Under State University of New York policy, legal residence means more than simply living in the state. More specifically, it means establishing a domicile as opposed to a temporary residence or physical presence incidental to enrollment in a college or university in the state. Students who are defined as New York state residents are those who, prior to the beginning of the semester, have established a permanent domicile in New York state. One does not acquire a new domicile merely by attending an institution of higher education in New York State.

Students in college may not gain residential status unless they can establish that their previous domicile has been abandoned and a new one established in New York for purposes other than attending the University. Proof of domicile is based on intention to remain in New York state. Factors relevant in determining domicile are residence of parents (in case of unemancipated students), site of driver's license and motor vehicle registration, place of voter registration, financial independence, residence for personal income tax purposes, etc.

Persons who have been physically present in New York for more than twelve months but maintained a permanent or principled residence outside of New York, or intend to leave New York upon termination of their studies, will not be eligible for in-state tuition rate.

An unemancipated student's domicile is that of the parent or legal guardian. Any student claiming emancipation to establish a domicile in New York must submit evidence of financial independence from parental or legal guardian support, and of the establishment of a domicile in New York State. Evidence of emancipation must include the establishment of financial independence.

Factors relevant to financial independence include, but are not limited to, employment on a full- or part-time basis, sources and extent of other income, place of residence during summer and school vacations, parental claim of the student as a dependent exemption on federal and state income tax return, independent filing by student of federal or state income tax returns, etc. If a student has not been entirely self-supporting during the previous twelve months, a completed Parent's Affidavit will be required from the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to document the amount and level of support provided.

Students on non-immigrant alien visa types A3, B1, B2, C1, C2, C3, D1, F1, F2, H2, H3, J1, J2, K1, K2, M1, M2, O1, O2, O3, P1, P2, P3, P4, Q or R are probably not eligible to be considered New York state residents, regardless of their length of stay. Students who are holders of A1, A2, E1, E2, H1, H4 and all G, I and L visas are probably eligible to be considered as New York state residents if domiciled in New York state; however, an Application for New York Residency Status for Tuition Billing Purposes must be filed by the student and reviewed by the Student Accounts Office.

Any student who fails to complete and return this form in order to confirm New York residency status after enrollment will automatically be charged the out-of-state tuition rate.

Under Section 355 of New York Education Law, active members of the armed forces, their spouses and dependents, stationed in New York, are eligible for the in-state tuition rate. In order to attain the in-state rate, the residency application must be completed and returned along with verification of active military status in New York. After the initial enrollment of the student, the continuation of their eligibility for in-state tuition rate will be verified.

In accordance with Governor George E. Pataki's legislation amendment 7784, under Section 355 of New York Education Law, students who attend a New York State High School for at least two years, and earn a NYS High School Diploma or GED, may be eligible to pay the in-state tuition rate, however a residency application must be reviewed for eligibility by the Student Accounts Office.

The Student Accounts Office processes all residency applications for tuition billing purposes. Students and prospective students are notified in writing of the residency decisions within two weeks.

Students who wish to appeal their residency determination may file an appeal with the Residency Appeals Committee, Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Cleveland Hall, Room 508, Buffalo, New York 14222-1095, whose decision is final.