with guidelines provided by SUNY Policy 7810. Students with missing and/or conflicting information on their initial application are coded as non-resident, pending verification of their residency status. It is a student's responsibility to verify their tuition billing rate and follow up with the Office of Student Accounts if they feel that it is incorrect.
- Will you review my application or documentation with me before I submit it?
We do not review residency applications or documentation before submission. If there are general questions regarding the Residency Application, we can help clarify.
- Are children of Binghamton University alumni considered residents for tuition purposes?
No. The alumni status of a student's custodial parent or legal guardian does not determine their residency status
- I am living with my relatives (grandparents, aunt, uncle, sibling, etc.), who are
life-long residents of the state of New York. Am I a resident for tuition purposes?
No. Residency status will depend on consideration of the factors identified in the policy in order to determine whether the student has established a permanent, independent domicile in the state. Unless the relative is a legal court-appointed guardian of the student, the relative's residency status does not impact the decision. The same applies to living with family friends who are residents of the state of New York.
- How does SUNY define “guardianship” for purposes of determining residency status?
For purposes of determining residency status, a guardian must be an individual who has been appointed by the United States court system (i.e., court-appointed guardian). Guardianship can only be established through court order, and the student must prove that any change in guardianship is not for in-state tuition purposes, and that their guardian's presence within the state is not primarily for the purposes of education. The student must submit a copy of the file-stamped court decree appointing their guardian(s) if the student is using the guardian(s) domicile to establish residency status.
Please note that a person other than a custodial parent or legal guardian who claims the student as a dependent for income tax purposes is not considered the student's guardian solely due to that tax claim. Notarized letters, signed Affidavits, claims of guardianship under state of New York school code, guardianship documentation from foreign courts, and Power of Attorney paperwork are also insufficient to establish guardianship.
- My parent owns a home in the state of New York, does that make me a resident for tuition
No. Ownership of real estate or payment of real estate taxes in the state of New York does not necessarily qualify a student as a resident for tuition purposes. Residency is based on a person's domicile (a person's existing and intended fixed, permanent and principal place of residence). Unless your custodial parents' or legal guardians’ domicile is the state of New York, ownership of real estate does not qualify a student for residency.
- If I own a business or work in the state of New York and pay income tax, are my dependents
or I considered residents for tuition purposes?
Payment of income taxes in New York does not necessarily qualify a student as a resident for tuition purposes. Residency is based on a person's domicile (a person's existing and intended fixed, permanent and principal place of residence). If you own a business or work in New York State but do not maintain a domicile in New York, you will be considered a non-resident.
- What if I have been classified as an out-of-state student but believe I should be
in-state for tuition purposes?
A student who is classified as out-of-state should submit a completed application for residency classification along with documentation to support the claim to the Office of Student Accounts. Completion of the application does not guarantee that a student will be classified as in-state for tuition purposes.
Residency Applications are made available on the Office of Student Account’s website. It is the student’s responsibility to determine documentation to appropriately support their case. Providing false information or withholding relevant information in order to obtain will result in revocation of eligibility and disciplinary action.
- If I submit a residency application does that guarantee that I will receive the in-state
Submitting a Residency Review Application does not guarantee that a change in residency status will be made. Also, all deadlines for submission of applications must be met for any change to be considered for the current semester.
- Can I apply for a prior term and get a refund if I can show I was a resident then?
No. The state guidelines prohibit retroactive residency decisions. You must apply by the deadline for the semester in question in order to be reviewed for residency for that semester.
- What documentary evidence should I submit with my residency classification petition?
Documents supporting proof of domicile are outlined in SUNY Policy 7810 section III(B) Proof of Domicile.
- Can I redact sensitive information from the documents that I submit?
Yes, with limitations. You may redact sensitive information as long as it does not inhibit our review process. Our office recommends leaving the last four digits of social security number on tax forms, so that we can match it to student records. Similarly, leaving the last four digits of account numbers on bank statements allows us to connect multiple-page statements.
Financially independent students using tax or W-2 forms to show income cannot redact financial information from these forms.
We highly discourage redacting transactions from any bank statements as it will raise questions with regard to financial independence and/or physical presence in the state.
