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Articles / Applying to College / Can a Gap Year in NY Give me In-State Student Status?

Can a Gap Year in NY Give me In-State Student Status?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Feb. 13, 2012

Question: I just finished my sophomore year in Florida. I want to move to New York and take a gap year so I can save money and then apply to a college there as an in-state student. How do I apply?

“The Dean" is assuming that:


a) you're under 21

b) your parents don't live in New York

My response is predicated on those assumptions, so if I'm wrong about either, please let me know.

If you are under 21 and your parents don't live in New York, in order to qualify for in-state tuition at New York public institutions, you would have to:

1. Prove that you have been fully emancipated from your parents for at least a year (i.e., they do not claim you as a dependent on their taxes, and you cover all your school and living expenses. You would need proof that you have done this ... pay stubs, receipts, canceled checks, etc.) You would also be responsible for your own tuition and fees at your NY college.

2. Prove that you have established permanent residency in New York for one year or more. Again, you would have to show that you are supporting yourself in New York and also that you have purchased property or are paying rent, that you have switched your driver's license, credit cards, bank accounts, voter registration etc. to your NY address and no longer maintain an address in Florida or elsewhere. You would also have to file your own income taxes using your NY address.

Most students in your situation cannot prove independence from their parents. However, if you think that you may qualify for emancipated status, you can read more about NY residency requirements here:http://www.suny.edu/sunypp/documents.cfm?doc_id=402

As you can imagine, most states are eager to welcome new residents ... but not if they suspect that the main motive behind the move is to pay less to go to school. So getting in-state status in a new state is a lot harder than many folks expect. A Yankees decal on your car window or your own Big Apple MetroCard won't quite do the trick! ;)

(posted 2/13/2012)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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