Residency Requirements

Contact Ramona Ralston at (315) 267-3090 or by e-mail:


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,  have it notarized, 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.” The Registrar reviews this  information and makes a determination using the following guidelines:

  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

Link to SUNY Resident Tuition Policy

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:

Ramona Ralston, Registrar
SUNY Potsdam
Potsdam, NY 13676
(315) 267-3090