State residency - is it considered when you are *applying* or at matriculation?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dim66, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. dim66

    2+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2007
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    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Hi All!

    I've been lurking around these forums for a while, absorbing other peoples' experience like a sponge, but now I have a need to ask a rather specific questions, although I tried to frame it in the most general and clear-cut terms. This is a somewhat boring, technical issue, so please feel free to stop reading now.

    I'm a resident of NY, taking a year off before med school (i.e. applying this summer). Cost is a fairly important factor for me - I would like to go to the cheapest school where I am reasonably happy. I realize that I have some respectable SUNY schools that I can choose from. So, my question is as follows: If I was to move to a different state within the next month (May), how would that affect my application to med school.

    1. Suppose I move to a state that heavily favors in-state residents for admissions purposes. However, during the application cycle, I will NOT yet technically be a resident (think Texas, where you need to live for one year before being considered a resident for academic purposes). However, I *would* be a resident at the time of matriculation. So my question is, would said state consider me a resident or nonresident for admission purposes, or somewhere in between?

    2. Same situation as for question # 1, but suppose that the school DOES NOT consider me a resident for admissions purposes, AND still decides to accept me as a non-resident. If I then "turn" resident before school starts, do I pay the resident tuition or the nonresident tuition (for first year and thereafter)?

    3. How does my original state - NY - treat this? I guess its safe to say that if my "new" state does not acknowledge me as a resident for admissions purposes, I can safely fall back on my old state to consider me a resident for admissions purposes, since I will have only been gone from the state for a few months at that point. This is my guess, but it would great if someone can confirm this.

    One complication that does arise - what if my old state (NY) does accept me (considering me a NY resident at time of application), but I DO end up living in the NEW state long enough to lose my NY residency before the point of matriculation in NY state. Would they force me to pay out-of-state tuition, or even worse, rescind my acceptance?

    Sorry for the complication and confusion, but I promise that this isn't a purely theoretical exercise!

    Thanks :)
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  3. eternalrage

    eternalrage Even Kal has bad days...
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2005
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    Resident [Any Field]
    Basically, when you apply, whatever residency status you have at that time will be what schools will see. Does not matter if you say that you will move or gain residency status. When you matriculate, whatever residency status you have at that time will be what schools use to charge you.
  4. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    Residency comes up at two independent junctures -- whether you get in state admissions preference at state schools, and whether you qualify for in state tuition. So yes you can theoretically qualify for the latter and not the former if the latter occurs by the time you need to pay tuition. (Depends on the various deadlines for various schools though). As to your second queston -- you only get to be resident of one jurisdiction. so yes, you can jeopardize your NY residency if you seek another state's residency. You will be asked what state you are a resident of on AMCAS. If you said eg Texas, then NY might take you at your word and deny you any preference. And vice versa. There have been people who played the residency shopping game badly and ended up not a resident of any state.
  5. epigastric

    epigastric Stewart U. Class of '11
    2+ Year Member

    Nov 8, 2006
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    According to SUNY Downstate and Stony Brook (I called last summer with a variation on this question), they'll never ask confirmation of what you put down on your AMCAS while considering your file. AMCAS certainly doesn't ask for confirmation. So you can easily put down whatever you want on your AMCAS. The only time you have to put down actual confirmation of your residency is when you matriculate at their school, at which point you'll have to prove one year of NY state residency through documentation. At both of these schools, their secondary will ask how long you've lived in NY, but that's it.

    Out of curiosity, I asked what happened if someone claimed residency but then couldn't prove it -- both times, the person in the office said that it would be a "serious problem." So you have two potential problems:

    1) Someone clever notices your mailing address for the AMCAS and your state residency are a mis-match (assuming this happens) and decides to not give you in-state consideration. My guess is whatever state goes on AMCAS is rarely questioned. This isn't that dangerous. However, unless you're accepted in October, updates on your activities in a different state may make them question this more and more as the cycle goes on.

    2) You are accepted in-state in NY but don't qualify as in-state when asked for matriculation documentation. The SUNY definitely will charge you OOS tuition. What seems to be a giant question is if they'll be annoyed enough to withdraw your acceptance. This is your biggest issue.

    As Law2Doc says, you need to be very careful you don't get excluded in both states. Try calling the admissions offices for clarification.
  6. foofish

    7+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
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    Medical Student
    Just to throw something else into the mix, you might want to look at the NJ state schools. I'm fairly certain that at least one of them has a 1 year residency requirement, and that while you might get charged OOS tuition for the first year, you'll qualify as a resident and get in-state tuition rates beginning with your second year. I don't know the details since I didn't apply to NJ schools myself, but they might be a good option to look into when coming up with your list of schools.

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