Tuition and Fees (Undergraduate)


At SUNY Empire State College’s regional locations and online, you may begin your study at the start dates of our three terms during the academic year. Although you may enroll in terms that overlap, you may not receive financial aid for any term that begins during your enrollment in a previous term. Please see the section on financial aid for more information.

  • Fall Term (usually begins in early September), 15 weeks
  • Spring Term (usually begins in mid January), 15 weeks
  • Summer (usually begins early May), weeks 15

Each term may contain shorter sessions. Please see academic calendar in MyESC.

This flexibility complements the employment and personal schedules of SUNY Empire State College students and provides the opportunity for you to complete your degree program without interruption.

Students who enroll in The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Apprentice Program and the School for Graduate Studies enroll in terms that typically begin in September, January and May. Term schedules and deadlines, plus registration information cam be found on the College Calendar page.

Students who enroll in the School of Nursing and Allied Health may begin in the Fall or Spring terms. They also may take studies or courses during the Summer term.

Students register for studies or courses at the college by meeting with a faculty mentor and completing the online registration process that defines what and with whom they will study. Registration periods are listed on on the College Calendar page.


The submission of an online registration initiates billing and is a business contract between you and the college. It permits you to begin study at SUNY Empire State College and obligates you to pay tuition and all applicable fees. This must be completed and submitted online by the student by the Last Date for Payment for the selected term. The Last Date for Payment for each term can be found on the Payment Due Date web page. If you register after the payment due date, your payment is due immediately.

Once the online registration information is complete and submitted electronically, a term invoice (bill) will be generated and made available to you online at the Student Accounts page on the MyESC portal.

Students should review their Student Account Statement on MyESC after registering. If you have any financial aid awards that do not show as pending, you are not eligible for them based on your current enrollment.

Students are considered enrolled unless they officially withdraw. Failure to engage in studies does not relieve a student from his or her financial responsibility.

Undergraduate Tuition and Fees1

Tuition and fees are subject to change by the SUNY Board of Trustees.
Effective with the Spring 2020 Term.

Resident Type Credits Tuition Per Term
NYS Residents2
Students must live in NYS for the full year (12 months) prior to the term starting and have an intent to make NY their permanent home (domicile) in order to receive NYS resident rates. 1-11 $295 per credit
See NYS Residency for Tuition Purposes below. 12+ $3,535 per term
Out-of-State Residents
Nonresident students who graduated from a New York state high school or received a NYS GED, and who applied to the college within five years of graduation/GED may be eligible for in-state rates. 1-11 $708 per credit, less $355 ESC Nonresident Grant3 for a net tuition charge of $353
For changes in residency status, see NYS Residency for Tuition Purposes below. 12+ $8,490, less $4,250 ESC Nonresident Grant for a net tuition charge of $4,240
Out-of-State Residents (Online Only)
Nonresident students enrolled in an approved distance learning degree program. 1-11 $353 per credit
12+ $4,240 per term

All enrolled students also are subject to the fees listed below:4

Fee Description
Mandatory fees per term
College fee
$1.70 per credit up to $25.00 maximum
Student activity fee
$8.75 per credit up to $35 maximum
Health and wellness fee
$15 per term for enrollments less than 12 credits
$35 per term for enrollments of 12 or more credits
Technology fee
$185 per term
Other related fees
Orientation fee
$50 per application to the college
Portfolio (assessment) fee
$315 at initial undergraduate matriculated enrollment (one time)
Individualized prior learning assessment (iPLA) fee
For students whose first matriculated enrollment is January 2012 and later. The $700 fee is charged to all students who request individualized prior learning assessment. This one-time fee covers all prior learning assessment requests. This fee is charged at the a tudent’s iPLA request is accepted at the student’s location Office of Academic Review and is nonrefundable once the request is accepted.
Service related fees
Time Payment Plan
$25 nonrefundable application fee per term
Time Payment Plan late payment fee
$30 for each late Time Payment Plan payment
Late registration fee
$50 (each term) if initial registration for a term is submitted once the term begins
Late Add Fee Assessed
A $10 late add fee will be assessed per course when a course is added to a registration after the term add/drop period.
Residency fee
Varies. Certain courses require an additional fee for residency activities.

Tuition and fees are subject to change.

College Billing Policy

The college requires that tuition and all mandatory fees be paid or that a Time Payment Plan be established no later than the payment due date for the enrollment term. Your payment is due by the term payment due date. You will not receive a paper bill and may instead view your student account statement in MyESC. If you fail to pay, make Time Payment Plan arrangements or have approved financial aid by the last date for payment, your registration will be cancelled and you may lose your place in an online course or study group. If your registration is cancelled and you re-register any time after the payment due date, you will be charged a $50 late registration fee.

