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Dependent Student Policies

Dependent Student Policies

In general, to qualify for the resident tuition rate at a senior college based on residence in the State of New York, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or in a qualifying immigration status; AND
  • Have continuously maintained his/her principal place of abode in the State of New York for a period of at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes; AND
  • Have a bona fide intention of living in New York permanently.

Rules Relating to Establishing Residence in New York

Generally, a dependent student's state of residency is considered the same as that of his or her custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

The legal residence of a dependent student whose parents are divorced, separated, or otherwise living apart will be considered New York State if the student resides for 12 months with the parent who is a New York State resident.

To be designated a New York State resident, a student whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) reside out-of-state must present evidence that he or she meets CUNY’s residency requirements set forth in above, AND EITHER 

A. that he/she is financially independent from his/her parents. Proof of financial independence must be documented. Factors taken into account in determining financial independence include, but are not limited to: whether the student is taken as a dependent on parents' federal and state income tax returns; whether the student is employed and the amount the student earned relative to expenses; the extent of financial support received by the student from parents or guardians; and other sources of student income


B. that he/she, despite being dependent on out-of-state parents(s) or legal guardian(s), has changed his/her domicile, i.e. the place that he/she has a bona fide intention of living permanently, to New York State. Such a showing must be made by clear and convincing evidence. Students who claim that New York is their domicile are expected to have a New York State driver’s license or New York State issued identification card dated a minimum of twelve (12) months prior to the start of the semester. In addition, a student is expected to submit documentary evidence indicating he/she has changed his/her domicile to New York, such as the following: 

  1. evidence that the student has filed a New York State resident income tax return for the previous calendar year;
  2. evidence that the student resided in the State of New York for a significant period of time for other-than-educational purposes prior to attending CUNY; 
  3. evidence that the student resides in property owned by the student or his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in the State of New York;
  4. evidence showing that the student uses his/her New York address as his/her sole address of record for all purposes including on health and auto insurance records, bank accounts, tax records, loan and scholarship records, school records, military records, leases and similar kinds of documents.

Students aged 24 and older are considered independent and are not deemed to have the same state of residency as their parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

In any case, and regardless of any other statements contained in this website, a student must first document legal residence prior to establishing another address (including a post office box) as a mailing address.