In-state vs out-of-state tuition when moving

My 24 year old daughter has lived in NY State her whole life. She is currently applying for grad school as a full time student to start next year. She is also thinking of moving in with some friends in NJ at some point in the next couple of months. Would she qualify for NY in-state tuition in Jan if she moves to NJ in October? Can I just keep her permanent address in NY?

You mean she lives in New Jersey but uses your New York address as her “permanent” address? I don’t know the New York rules for in-state tuition, but that doesn’t sound kosher.

She needs to be honest about where she resides. If she is living in NJ, that’s her address, not NY. I think you know that.

If she was 17 and the family was being re-located there might be a conversation (many states have some flexibility for HS students whose families are moving).

But she is 24, a full-grown independent adult who wants to get the benefits of being a taxpayer without actually being a taxpayer (and arguably setting herself up to get the same benefits in a second jurisdiction).

As @thumper1 said, I think you know the answer.

OK – just on the flip side of things – if my 24 yr old daughter moved to another state to start grad school – would she be considered a resident there for in state tuition?

Or would she still be considered a resident of her home state?

She plans to move to New Jersey in October 2020 and live there for a year before starting grad school in NYS? Her driver’s license will have to be changed to NJ within 60 days of her move. If she works in NJ, her taxes will be paid to NJ. If she pays rent in NJ, her rent record will be from NJ. I don’t think NYS grad schools will look at those documents and conclude that she’s a NYS resident.


Your daughter will need to fulfill the residency requirement in her new state at the college of her choice…to gain instate tuition status. She will need to check each college website to see what that entails. They all have criteria that are pretty clear.

Your daughter needs to check the rules that her school has for graduate students. It can vary all over the place. I do know some State undergraduate Colleges that do continue to allow instate tuition rates even when a student/parents move out of state. I have no clue how graduate school programs may or may not differ.

I have a friend who has two kids in state collegeS in two different states. They just moved from one state to another and have lost instate rates from there but they don’t get in state rates at the other. Sometimes you just get the wrong end of a stick.

Professional, Master’s or PhD program? If it is a PhD program, it likely doesn’t matter where her residency is because you shouldn’t attend a PhD program unless you are fully funded.


I guess the big question is…if she really wants to be a NY resident for tuition purposes, why is she moving to NJ? Maybe it would be better for her to get a job and stay in NY state.

And would you clarify? She wants to move to NJ in the “next couple of months” so that would be October or November…right? And she wants to attend an instate public in NY in January? Do I have that right?

Is she planning to move back to NY for grad school in January? If so, she could go and “visit” her friends in NJ…not move there. Right?

Residency for tuition purposes rules vary. Better to just read each state’s rules rather than rely on anything else.

It is tricky. There are a lot of undergrads who live in NJ that go to NYC schools. It’s often cheaper to live in NJ and some schools actually have living facilities there. But that’s undergrad, and NY state’s rules for this have an unusual exception. Non-resident students may be eligible for resident tuition if they have graduated from a New York high school or received a NYS high school equivalency diploma within 5 years of application to SUNY. How this works grad school, I do not know.

That’s why OP’s daughter needs to specifically check with the university as to what the rules are pertaining to her particular situation.

Is your D looking to move to NJ and get in state/city tuition at CUNY(cant see her moving to NJ and commuting to SUNY)?

The answer is no, she will no longer be eligible for in-state tuition

Sorry…I didn’t disappear. I actually forgot that I posted this. My daughter has lived in NYS her whole life. She plans to go to Hunter college (CUNY) in NYC starting Jan. She was thinking of living with a friend in NJ while she went to school because it’s cheaper and that is where her friend wants to live. If it precludes her from getting in-state tuition, she may just not move in with that friend.

She currently has moved back to my house because of Covid. I viewed her living with her friend as a place to live during school. Similar to my son who is in college and lives off-campus. Off-campus for NYC schools could be NJ. Wasn’t suggesting anything illegal. Just asking the question. describes the in-state residency-for-tuition rules from CUNY’s web site.

Note that there is a provision for students who graduated high school in New York within five years of attending CUNY.

However, if there is state-based financial aid involved, be sure to check on the eligibility rules for that as well (the rules may or may not be the same as for in-state tuition, depending on the state).

@privateID @sybbie719 has state that instate tuition at a CUNY wouldn’t be possible for a NJ resident.

You might want to pose this question to the folks at Hunter and get an answer in writing. There are a lot of commuting students at Hunter…but they are likely all NY residents.

OP’s D is in grad school. The residency requirements for students attending high school in NYC is for undergrad

Often residency is determined at the time of application. There’s usually a form to fill out as part of the application packet. If she has already been accepted to a graduate program for January, she might have a residency decision. She can call the school and ask if living in NJ will affect that decision.

Thanks for the responses. After this discussion, I will clearly direct my daughter to call Hunter (she is applying to a couple of other schools as well, but I think she wants to go to Hunter because of the in-state tuition). BTW - she is not accepted yet. I will post an update at some point when I find out more.