Payment Due Dates for the Academic Year 2020-2021

Term Payment Due Date1
Fall Term 2020 Sept. 3, 2020
Spring Term 2021 Jan. 14, 2021
Summer Term 2021, Sessions A and B May 13, 2021

Late Registration

Late Registration Period – we no longer have a late registration period (which has typically been the week prior to the term starting) but the Late Registration Fee will be assessed beginning on each of the days listed for their respective term:

Term Late Registration Fee Assessed
Fall Term 2020, Sessions A and B Sept. 8, 2020
Spring Term 2021, Sessions A and B Jan. 19, 2021
Summer Term 2021 Sessions A and B May 17, 2021

Payment Procedures

Because they are credited immediately to your account, the preferred method of payment is online through MyESC, with a debit or credit card (Discover, MasterCard, VISA or American Express) or by check (credit card checks cannot be processed as e-payments).

You also may pay your bill with a check or money order (do not send cash) made payable to SUNY Empire State College. To mail your payment, print your Student Account Statement or include the payment stub from your Student Account Statement and mail it along with your payment to:
Student Accounts
SUNY Empire State College
111 West Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-6069
Payment must be received by the payment due date to avoid cancellation of your registration.

As a prospective student, you are urged, if you have not done so already, to apply for financial aid at least eight weeks before the payment due date for the term. Students who cannot pay tuition and fees or set up a Time Payment Plan by the payment due date should enroll in a later term.

NYS Residency for Tuition Billing Purposes

A student’s initial residency status is determined at the time of entry into the college and monitored thereafter according to SUNY policy. Students must live in and be a domiciled resident of New York state for a period of 12 months prior to the start of a term in order to receive NYS resident tuition rates for that term. You are considered a NYS resident for tuition purposes if you meet the following requirements:

  1. If you attest that you are a New York state resident on your admissions (matriculated or nonmatriculated) application
  2. You have lived in the state of New York for at least the full prior year and are considered a domiciled resident.

Definition of Domicile: A fixed, permanent home, for legal purposes, to which a person returns after a period of absence.

Please note that living in the state of New York alone does not meet the residency requirements for tuition purposes. If you do not meet the above requirements, you will be considered a nonresident for tuition purposes and charged nonresident tuition rates.

Exceptions to the domicile rule:

  1. If you attended an approved New York state high school for two or more years, graduated from an approved New York state high school and applied for admission to SUNY Empire State College within five years of receiving a New York state high school diploma; or
  2. If you attended an approved New York state program for a general equivalency diploma (GED) exam preparation, received a GED and applied for admission to SUNY Empire State College within five years of receiving the GED.

If you are charged nonresident tuition rates and believe you meet the criteria for NYS residency for tuition purposes, you must apply for a change in residency status using the New York State Residency application form at MyESC's Forms and Publications page. You must include at least three documents demonstrating an established domicile in New York state. All documents must be dated one year or prior to the start date of the semester for which you are applying for residency. The burden of proof is upon the applicant to provide documentation that he/she has established a domicile in New York state.

Completed residency applications must be submitted by the last date of add/drop period for the term which tuition is due. Applications received after the last date for drop/add will be reviewed and will become effective for the next term, if approved.

Time Payment Plan

SUNY Empire State College offers an interest-free, low-cost payment plan, through TouchNet, to pay your charges in convenient installments. The time payment plan has a nonrefundable application fee of $25 per term.  There is a $30 late payment fee for each Time Payment Plan payment if it is made after the due date.  The minimum amount of eligible charges to enroll in the Time Payment Plan is $100.

To enroll in the plan you must agree to the terms and conditions of the payment plan and also make your first payment by the due date specified in your payment plan agreement.  You may get detailed information on the Time Payment Plan on the Time Payment Plan Terms and Conditions web page or call 800-847-3000, ext. 2285.  You must enroll in the Time Payment Plan each term you wish to use this as your method of payment.  The college reserves the right to deny future payment plan privileges when a student’s payments have not been made as indicated in their payment plan agreement. 

Third-Party Payments

Students may be able to defer payment of tuition and fees if they have sponsorship from a third party such as an employer or union. Students must submit a payment authorization from their sponsor to, fax 518-580-4790 or mail to:

SUNY Empire State College, Student Accounts
111 West Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-6069

The college will review and if approved, the amount will show as estimated aid on the student’s account statement. The college only accepts payment authorizations that are a guarantee of payment to SUNY Empire State College.  We cannot accept authorizations that are outcome dependent.  For more information, contact the Student Information Center at 800-847-3000, ext. 2285

If a third party sponsorship is not paid for any reason, or a voucher is not finalized, the student is responsible for any outstanding balance. A credit balance created as the result of a student’s withdrawal from any or all courses will be returned in accordance with the terms and conditions of the sponsorship.


All students are subject to the following fees:

An orientation fee of $50 is charged to all students upon application to the college. This fee must be paid in full with your application and prior to attending an orientation. It is nonrefundable.

The college fee is required by the State University of New York and is charged to all SUNY students. It is required each term that a student is enrolled at $1.70 per credit, and cannot exceed $25.00 per term.

The student activity fee has been mandated by student referendum and supports programs of cultural and educational enrichment, recreational and social activities, and student publications. The student activity fee is required each term that a student is enrolled at $8.75 per credit, and cannot exceed $35 per term.

A technology fee of $185 per term is charged to all students. It assists the college in providing you access to computer network resources and in further development of information technology services for students. These technologies give you access to various local and global information resources, facilitate communications throughout the college, and allow SUNY Empire State College to enhance its many educational services to students.

