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Certificate of Residence

If you are an Erie County resident attending Erie Community College, you do NOT need a Certificate of Residence and this process does NOT apply to you.  If you have been an Erie County resident for at least six months and are attending a community college in New York State, other than Erie Community College, this process applies to you.  Please carefully read the information below and the Frequently Asked Questions about this process. 

Each community college in New York State has a local sponsor, generally a county, which provides funding to the college, thereby allowing County residents to pay a reduced tuition rate.  Students who are not permanent residents of the college’s sponsoring county will be required to pay a higher non-resident tuition rate (generally double). 

In order to qualify for a reduced tuition rate, one must properly obtain a Certificate of Residence from their home County.

To be eligible for reduced tuition, you must be:

  • A New York State resident for at least one full year prior to application.
  • A permanent Erie County resident for at least one to six months prior to application.*
  • A U.S. citizen or carry a resident alien card (“green card”).

* - note – living in Erie County to attend college does not constitute permanent residency for the purpose of obtaining a Certificate of Residence.  Such individuals should contact their home county’s treasurer’s office to obtain a Certificate of Residence.


To apply for reduced tuition, you must:

  1. Complete an Affidavit and Application for Certificate of Residence – these applications can be found on the community college website or click here.
  2. Have the application notarized no earlier than 60 days before classes begin.
  3. Include a copy of proof of address for the address on the application (see below).
  4. Mail or bring in the Application AND copy of proof of address to the Comptroller’s Office at:
Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw
Attn: Certificate of Residence
95 Franklin Street - Suite 1100
Buffalo, New York 14202

If approved, the Comptroller’s Office will mail the Certificate to the community college.


Acceptable forms of proof of address for student:

  • NY State Drivers license, permit or non-driver ID
  • Car registration
  • Voter registration
  • Prior year tax return or IRS W-2
  • Lease agreement and rent receipts
  • NYS TAP information
  • Parents tax return showing student as dependant
  • Prior year high school report card showing address (1st year college student only)

You will need to provide one of the above forms of identification with your application.  Two forms of identification are required for Fashion Institute of Technology students.


The Comptroller strongly encourages you to read the attached listing of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.  To do so, please click here.