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SUNY is too lenient with out-of-state tuition charges, audit finds

Bebeto Matthews

A state audit finds some schools within New York’s university system have been too lenient with tuition charges for out-of-state graduate students.

SUNY offers the benefit of lower tuition to New York State residents. To qualify, students must show proof of residency for 12 months prior to registration.

But of the seven SUNY campuses involved in the audit, each school interpreted this rule in their own way, with some campus officials claiming they were unaware the rule even applied to graduate students.

In a random sampling of about 1,200 graduate students across the seven schools by the state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office, 35% of their applications had little to no evidence of their residencies. Buffalo, Binghamton, ESF and Geneseo made up the majority of the problem.

SUNY officials say they will prepare additional guidance to campuses on determining residency documentation requirements.

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Sabrina Garone