Name Change Policy

Agnes Scott College recognizes that students and employees may wish to use a name other than their legal name across college systems. When requested, the college will use a chosen first name except where use of the legal first name is required by college business or legal need.

The goal of the policy is to provide Agnes Scott students and employees with a consistent experience across college systems and use of one's chosen first name wherever legal first name is not required or necessary. Agnes Scott’s infrastructure is multi-faceted and complex, utilizing many software systems.  While many systems already reflect a chosen first name, there are  remaining systems where the implementation of chosen first name is forthcoming or where legal first name and chosen first name both appear.  As systems are updated or replaced, chosen first name capabilities will be improved and implemented.

Updates to this policy will be communicated to the campus community as necessary. 

How to Request a Name Change

You can request a name change by completing the Name Change Form in the following offices:

  • Students, Office of the Registrar  
  • Employees, Office of Human Resources

Please be advised that addresses are linked to the legal name. That means any notices sent to the home address, including tax documents, tuition and other payments due to the college, etc. will bear the legal first name.

The college is required to use your legal first name for official external reports but may use the chosen first name to the extent feasible for internal identification.

Upon submission of your Name Change Form, the display option you select (see options below) will be recorded and your chosen first name, if specified, will be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar or the Office of Human Resources.  Once your chosen first name is accepted, it will appear in systems identified below.  If your chosen first name is not approved, your legal first name will remain the only name on your record at the college.

Examples of chosen first names that will not be approved include, but are not limited to:

  • Names used for the purpose of misrepresentation
  • Names containing non-alpha characters
  • Names containing offensive, derogatory, discriminatory or inappropriate language

Name Display Choice Options

  1. Legal First Name Only (default), example Agnes I. Scott
  2. Chosen First Name Only, example Irvine Scott
  3. Legal First Name (Chosen First Name), example Agnes (Irvine) Scott

Based on your name display choice, Chosen First Name Only or Legal First Name (Chosen First Name) Will Be Used in the Following Circumstances. 

  • AscAgnes
    • Class Roster *
    • Grade Roster *
    • My Advisees *
    • Welcome! Name
  • Athletic Team Roster
  • Carta
  • Compass
  • Declining Balance
  • Diploma - students may choose their printed diploma name when submitting the graduation application.
  • Email account display name
  • Graduation/Commencement Program - unless specified otherwise on the graduation application
  • Housing Records
  • ID Card - chosen name will appear on the front of an ID Card and legal name will appear in small print on the back of the ID Card.
  • Instructor Name on Class Search and Student Schedule
  • Library Records
  • Media/Public Relationship Announcements
  • Moodle
  • Online Directory – OPD (unless directory suppressed)
  • Senior Investiture
  • Unofficial/Advising Documents
Legal First Name Must Be Used in the Following Circumstances
  • AscAgnes
    • Agnes Scott eTranscripts Online Ordering Service
    • Degree Audit
    • My Account Statement
    • My Financial Aid
    • My Profile
    • Official Class Roster
    • Pay Advices
    • Transcript Request Status
    • Time history
    • View My 1098-T Forms
    • View My 1099-MISC Info
    • W-2 Statements
  • Degree Audit *
  • Emergency Responder and Enforcement Systems (Police, DOS, etc.)
  • Financial Aid *
  • Internal systems that require and can only accommodate Legal Name
  • Medical Records (Medicat and Aetna)
  • NCAA Paperwork
  • National Student Clearinghouse
  • Network username & email address
  • Responses to enrollment enquiries such as verification requests
  • SEVIS and I-20
  • Student Employee/Payroll Information *
  • Student Financial Accounts (billing, etc.) *
  • TMS
  • Transcripts - Official or Unofficial *
  • Travel paperwork
  • All external communications and reporting

 * Appears within AscAgnes

Legal Name Change

In order to change the legal name on your official college records such as transcripts and employment records, you must legally change your name. For employees, a legal name change is recognized by submitting a social security card.  Students can provide passport, original court document and/or government issued visa. If you are a graduate, you can also request an updated diploma with your current legal name. Although your name will be changed on all documents, your prior name will continue to be listed as a previous identity in the college’s database in order to ensure that any searches of your former name will access the correct files.

