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Spring 2021 Registration

Name Change/Pronoun in Use/Name in Use Information

Name Change

Application for admission to the University requires students to use their legal name. The legal name must be the name that is recorded on legal documents such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, social security card, alien registration card, certificate of naturalization, etc. with the Social Security Administration. If a student changes their legal name, the University will require proof of the new legal name recorded on a legal document, which can include a marriage license, adoption record with new birth certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc. by evidence of the social security card. The legal name is imperative at both the state and federal level reporting (e.g. financial aid, College Opportunity Fund, employment, immigration).


Name In Use

The University of Northern Colorado is aware that many of its students use a first name other than their legal name. As part of being a welcoming and inclusive campus, UNC has implemented changes to increase the use of the name in use in the course of UNC business and education.

Because use of a student's legal first name will continue to be necessary in certain records and communications, both the legal first name and name in use (if requested) will be stored within UNC's primary information systems. When a student contacts a UNC office in person or by phone, the staff in that office may only have electronic access to the student's legal first name.

To initiate the process to include a name in use in a student record, the Individual Data Change Request Form must be completed and submitted.

(this policy statement may be modified or rescinded at the discretion of UNC)


Name In Use Policy

A first name by which an individual wishes to be identified, that is other than the individual's legal name, is a "name in use." UNC will provide a process to include a name in use for any student’s first name in UNC's information systems. While UNC will work toward primary use of the name in use, students should be aware that the use of the legal name will continue to be necessary in multiple communications and processes due to UNC business or legal requirements and/or system limitations.

UNC reserves the right to deny a request to include a name in use in its information systems if the request is fraudulent, carries connotations offensive or indecent, or violates the Board Policy Manual, University Regulations and/or Student Code of Conduct. Issues relating to such matters may be referred to the Dean of Students Office for consideration and resolution.

UNC will investigate reports of misuse and abuse of the name in use process/policy statement. Depending on the circumstances, those involved in such investigations may include Human Resources, Dean of Students, Provost, University Counsel, and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies.

The university also reserves the right to remove a name in use that is deemed misrepresentative and suspend the individual's privilege to update their name in use.

Source: UNC Undergraduate Catalog http://unco.smartcatalogiq.com/en/current/Undergraduate-Catalog/Undergraduate-Information-and-Policies/Student-Policies-and-Procedures/Name-Change)


Pronoun in Use Information

For the purpose of this policy, pronouns refer to the personal, possessive, and reflexive words that replace proper nouns in different parts of speech/communication/writing that denote gender and by which an individual wishes to be identified. The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) embraces the diversity of its students. As an inclusive practice, UNC has implemented an optional process for students to designate their gender pronouns to the institution. It is our goal to have students' identities affirmed and their pronouns used appropriately in every aspect of campus life. Pronoun information can be designated by the student on the admissions application or by completing and submitting the Individual Data Change Request Form found on the Registrar website.

We encourage students to report issues relating to pronoun usage to the Dean of Students Office for consideration and resolution. Depending on the circumstances, those involved in such investigations may include Human Resources, Dean of Students, Provost, University Counsel, Office of Institutional Equity & Compliance, and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies.

(this procedure may be modified or updated at the discretion of UNC)


Special Characters in Name Usage

The use of special characters in an individual’s name is recognized and important to the University. All attempts are made to ensure the use of special characters used in an individual’s name. However, the University uses multiple database systems, both internal and external, where certain special characters are incompatible with the database field structures requiring the removal of the special character.


Name In Use / Graduation Ceremonies

Students may provide their name in use at the point they apply for graduation on the graduation application. Students with a name in use on file with the Office of the Registrar, and who wish to apply their name in use for graduation ceremonies and commencement program publication, must submit an Individual Data Change Request Form or Undergraduate Graduation Application by the graduation application deadline. For information on protocols, please visit the Graduation Deadlines site.

If a student chooses a name in use in place of a legal first name prior to the graduation ceremony, and in the commencement program (not transcripts or diplomas), and they did not make the request on the Graduation Application, they must submit an Individual Data Change Request Form. The student will then select the appropriate box to override one’s legal first name, and substitute the name in use for the legal first name at the ceremony.

If a student uses their middle name as a name in use, we recommend that they request removal of their middle name to prevent duplication. Should a student choose not to delete their middle name from the system, and their middle name is the same as their name in use, the middle name will be omitted from the program. Please see the FAQ section for more information.

Changing your name in use on the graduation application will also impact:

  • Housing Contracts
  • Recreation Center
  • Student Online Directory
  • Canvas
  • Library Checkout
  • Career Services (Handshake)
  • Student Email address

A student’s legal name will be published on diplomas and official transcripts.