The college offers a variety of services devoted to the health and well-being of our students. All students are charged a health and wellness fee each term of $15 for enrollments of less than 12 credits and $35 for enrollments of 12+ credits. The fee provides wellness opportunities at regional administrative offices as well as online, including telephonic counseling, wellness coaching, collegewide programming, online workshops and a dedicated website. All students are able to access these services. This is a mandatory fee, not duplicative of private health insurance. Students may not opt out of this fee.

The portfolio fee supports the services provided to matriculated students in determining their prior learning and in establishing their educational plan. Assessment services may include evaluation of college transcripts and analysis of standardized test scores; portfolio workshops; prior learning credit estimates; the creation of materials to assist students in portfolio development; and the processing and review of portfolios by faculty committees and by professional and clerical staff in all college locations and offices. The portfolio fee of $315 is charged to all undergraduate students upon their initial matriculated enrollment.

The individualized prior learning assessment fee (iPLA) provides individual expert evaluation for students who request college credit for learning acquired through work or life experience. The $700 fee is charged to all students who request individualized prior learning assessment. This one-time fee covers all prior learning assessment requests. Students previously charged any amount of the IPLA fee under the previous tiered structure or were billed for the previous IEF fee will not be charged this fee. The IPLA fee is charged at the time a student’s individualized prior learning assessment request is accepted at his or her center office of academic review and is nonrefundable once the first request is accepted.

A residency fee is charged for residency courses to fund the expenses associated with the course. The residency fee does not include the cost of lodging and meals for the students.

A $50 late registration fee will be assessed and included in your registration charges if you register once the term begins.

A Time Payment Plan application fee of $25 is charged each term that a student applies for the Time Payment Plan. The application fee is nonrefundable. A late payment fee of $30 is charged when payment plan payments arrive after the due date.

Academic transcripts are $10 each.

A returned check fee of $20 is charged to accounts when a check is returned by the bank.

A $10 late add fee will be assessed per course when a course is added to a registration after the term add/drop period. This fee is in addition to the late registration fee.

Unpaid Accounts

A balance is any charge remaining or created on an account. Once an account is identified as having a past due balance, an accounts receivable financial hold is placed on the student’s account and services from the college, including registration, transcripts, and access to grades are restricted until the balance is paid in full. Unpaid accounts are forwarded to a third-party collection agency or the Office of the Attorney General at which time interest and/or fees are retroactively assessed based on the date of your first billing statement. The Attorney General’s office may certify the debt to the New York State Department of Tax and Finance Offset Program. All costs associated with the collection of overdue accounts are the responsibility of the student. Delinquent accounts may be reported to a credit agency. The State University reserves the right to withhold academic records from any student who has not satisfied all obligations. Any student with an outstanding financial balance due at the end of the term will not be able to register for a subsequent term or receive any other services from the college until the balance is paid.

Withdrawal Liability and Refund Policy

To officially withdraw from one or more studies at any point in the term, a student must withdraw online by logging into their account. If a student is withdrawing from one or more studies and they have incurred 100% tuition and fee liability the student is required to complete a Withdrawal Form available on the Withdrawal Form and Instructions web page and mail or fax it to the Office of the Registrar for processing. The effective date of the withdrawal will be the postmark date of the envelope or the date the fax is received. Contact the Office of the Registrar at or by phone regarding any questions or concerns. A student is considered officially enrolled for their courses until they have withdrawn online or have submitted a Withdrawal Form to the Office of the Registrar. Liability will be calculated according to the State University of New York withdrawal/refund policy. If a student withdraws before the enrollment start date, then 100% of all tuition and fees are refundable. If a student withdraws on the start date or after, the college fee, the student activity fee and late registration fee are nonrefundable. For standard 15 week terms, the technology fee, health and wellness fee, and tuition are subject to the following liability schedule:

Effective date of withdrawal Liability percent
Prior to Term Start 0 percent
Calendar Day 1-7 0 percent
Calendar Day 8-14 30 percent
Calendar Day 15-21 50 percent
Calendar Day 22-28 70 percent
Calendar Day 29 and After 100 percent
The first date of the term is Day 1. A liability table for terms other than 15 weeks in length can be found on the Withdrawal Form and Instructions web page, under Student Account.

Additional information about withdrawals:

  • Prorated liability applies only for official student withdrawals and are calculated according to the effective date of the student’s withdrawal. The liability chart does not apply to Administrative Withdrawals (ZWs) which incur 100 percent tuition liability.
  • If a withdrawal creates a credit on a student’s account, a refund will be issued within 28 days. Refunds are issued according to the method of payment.
  • Withdrawals and Administrative Withdrawals may impact current and future financial aid eligibility. If you receive financial aid and are withdrawing from one or more courses, federal and state aid eligibility may be affected. Please see the sections on eligibility under Federal and New York State Financial Aid in this catalog.
  • If you are forced to withdraw from your studies due to unforeseen and extenuating circumstances, you may request an exception to the college’s written withdrawal policy from the Office of Administration through Student Accounts. Contact Student Accounts for more information.

For complete information about withdrawals, visit the Withdrawal Form and Instructions web page.