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Application Guidelines

On this page: Resident Student Tuition - Eligibility | Determination of DomicileRelevant Factors for Domicile Determination | Relevant Factors for Emancipation DeterminationResident (In-State) Tuition for Students Approved and Receiving Benefits under the G.I. Bill

The following information is provided to assist you in determining your eligibility, as well as to inform you of elements in consideration when a decision about your residency is made. Decisions are made based on facts and documentation provided at the time of application.

Resident Student Tuition - Eligibility

Eligibility for resident tuition depends upon the establishment of the "domicile" of either the student or the student's parent or legal guardian in New York State (NYS).

Note: To be eligible for consideration as domiciliary pursuant to the analysis below, one must provide the evidence of continuous residence in NYS for at least one year immediately preceding registration for any period of attendance.

A person's domicile is that place where one maintains one's permanent home and to which one always intends to return. Consequently, a person may have any number of residences but only one domicile.

A student does not acquire a new domicile by reason of the temporary nature and limited purpose of his/her presence at college. However, a student is not prohibited by student status from abandoning a former domicile and establishing a new one.

Proof of domicile is based upon an intention to make a particular location one's permanent home and the existence of facts and deeds tending to confirm such an intention. The factors typically considered in determining a student's domicile are listed under "Relevant Factors for Domicile Determination" below. In cases of discrepancy, a declared intention will yield to a reasonable conclusion drawn from evidence of current conduct.

An established domicile is presumed to continue until it is shown to have been changed. The burden of proof as to change of domicile is upon the person asserting that change, and the evidence must be clear and convincing.

Note: Applications for resident student tuition must be submitted by June 1 for fall consideration and November 1 for spring consideration.

Approval for NYS residency for tuition purposes cannot be granted retroactively for prior semesters. The approval is effective for the semester following approval.


Determination of Domicile

The domicile of a student under 21 years of age is presumed to be that of the student's parents, unless the student provides acceptable proof of financial independence, also known as emancipation.* If a student provides acceptable proof of emancipation, then the student's domicile is determinitive.

The attainment of age 21 does not automatically separate one from the domicile of his/her parents. A student age 21 or over must establish domicile based on the same factors that apply to emancipated students under 21 years of age.


Relevant Factors for Domicile Determination

In determining domicile for purposes of eligibility for resident tuition, all surrounding circumstances, in addition to expressed intention, must be considered. Factors relevant to the determination of domicile include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Residence of parents, spouse, and children
  2. Financial independence, income sources, and business pursuits
  3. Residence for tax purposes
  4. Place of voter registration**
  5. Marital status
  6. Age
  7. Situs of motor vehicle and other personal property registration
  8. Situs of real and personal property
  9. Location of checking and savings accounts
  10. Place of employment
  11. Telephone directory listing
  12. Place of draft registration

Dependents of a parent or legal guardian who is a member of the U.S. armed forces stationed out-of-state will qualify for resident tuition provided that the parent or legal guardian submits proof of a New York State domicile, referred to as a "Home of Record." Such records are on file at the person's military base.

Not all of the above factors need to be considered in a domicile determination, nor is the list exhaustive. Rather, a domicile determination depends upon a composite appraisal of all of the facts presented by each case. Conclusions must be based upon the weighting of the circumstances; no single factor is controlling and no all-embracing rules are possible.


Relevant Factors for Emancipation Determination

Proof of a student's emancipation must, in the case of a student under 21 years of age, include a statement signed by the student's parents attesting to the financial independence of the student (See section VI of NYS Residency Application). Evidence of emancipation must include the establishment of financial independence. Factors relevant to the determination of financial independence include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Employment of student on a full-time or part-time basis
  2. Sources and extent of financial support by, or originating from, parents or guardians.
  3. Independent filing by the student of federal or state income tax returns
  4. Parental claim of individual as dependent for the exemption of federal and state income tax return
  5. Residence with parents or guardian during summer or other academic term recess
  6. Status of student as financially independent for purposes of federal and/or state financial assistance

*If an unemancipated student's parents are divorced or separated, the custodial parent's domicile will be used to determine residency status. The custodial parent is determined by Cornell after weighing all available evidence, including, but not limited to, the financial aid information submitted by the student; the permanent address given by the student to the university; any custody provision in the divorce agreement; which parent claims the student for federal or state tax deductions; and which parent provides the majority of support.

**While NYS voter registration is strong evidence of the existence of a NYS domicile for tuition purposes, it is not conclusive of same, particularly where contradicted by evidence supporting a finding of domicile elsewhere.


Resident (In-State) Tuition for Students Approved and Receiving Benefits under the G.I. Bill

Effective as of fall 2018, any student eligible to receive veteran education benefits who is enrolled in one of the contract colleges or schools at Cornell University (Agriculture and Life Sciences, Human Ecology, Industrial and Labor Relations, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, or Veterinary Medicine) will be assessed in-state tuition.

Students must demonstrate their eligibility to receive U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits but they are not required to utilize them. This policy applies to veterans who are eligible under their own entitlement for VA benefits and students who are dependents of veterans and have had benefits transferred to their name.

To apply for in-state tuition, without utilizing the VA benefits, students must complete a VA Benefits Request Form for each academic year. For additional information and forms, please visit the Veterans Education Benefits page on the University Registrar website.

Deadlines by which students need to submit documentation to request in-state tuition:

  • Fall Semester: June 1
  • Spring Semester: November 1

The Office of the University Registrar will contact students annually (each spring) to request a current Certificate of Eligibility.

In-state tuition rates will continue to be assessed as long as:

  • Students remain enrolled in one of the contract colleges in the same degree-seeking program for which they are currently receiving benefits.
  • Students who are taking a leave of absence from one of the contract colleges or schools returns from the leave to the same college or school by the agreed upon semester.

In-state tuition would be terminated if:

  • The veteran education benefits are transferred to another student.
  • The student transfers to an endowed college.
  • The student graduates from an undergraduate college and then matriculates into the College of Veterinary Medicine. At that time, the in-state tuition rate will be re-evaluated based on the student’s veteran education benefit eligibility.

If you are a student receiving benefits under the G.I. Bill, direct questoins to Cornell's VA representative by email or call (607) 255-4232. Send all other residency inquiries to the Bursar's office.

Additional Resources

If you have general questions concerning veteran education benefits, please visit the U.S. Veterans Affairs website. Contact a VA benefits counselor for a specific question about a current claim.

If you have specific concerns about your certification at Cornell, contact Cornell's VA representative by email or call (607) 255-4232. Veterans eligible under vocational rehab should contact a Cornell VA representative to find out more.