Keeping Your Identity Private – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

If you would like to prevent any of your information being released for any reason, you may opt out by completing a Total FERPA Block with the Office of the Registrar. A total FERPA block means that data from your college educational records cannot be released to anyone, including potential employers or loan companies seeking to verify your enrollment. However, a student may not be "anonymous" to other class members enrolled in the same class.   College officials with a legitimate educational interest may still have access to your education record.  For more information about FERPA and student records privacy, see https://www.agnesscott.edu/registrar/student-records-privacy.html.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I provide a chosen last name?

No, your last name will continue to be your legal last name.

Can I use any chosen first name that I wish?

Refer to the How to Change Your Name section about approved chosen first name.

Can I use my chosen first name for email?

Yes and no.  Yes, you can change your Display Name.  No, you cannot change your email address.   Please recognize that changing your email display name can have unintended consequences and result in name search failures or result in a sent message not readily being recognized as a message from you.

How long does it take for my chosen first name to appear in systems capable of displaying it?

Your request form will be processed within 5 business days and you will see the new chosen first name in some systems within 1-3 days after the form is processed. Be aware that the name change will not appear in all systems at the same time and systems that require your legal first name will continue to show your legal name. Processing time may take longer at the beginning and end of each semester as that is a busy time for the Offices of the Registrar and Human Resources..

How often can I change my chosen first name?

Currently there is no limit on how often you can change your chosen first name.  HOWEVER, keep in mind that making this change can have ripple effects throughout your day-to-day experiences. Changing your chosen first name more than once per year can lead to confusion regarding your identity, result in challenges in customer service, and/or cause the interruption of your ability to access some college systems.

How does the preferred name policy affect F-1 & J-1 visa students?

Chosen first name is for use within the college community. International students may feel free to select a chosen first name for on-campus use. However, this does not apply in situations where one’s legal name is required. For the purpose of F-1 or J-1 student visa status, the legal name is required on I-20s and DS-2019s. An individual’s legal name is what appears in the passport.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Students should contact the Office of the Registrar and employees should contact the Office of Human Resources.

If I provide a chosen name, will it be used on mailings to my parents/guardians?

Mailings to parents and guardians use the legal first name on file.

Will my professors be notified that I have a chosen first name?

After your form has been processed, the chosen first name will appear as described in the policy above.  The change may take longer to appear on the some systems depending on the data updated timing.

If I have elected the chosen first name only display option, will my professor see my legal first name?

Your professor will see your legal first name as described in the “Legal First Name Must Be Used in the Following Circumstances” section.

Are staff and faculty members required to call students by their chosen first name?

Referring to students by the name they wish to be called in classrooms and when interacting with college personnel supports a respectful learning environment. Staff and faculty members will make an effort to call you by your chosen first name.

How quickly can I get my new ID card and where do I go to get a new ASC ID card?

The Office of the Registrar notifies ITS of the change.  You will receive an email from ITS when your new ID card is ready.  Be prepared to pay the $15 replacement fee when you pick up your card.  Also, note that if you have indicated you want to be referred to by your chosen first name, your chosen first name will appear on the front of the ID Card and your legal first name will appear on the back of the ID Card in a smaller font.

Do I have to get a new ASC ID card if I submit a Name Change Form?

No, using your chosen first name on your ASC ID card is an option, not a requirement.

Does the chosen name policy extend to all Agnes Scott employees?

Yes.

What is a legal name?

Legal name is the name that identifies a person for legal, administrative and other official purposes.  A person's legal first name generally is the name of the person that was given for the purpose of registration of the birth and which then appears on a birth certificate.

What is a chosen first name?

Chosen first name is a first name you prefer to be called by others and identified by in college systems.  It is different than your legal first name.  A nickname is something your close friends or family may use but will not be recorded unless you specify it as your chosen first name.

_____________________________

Policy Clarification or Modifications: Direct to the Office of the Registrar
Approved:
 Cabinet, January 2019