New York State Residency

As a comprehensive college of the State University of New York (SUNY), SUNY Old Westbury is bound by the State policy regarding eligibility for the New York State Resident tuition rate (SUNY Policy 7810).

A summary of the policy requirements is provided below. Students and families with questions regarding the residency policy should contact the Office of the Bursar at

Students who are currently charged at the non-resident rate, and wish to be considered for resident tuition should review the eligibility requirements, and complete a residency application if they feel they are eligible. The residency application deadline for Fall semester is September 15th and Spring semester is February 15th. If you have extenuating circumstances that prevent you from meeting this deadline, you must contact the Office of the Bursar in advance of the deadline. 

The application form and instructions are available on the Applying for New York State Residency for Tuition Billing Purposes page.

Campus Determination of Residency

The initial residency determination is made at the time of admission. Students with missing and/or conflicting information on their initial application are coded as non-resident, pending verification of their residency status.

Some students who indicate that they are residents of the state on their initial University application may be asked to complete a residency application to verify their status. Failure to complete this application can result in the student being charged at the non-resident tuition rate.

It is a student's responsibility to verify their tuition billing rate and follow up with the Office of the Bursar if they feel that it is incorrect. Residency determinations cannot be made retroactively.

Visit Applying for New York State Residency for Tuition Billing Purposes for further details.

Residency Eligibility Basics

At SUNY's State-operated campuses, students are generally considered New York State residents if they have established their domicile in New York State for at least twelve months prior to the last day of the registration period of a particular term.

  • Generally, individuals who have maintained their domicile in New York for a period of fewer than twelve months prior to the end of registration are presumed to be out-of-state residents and are not eligible for the resident tuition rate.
  • 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. However, students of divorced or legally separated parents may acquire a New York State domicile if the custodial parent is a New York State resident or if 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 their attendance at SUNY.
  • Individuals do not meet the twelve-month residency requirement if domiciled in New York State primarily to attend college.

Note: Non-resident students may be eligible for resident tuition if they have graduated from a New York high school or received a NYS GED within 5 years of application to the University. See below for details under "Exceptions to the Domicile Rule."

Determination of Domicile

Campuses rely on documents and circumstances such as, but not limited to, the following to determine if an individual's domicile is in New York State. For financially dependent students, the campus relies on documents relating to the parent(s) or legal guardian.

  • Duration of physical presence in New York.
  • State of residency of the student's family.
  • New York State voter registration.
  • New York State driver's license or non-driver identification.
  • New York State motor vehicle registration.
  • New York State real property ownership.
  • New York State residential rental lease.
  • New York State income tax returns.
Exceptions to the Domicile Rule

Military Personnel

  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, while on full-time active duty and stationed within New York State, as well as their dependents, are eligible for the resident tuition rate.
  • Dependents of full-time active duty personnel who are stationed outside NY State qualify for resident tuition if the service member's "Home of Record" is New York.
  • In-state tuition is afforded to veterans and dependents who meet the eligibility requirements for GI assistance, regardless of where they live.
  • Civilian employees of the military are not included in these exceptions to the domicile requirements.

Immigrant, Non-immigrant, Undocumented Students and Other Non-residents

  • Students claiming to be immigrants must present proof of their status by providing the campus with a valid Permanent Resident Card or proof of refugee or asylem status. Students who have applied for permanent residency status can also present proof of a pending application. Once a student's immigrant status has been verified, the student may then establish New York State residency by meeting the domicile criteria as described in the Proof of Domicile information provided earlier on this page.
  • 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. Please consult the chart of Non-Immigrant Status Classifications (PDF) provided.
  • Non-resident students, including undocumented students, who attend for at least two years and graduate from a New York high school and apply to the University within five (5) years of receiving their high school diploma, may be eligible for resident tuition. Such students should complete the Express NYS Resident tuition Application . Undocumented students should also complete the "Affidavit of Intent to Legalize Immigration Status" included in that application.
Glossary of terms

Some terms used used here have special meaning in the University's Resident Tuition policy:

  • Domicile - A fixed permanent home to which an individual intends to return whenever absent. Establishing a New York State domicile includes the abandonment of one's prior state of residence and the decision to adopt NYS as one's permanent home. It also includes the intent to remain in New York State permanently.
  • Emancipation, Financial Independence - Students under the age of 24 must provide evidence of one year of independent living in order to be considered emancipated. Emancipated students no longer receive any financial support from their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and are completely responsible for paying all of their educational costs. Students claiming to be emancipated, or financially independent, must provide evidence of both one year of financial independence and domicile.
  • "Home of Record" - Part of an armed services record which indicates the state of residency upon joining the military.
  • Immigrant Students - Students who lawfully reside in the United States on a permanent basis and hold a valid Permanent Resident Card (green card).
  • Non-immigrant Students - Students who enter the United States on a temporary basis for a specific purpose.
  • Undocumented Students - Students unable to document their lawful immigration status in the United States.
  • Non-resident - a person whose domicile is not New York State.