- Are members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Veterans or the dependent of a veteran eligible
for in-state tuition?
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, while on full-time active duty and stationed within the state of New York, as well as their dependents, are eligible for in-state tuition as outlined in the Military/Veteran Chart within SUNY Policy 7810.
- Are Veterans or the dependent of a veteran eligible for in-state tuition?
Veterans and their dependents are eligible for in-state tuition as outlined in the Military/Veteran Chart within SUNY Policy 7810. Residency will be reclassified once the veteran or dependent is certified by Binghamton University’s Office of Veteran and Military Services.
- What is the criteria used to be considered either a dependent or independent student?
Students under age 24, unless they are a graduate student, in the military, married, or have children are classified as unemancipated/dependent students and their domicile is based on their custodial parents' or legal guardians’ primary domicile.
If a student is age 24 and over, classified as a graduate student, in the military, married, or have children would be considered emancipated/independent students but must provide documentation showing they did not move to the State primarily for educational purposes (intent to remain in the state after attending school does not provide documentable proof). It is difficult to show that a move to the state of New York is incidental to attending the University if you move to the state and immediately apply to the University within a short period of time.
- If I am a graduate or professional student am I independent or dependent?
Per Federal and State regulations, graduate and professional students are considered independent and are expected to complete this application as an independent student. As such, it is important that you are not claimed as a dependent on any income tax filing.
- What if I am under 24 years of age and my custodial parents’ or legal guardians’ no
longer claim me for income tax purposes?
A person may be financially dependent on their custodial parent or legal guardian for purposes of determining domicile even if their custodial parent or legal guardian is not claiming the student for income tax purposes. Failure to claim a qualifying relative as a dependent does not, in and of itself, establish that the child is in fact financially independent. The student must provide documentary evidence that they have income independent of their custodial parent or legal guardian sufficient to support themselves. Income obtained from a custodial parent, legal guardian or relative; financed, guaranteed, or co-signed loans; gifts from a custodial parent, legal guardian or relative; property purchased by a custodial parent, legal guardian or relative based on credit not of their own; and college funds, 529 plans, trust funds or savings plans set up for a student by custodial parents’, legal guardians’ and/or relatives are not considered independent financial support.
- If I am considered independent, what is the time period I must be living in the state
of New York to be considered a resident?
An independent person moving to the state of New York must provide documentation showing they did not move to the State primarily for educational purposes. If an independent person moves to the State and immediately applies for admission as a student it will be difficult to show that the move is incidental to attending the University. Stating intent to remain in the state after attending school does not provide the documentable proof needed to show that your reason for moving is not primarily for educational purposes.
- What if I am considered independent and my parent or other relatives live in the state
of New York?
As an independent student, having custodial parents or other relatives living in the State does not automatically change your out of state status for tuition purposes. If you are over the age of 24 or you have established a primary domicile in another state, having custodial parents or other relatives that live in New York will have very limited value in determining your classification for tuition purposes.
- What is “self-support?”
Self-support is defined as money you have earned through your own employment. A bank loan made to you with a custodial parent, legal guardian or other adult cosigning would not constitute self-support. In most cases, a gift to you from a custodial parent, legal guardian, grandparent, or other relative would not constitute self-support.
Loans or gifts from relatives, associates, or friends, regardless of the terms, are considered financial assistance and cannot be included as student income when determining self-sufficiency; non-institutional loans or gifts made at or near the time the student is enrolled in an institution will also be considered financial assistance. “Bartering” for free room and board, or other services or necessities is considered financial assistance. A student who receives free room and board from a relative, associate, or friend is not deemed totally self-sufficient.
- How can I be expected to have earned enough income to cover my expenses when I am
a full-time student?
We do not expect you to work full time; however, if you wish to be considered a New York resident, you must show that you are financially independent (able to support yourself financially without the help of others). If you are not working or cannot show that your income supports your expenses, we assume that your primary purpose for living in New York is to attend school and you are receiving support from outside sources thereby making you an out-of-state student.
- Must I move to the state of New York prior to the start of classes to be considered
in-state for tuition purposes?