This policy statement may be modified or rescinded at the discretion of UNC.


Name In Use FAQs

  • What is "name in use"?

    A first name by which an individual wishes to be identified that is other than the individual's legal name. UNC provides a process for any student to include a name in use. While UNC will work toward primary use of the name in use, students should be aware that the use of the legal name will continue to be necessary in some instances.

  • What are the reasons for this policy?

    Many members of the UNC Community use a first name that differs from their legal name. These may include individuals who prefer to use:

    • an anglicized name
    • a name to which the individual is in the process of legally changing
    • a name that better represents the individual's gender identity
  • Where will my name in use appear/be used?
    • Supplementary class rosters (please be aware that Faculty have access to both legal and preferred names)
    • Housing Contracts
    • Recreation Center
    • Student Online Directory
    • Canvas
    • Student Conduct/Dean of Student's Database
    • Library check-out system
    • Career Services Database (Handshake)
    • Student email address

    Please be aware that there are many systems and processes and many of the "screens" that staff use in our information system only display legal first names)

    DisclosureCampus departments interact with, and send reports to Federal, State, and other Government agencies that verify the identity of a student by using the student's legal name, in some cases Social Security Numbers, and other personal identifiable information that prohibits the use of name in use.

  • Can I use my name in use for my graduation ceremony?

    If a student chooses to use a name in-use at their graduation ceremony and in the commencement program, they must submit an Individual Data Change Request Form and select the appropriate box to override their legal first name. This form must be completed by the graduation application deadline (deadlines can be found @ Graduation Deadlines).

    Note: A student's legal name will be published on diplomas and official transcripts.

  • Did you already submit a request for Name in Use and need to make changes?
    • If you need to make a change to name in use and you have not been accepted for graduation, please email registrar@unco.edu to make any changes.
    • If you have already been accepted for graduation and you need to change/remove a name in use, or have questions about how your name will appear in the Commencement program and announced at the ceremony, please email graduation@unco.edu to make any changes.
  • Can I specify a name in use for middle or last name?

    No, a name in use includes only your first name. If you wish to change your middle or last name, you will need to file an application with the State of Colorado. More information can be found @ Adult Name Change

  • Can I specify my middle or last name as a name in-use?

    You cannot specify your last name as a name in use as that would cause issues with reporting and create confusion. 

    If you decide to use your middle name as a name in use, you will need to request that your middle name be removed from your student record to prevent duplication and confusion. If you need to request the removal of your middle name, please email the Office of the Registrar with that request. The email must come from your Bearmail Account. 

    Changing your name in use to your current middle will impact the following areas:

    • Housing Contracts
    • Recreation Center
    • Student Online Directory
    • Canvas
    • Library Checkout
    • Career Services (Handshake)
    • Student Email address
  • Can I request any name in use I want?

    Students may designate a name in use with which they identify and by which they prefer to be known within the parameters established by the university and outlined on this website and the university catalog.

  • Does this policy apply to employees?

    The name in use policy is student focused, however an employee name in use policy is currently being developed. Please contact Human Resources with any questions.

  • How do I get a new UNC I.D. Card with my name in use?

    After submitting your name in use form to the Registrar's Office, allow 3 business days for your student record to be updated and exported to the UNC ID Card system. You may then request a new ID card at the Card Office in the University Center. If you do not want your legal name to appear on your new card, you will be required to sign a form confirming that your new card will not be used for legal identification or banking purposes

  • How much will a new card cost?

    If you have submitted a name in use to the Registrar's Office before obtaining your first UNC ID card, and you would like your card to reflect your name in use, please let the Card Office staff know prior to taking your picture. There will be no fee for your first card. There are options in how we print the card, and those will be reviewed with you before your card is printed.

    If you submit a name in use request to the Registrar's Office after you have already obtained your first UNC ID card with your legal name on it, take your legal name ID card to the UNC Card Office and let the staff know you would like to have a name in use on your card. As long as you turn in your existing UNC ID card, there will be no charge. If you do not turn in your existing ID card,  there will be a $15.00 replacement fee added to your UNC student bill.

  • Am I required to obtain a new I.D. card?

    No, the decision to request a new card is entirely optional

  • Are there any limitations regarding name in use?

    UNC reserves the right to deny a request to include a name in use if the request is fraudulent, carries connotations offensive to good taste and decency, or violates the Board Policy Manual, University Regulations, and/or the Student Code of Conduct. Issues relating to such matters may be referred to the VP of Student Affairs & the Dean of Students Office for consideration and resolution. 

    UNC will investigate reports of misuse and abuse of the name in use process/policy. Depending on the circumstances, those involved in such investigations may include Human Resources, Dean of Students, Provost, University Legal Counsel and/or appropriate Law Enforcement agencies.