Determining Dependency for Residency

SUNY campuses rely on documents and circumstances to determine if an individual's domicile is in New York State. For financially dependent students, the campus relies on documents relating to the parents or legal guardian.

A financially dependent student takes residence from the parent(s) on whom the student is dependent. A review is done of the parent’s or legal guardian’s permanent home.

Independent students are generally 23 years of age or older, AND are totally responsible for paying all of their educational expenses. The amount of income claimed by the student must equal or exceed all educational expenses including those associated with non-university housing. Income may include financial aid received as an independent student.

Additional factors relevant to financial independence include:

  • Employment on a full or part-time basis within New York State
  • Sources and extent of other income
  • Parent’s federal and state income tax forms which do not claim the student as a dependent (if the student continues to receive financial support, the student shall not be considered independent)
  • 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
  • Students may not have any joint or custodial account with their parents’ or legal guardians