Moving into your room, renting an apartment prior to attending, moving into a relative's home, or any other place to live prior to the first day of school does not prove primary domicile required for in-state classification for tuition purposes and will not automatically provide in-state classification for tuition purposes.
- What if I am currently an out-of-state student but my custodial parents' or legal
guardians’ moves to the state of New York?
It is possible for a dependent student to gain in-state classification while attending as a full-time student when their custodial parents' or legal guardians’ move to the state of New York permanently for purposes other than education. The student must submit the Residency Application along with documentation to support the students claim by the deadline for the semester in question in order to be reviewed for residency for that semester.
- Does having a lease/home agreement, etc., make me a resident?
Having a lease/home agreement or property in the state of New York does not automatically classify you as a resident for tuition purposes. You are still responsible for proving you have established all other residency requirements.
- What if I obtain a state of New York Driver License and register my car in the state
of New York?
Residency requirements for obtaining a driver's license and auto registration are different from residency requirements for tuition purposes. You are still responsible for proving you have established all other residency requirements.
- What if a student lives in the state of New York for a year and gets a New York Driver
License, registers a vehicle in New York, registers to vote in New York and rents/owns
property in New York?
Generally, unless a student has 12 months of continuous residence in the state prior to enrollment, the student is considered a non-resident. The 12-month minimum requirement cannot be met while attending an educational institution - the student is assumed to be in the state of New York for educational purposes.
Residency rules for tuition purposes are independent of other state rules or regulations governing residency for other purposes, including property tax liability, eligibility to vote, obtaining a driver license or registering a car. Therefore, obtaining these items does not guarantee a student would be eligible for in-state classification. Ultimately, an emancipated/independent student bears the burden of proof, by clear and convincing evidence, to overcome the presumption against acquisition of domicile while currently enrolled as a student.
- What if I have been billed the resident tuition rate at another educational institution
or granted in-state classification at a community college or CUNY in the state?
Residency does not transcend institutions. Prior determination of a student’s domiciliary status by one institution is not conclusive or binding when subsequently considered by another institution. Receiving in-state classification at a community college or CUNY in the state of New York does not automatically grant in-state classification since community college and CUNY rules for being granted in-state classification can be different than 4-year SUNY institutions.
- I am currently attending a community college in New York as a resident. Does that
make me a resident?
Not necessarily. Residency for tuition purposes for the state universities is determined according to guidelines established by SUNY. Community colleges are not governed by SUNY Policy 7810 and your classification as a resident at the community college may not be in compliance with current SUNY residency policy.
- Are there any hardship exceptions?
No. Any person requesting classification as a resident for tuition purposes must prove they meet SUNY requirements or that they meet one of the approved exceptions.
- What if I am International Student or a non-United States citizen?
International students holding a temporary visa or student visa are not eligible for in-state classification for tuition purposes. Non-us citizens who have the status of lawful permanent resident, Asylee status, or maintain a qualifying immigrant status/non-immigrant status, as outlined in SUNY Policy 7810 section IV, may be eligible to be classified in-state. 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 SUNY Policy 7810 section III(B).
- I applied for residency and was denied. Will someone tell me why?
The reason anyone is denied in-state residency is stated in the decision letter. Residency for tuition purposes is not based on one factor alone. All of the facts presented in an application supported by
documented evidence are taken into consideration when determining whether the preponderance of evidence supports New York State residency.
Through documented evidence, the student must prove that they moved to New York State for reasons other than attending an institution of higher learning and that they established a permanent residence in accordance with SUNY policy. Some students may never qualify as an in-state resident for tuition purposes, particularly if the student applies for admission to the University from another school and attends school full-time semester after semester. The burden of proof is on the student to present documented evidence that they moved to the state for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a bona fide domicile, instead of merely maintaining a temporary residence incident to enrollment at the University.
- What should I do if my residence classification is not determined by the billing deadline?
If residency is pending after the student’s tuition is due, students are responsible for paying non-resident tuition and fees. Failure to pay the tuition will result in additional late payment fees. If residency is granted, the university will reimburse the tuition differential.