St. Cloud State University Policies & Procedures

Preferred and Legal Name Link☍

Create PDF: Preferred and Legal Name

Current Status: Approved

Policy Type: All University

Effective Date: 03/26/2018

Last Updated: 04/13/2022

Applies To: Students, Faculty, Staff

Responsible University Officer: President

Policy Owner: Vice President for University Affairs and Advisor to the President, Registrar

Policy Contact: Office of Records and Registration


St. Cloud State University recognizes and supports that members of the campus community may wish to be identified with a preferred name or make changes to their legal name.


Preferred Name Change

Individuals who have a preference to be identified by a name other than their legal name may opt to request a preferred name. St. Cloud State University (SCSU) will use approved preferred names where technically and legally possible, such as: email account, on-line directory, timecards, class rosters, D2L homepage, commencement programs, and ID card. 

Minnesota State and St. Cloud State University reserve the right to deny inappropriate preferred name requests including, but not limited to, those that: attempt to avoid legal obligations, violate other system or SCSU policies, contain inappropriate or offensive language, or are being used for misrepresentation or fraud. Preferred names may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes and thus, may not be a company name, group name or message.

Legal Name Change

Legal name change is a formal legal action via court order taken by an individual to adopt a name different from the name given at birth. Legal name change can be done for any reason, but the most common include adoption, marriage, and divorce.

Name change requests, including the addition or removal of a married name, require appropriate legal documentation. Appropriate legal documentation is one of the following: a court order, marriage certificate, birth certificate or passport. A driver's license, voter registration card, social security card, etc., will not be considered legal documentation for name change request purposes.

International students must contact the Center for International Studies (320-308-4287) within 10 days of the change.

When a student is accepted for admission to St. Cloud State University, the full legal name will be recorded on the permanent record (transcript). At no time will a "nickname” be recorded. The full legal name will be recorded as it appears on their high school or college transcript unless other legal documentation is provided.

If a student is married at the time of admission, any previous legal name supplied by the student will also be recorded on the permanent record. If a student is married after admission, his/her name will be changed on their permanent record at the request of the student with appropriate documentation.


Preferred Name Request

To request a preferred name, the requestor must:

  • If a student: Complete the Preferred Name Request Form (See Supporting Documents) and submit the form, along with a photo ID, to the SCSU Office of Records and Registration (AS 118).
  • If an employee: Complete an electronic ticket using the link to the "Preferred Name Change Request" in the ASK HR electronic ticketing system (see Supporting URLs). 

The Director of Human Resources (or designee) will approve or deny employee requests. The Registrar (or designee) will approve or deny student requests. An approved request will be entered into the system and will remain in effect until the requestor asks that it be changed. When employees or students are associated with more than one Minnesota State institution, the timing of the appearance of the preferred name may vary at each institution based on each institution’s available technical resources. 

The requestor will be notified only if a preferred name request is denied. Notification will include the reason for the denial and be sent to the requestor within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the Preferred Name Request Form or online Contact Card Change Request form.

Preferred Name Appeal

A requestor has ten (10) business days from receipt of the denial notification to file a written appeal to the SCSU Office of Institutional Equity and Access (AS 102).

The Office of Institutional Equity and Access will respond to the requestor with a final decision within ten (10) days of receipt of the appeal. SCSU has the ultimate authority in determining the appropriateness of preferred names and decisions are final.    

Legal Name Change

Employees wishing to make a legal name change must complete an electronic ticket using the link to the HR electronic ticketing system "Ask HR"(see Supporting URLs). Select Contact Card Change Request and complete appropriate fields. Requests for name changes may require additional legal documentation.

Students wishing to make a legal name change must complete the Legal Name Change Request Form (See Supporting Documents). The change of name form, along with additional documentation, can be delivered/mailed to:

Office of Records and Registration
St. Cloud State University
720 4th Avenue South

St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498
Fax: (320) 308-2059


nickname, nick name

Supporting Documents (Forms, Instructions)

Jul 23 2019 10:35AM
Apr 13 2022 9:53AM

Supporting URLs

Websites, Related External Documents, Statutes



A request for reconsideration of a decision made at St. Cloud State University pursuant to university, or Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees policies and procedures.


Any individual employed by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, its colleges and universities and the system office, including but not limited to all faculty, staff, administrators, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, residence directors and student employees.


All Persons or group of persons who:

  1. Are enrolled in one or more courses, either credit or non-credit, through a college or university; or
  2. Withdraw, transfer, or graduate after an alleged violation of the code of student conduct; or
  3. Are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college or university; or
  4. Have been notified of their acceptance for admission or have initiated the process of application for admission or financial aid; or
  5. Are not college or university employees and are not enrolled in the institution but live in a college or university owned or controlled residence hall.


Responsible University Officer
   Wacker, Robbyn R.
   Siminoe, Judith P.
   Vice President for University Affairs and Advisor to the President
   Zamlen, Brenda L.
   Bost, Jessica
   Longstrom, Theresa J.
   Office of Records and Registration

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