Residency Policy


Under SUNY and ECC policy, legal residence means more than simply living in Erie County and New York State. More specifically, it means establishing a domicile as opposed to a temporary residence or physical presence incidental to enrollment in the College.

A student’s residency is established based on information supplied on the admissions application. If a student is assigned a non-residency status, documentation must be provided to establish New York State and Erie County residence.

To be eligible for the resident tuition rate, a student must meet one of the following requirements:

1. Erie County Resident – Provide documentation of one year’s legal residency in New York State and six months in Erie County prior to the start date of the semester. Documentation must clearly demonstrate New York State and Erie County residency for the six (6) month time period prior to the start of the semester. 

The following are appropriate documentation of state and county legal residence.

  • NYS Income Tax Return 
  • NYS Driver’s License, Permit or Non-Driver Identification Card
  • NYS Vehicle Registration
  • Deed to Real Property or Lease Agreement
  • Marriage License Issued in the State of New York
  • Proof of receiving public assistance from NYS or from a city, county, or municipal agency in NYS
  • NYS Voter Registration
  • Bank Statement
  • Proof of graduation from an approved NYS high school and application for admission to a SUNY campus within five years of receiving diploma.  Must have attended high school for two or more years.
  • Proof of General Equivalency Diploma from an approved NYS program for GED exam preparation. Must apply for admission to a SUNY campus within five years of receiving GED.
  • If military personnel or spouse or dependent of the military, provide a copy of military orders, DD214, Certificate of Eligibility, etc.
  • If Non-Immigrant status, provide I-94 Arrival Departure record.  Eligible visa types include A, E, G, H-1B, H-1C, H-4, I, K, L, N, O, R, S, T, U and V.  Must show Duration of Status (D/S) or an expiration date not yet reached.
  • Refugees and Asylees must submit proof of status or pending application status.

Students must complete the Student Application for New York State (NYS) and Erie County Residence and submit at least three forms of the above-mentioned documentation to be considered for resident tuition.  Otherwise, the student will be charged the non-resident tuition rate.  Documents can be submitted to any SUNY Erie Bursar location.

2. Residents of a New York State County Other Than Erie – Provide a Certificate of Residency from another county in New York State. The Certificate of Residency is a form issued to the student by the county in which they reside verifying their place of residence. To qualify for a Certificate of Residency, students must have lived in New York State for the past twelve (12) months. Residency is verified by the county in which they have lived for the six (6) months prior to attending college. If they have lived in more than one NY State County during those six (6) months, verification from each county will be required.

3. Foreign Students – 

  1. Permanent Residents must present proof of status for resident tuition consideration. You must also qualify under #1 or #2 above.
    A student may also supply proof of a pending permanent residency application. The student may then apply for resident tuition following steps #1 or #2.
  2. Visa holders must present proof of status for resident tuition consideration. You must also qualify under #1 or #2 above.

    1. Visa statuses not eligible for resident tuition - B, C, D E-3, F, H-2, H-3, H-4, J, M, O-2, P, Q and TN
    2. Eligible statuses for resident tuition - A, E, G, H-1B, H-1C, H-4, I, K, L, N, O-1, O-3, R, S, T, U and V

      Students must show Duration of Status (D/S), or an expiration date not yet reached.
  3. Refugees and Asylees may qualify for resident tuition if proof of status or pending application is provided.


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 resident rate. To attain the resident rate, the student must complete and return verification of active military status in New York. After the initial enrollment of the student, the continuation of their eligibility for the in-state tuition rate will be verified.

Certificate of Residency

Important Notice: Please give this matter your prompt attention.

If you have been a legal resident of New York State for the past year but live outside Erie County, please review the notes and follow the instructions below.

Note #1: Timing is everything: The date to first apply for a Certificate of Residency is close to the tuition due date. Certificates cannot be issued more than 60 days prior to the start of the semester in which the student is enrolled. A good rule of thumb is to wait to complete the application until after July 4 for the Fall term, after Thanksgiving for the Spring term, and after April 1st for the Summer term. The latest date to apply is approximately 3 weeks after the first day of the semester, leaving about a 75 to 80-day-window, during which you can complete the application process. Certificates of Residency are valid for one year. It is the student's responsibility to renew the certificate annually.

Note #2: When calculating the amount of tuition & fees to pay by a given term’s published tuition due date, you cannot deduct the non-resident charges until your certificate has been received and processed.

Instructions for Submitting Certificate of Residency Affidavit:

1. Download and complete the required “Certificate of Residency Application Form”. 

2. Print the form and fill out the application/affidavit. The State University of New York (SUNY) no longer requires the application/affidavit to be notarized.

3. All Non-Erie County Residents of New York State: Present the completed, signed, Affidavit and Application for Certificate of Residency to your County Treasurer for processing, along with proof of residence.

4. Once validated, your County Treasurer or Comptroller’s Office will retain your application form and give you a Certificate of Residency. The certificate must be submitted to the SUNY Erie Bursar Office. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their certificate is received by the Bursar Office on time.  Call your County Treasurer if you have any questions about this procedure. Links for each county are available here.

Questions? — Call the Bursar Office: (716) 851-1888