Change of Name Policy


Goucher College recognizes that faculty, staff and students may use a name other than their legal first name to identify themselves. These may include, but are not limited to, people who use their middle name instead of their first name, people who use nicknames, people who use an anglicized name, or people who use a name that affirms their gender identity.


It is the policy of Goucher College that students, faculty and staff may use names other than their legal name to identify themselves, regardless of whether they have legally changed their name, except where their legal names are required by law, such as federal and medical documentation.

The use of a chosen name cannot be for misrepresentation or for illegal purposes.

*At Goucher, we welcome and embrace the creativity and individualism of our community. However, we do reserve the right to reject inappropriate requests such as offensive or derogatory language. As well, name changes may not be used to avoid legal obligations or for illegal purposes.

The purpose of the chosen name policy is to foster a campus environment that both encourages self-expression and affirms identity; we expect to approve all name changes that do not contravene this purpose.


Goucher College requires proof that your name has been legally changed in order to change the name on your official college records such as Financial Aid documents, payroll, billing records, medical records, Federal Immigration documents, tax forms, student loans, and checks and direct deposit files issued by Accounts Payable.

In order to request a name change, you must complete the Request for Official Name/Gender Designation Change Request Form (PDF) AND present documentation that your name has been legally changed. The types of documentation that constitute proof of legal name change are listed below. You must present the original legal document or a certified (i.e. notarized) copy with the original notary seal to the Office of the Registrar. Faxes cannot be accepted. Original documents will be copied for your file and returned to you.

SUBMIT ONE of the documents listed below:

  • Court order: Original court order signed by the presiding judge and bearing the county filing stamp;

  • Marriage Certificate: Original or copy with original notarized seal, of marriage license with county or parish filing stamp;

  • Divorce Decree: Original or copy with original notarized seal of divorce decree that includes a specific decree granting restoration of the maiden or other name, signed by the judge and bearing the county filing stamp;

  • Certificate of Naturalization: Original or copy with original notarized seal.


  • One Government Issued Document (Original or notarized copy of passport, driver's license, birth certificate etc.) reflecting your new name. NOTE: the college requests this information to protect the confidentiality of your records, i.e., to confirm that you are the person requesting the legal name change and that the request is legitimate.

    You will also be asked to indicate a salutation/prefix (e.g., Mr., Ms., etc.) on the form.

Important note for those who are applying for financial aid:

The applicant's name on the FAFSA must match the name associated with the applicant's Social Security number. After obtaining a legal name change, you will need to file Form SS-5 with the Social Security Administration to change the name on you Social Security card if you wish to obtain financial aid.

Important note for international students:

International students' names must appear on your college records exactly as they appear on the passport issued by your home country. The U.S. entry visa may not be used as documentation for a name change.

Important note for degree candidates before graduation:

Requests for name changes for degree candidates must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than one week after the graduation application deadline. Students requesting name changes after this date are not guaranteed that the change will be reflected in the commencement program.


Chosen first names will be used in the following systems and records:

  • Goucher email
  • One Card Student Identification Card
  • Class Rosters
  • Canvas
  • Unofficial email and mail correspondence from the college that is sent to your college or your home address.
  • Email and mail correspondence with Goucher College Library

If you wish to use a chosen name instead of your legal name on unofficial documentation, simply follow the steps below.

Step One: myGoucher

  • Click the "My Profile" tab at the top
  • Click "Personal Information" right below the tabs
  • Click "Gender Identity Information" in the left column
  • Once on the page, there are three pieces of data you may/can update: display name, pronouns, and gender identity. Your “display name” is the name that you wish to be referred to/chosen name and the system will use this updated information in class rosters, your goucher email address, Canvas, and may also be used on unofficial email and mail correspondence from the college that is sent to your college or home address.

Step Two: OneCard

Once you have changed your name in myGoucher, you may change your name on your OneCard. Visit the OneCard website for details.

There are many computer information systems throughout Goucher College. Many of these computer information systems have the capacity to include chosen names within programming parameters while others do not. The college administration has begun working as early as August 2017 to implement chosen first name use on college information systems, reports, and processes and plans to continue. Goucher is committed to improving these college information systems to provide a consistent and affirming name experience across all college services.


No student is expected to navigate this process on their own. Anyone seeking support or resources can contact the Assistant Director for LGBTQIA+ Students for support. If you would like assistance through this process, please contact:

Summar Rai Torres (She/Her/Hers)
Assistant Director of Diversity Equity and Identity
The Center for Race, Equity, and Identity
ATH 422, 1st Office
Office: 410.337.6311