Office of the Registrar

Name Changes

The information below details the policies and procedures governing legal and preferred/chosen names, as well as how changes can be made. The ability to change a preferred/chosen name relates only to the first name.

We recognize that many students use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. Banner, Oberlin College’s system of record, includes a preferred/chosen field. That field is populated with the preferred/chosen name that appeared on your application to Oberlin. If no preferred/chosen name was entered, the preferred/chosen name field defaults to the student’s legal first name. A preferred/chosen name can be changed through Banner Self Service.

Where is my preferred/chosen name used?

Preferred/chosen names are used on documents and in places from which regulatory reports are not derived. A preferred/chosen name can be used for a student's ID Card, email address, class lists maintained outside of Blackboard, ResEd/Dining, Center for Student Success, advisor lists, and places in which a legal name is not required. Class lists in Banner currently display legal name; this will be addressed with future Banner upgrades.

How do I change my preferred/chosen name?

A preferred/chosen name can be changed through Banner Self Service by clicking on the My Self Service Profile in OberView.  You will need to sign in to the task with your single sign on ObieID and password.

What happens when I change my preferred/chosen name?

Once the name change is processed:

1.     Blackboard is updated with the new information in its next feed from Banner. Between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, there is one feed every hour and one overnight. 

2.     Banner Self Service reflects the name immediately.

3.     The new name will appear on any reports/lists/labels generated from Banner after the change where a preferred/chosen name is used.

4.      The student may request a new student ID at no cost.

5.      The student may also request a change in email by submitting a request to do so through the CIT Tech Support Portal task in OberView.  A CIT representative will review the request and contact the student to arrange a convenient time for the changeover. Please remember that this is a permanent change to your email account.

Which offices are alerted to the name change?

AARC, CIT, Career Center, Office of Communications, Conservatory of Music, Controller’s Office, Dean of Students, Development Resources, Financial Aid, Main Library, Multicultural Resource Center, Religious & Spiritual Life, Res Ed/Dining Svc, Safety, Student Academic Services, Student Accounts, Student Advisor(s), Student Health Services, Counseling Center,  Student Mail Room, Student OCMR

The legal name is the first, middle, and last name as reflected in My Self Service Profile. This is the official name in a student's Oberlin Academic Record.  The Registrar's Office may only change a legal name when presented with documentation that a legal name change has been completed through the court system.

Where is my legal name used?

Student Accounts, Financial Aid, responses to enrollment inquiries such as verification requests, official transcripts, student employee/payroll information, internal systems that require and can only accommodate the legal name, all external communications, and reporting.

How do I change my legal name?

The Registrar's Office may only change a legal name when presented with acceptable legal documentation that a legal name change has been completed through the court system. Please contact the Office of the Registrar for information on how to proceed in making a legal name change request.

Acceptable Legal Documentation

  • Court Order
  • Marriage License
  • Divorce Decree
  • Driver's License
  • State Identification Card
  • Social Security Card
  • Passport
What happens when I change my legal name?

Once the name change is processed: 

1.     Blackboard is updated with the new information in the next feed from Banner. 

2.     Banner self-service reflects the name immediately.

3.     The new name will appear on any reports/lists/labels generated from Banner after the change.

4.     The student may request a new student ID at no cost.

5.      The student may also request a change in email by submitting a request to do so through the CIT Tech Support Portal task in OberView.  A CIT representative will review the request and contact the student to arrange a convenient time for the changeover. Please remember that this is a permanent change to your email account.

Which offices are alerted to the name change?

AARC, CIT, Career Center, Office of Communications, Conservatory of Music, Controller’s Office, Dean of Students, Development Resources, Financial Aid, Main Library, Multicultural Resource Center, Religious & Spiritual Life, Res Ed/Dining Svc, Safety, Student Academic Services, Student Accounts, Student Advisor(s), Student Health Services, Counseling Center,  Student Mail Room, Student OCMR

I graduated. Can I request a diploma that reflects my new legal name?

Graduates can change their legal name of record by contacting the Office of the Registrar and presenting documentation of a legal name change. A new diploma can then be requested in the new name.  Information about obtaining a new diploma is found on the Replacement Diplomas page.

Can I request an official transcript that reflects my new legal name?

Yes. Please wait to request an official transcript until after the Office of the Registrar has confirmed your legal name change is complete in our system. Information about requesting an official transcript is found on the Registrar's webpage. Click here: Transcripts.  

There are at least three situations in which a student's name will be read or listed for graduation: the diploma, the commencement program, and the names which the deans read as the student crosses the stage. 

Diploma

The Office of the Registrar prints diplomas. Unless requested, the name on the diploma will be the legal name listed in the Oberlin Academic Record. Students can request that a different name be printed on their diploma when completing the graduation application. Students may choose their preferred/chosen name or request a variation of their legal name. Acceptable variations of a legal name include a middle initial instead of your full middle name or a shorter first name (Dot instead of Dorothy). We cannot print a completely different name on your diploma than what is listed in My Self Service Profile.

Please note that if the diploma is to be used internationally for credential purposes, the diploma should be printed with the legal name.

Commencement Program

The Office of Communications is responsible for producing the Commencement program with the help of the Office of the Registrar. The Office of the Registrar supplies the list of graduates' diploma names to the Office of Communications after the spring term graduation application closes. 

Students may request a different name be printed in the program through MarchingOrder. Special requests and name changes must be submitted before the stated deadline in MarchingOrder. 

Deans' List of Names

Each student who marches at the Commencement Ceremony will have their name displayed and read by the appropriate dean as they cross the stage. When registering to attend commencement through the MarchingOrder task in OberView, students may list their chosen/preferred name or a variation of their legal name for this purpose.

Students will also be invited to provide a guide for pronunciation in the Marching Order task. Please complete that process as soon as the invitation is issued and before the stated deadline.