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Chosen Name Policy

To foster a campus environment that is inclusive and that encourages self-expression, Midland University has established a policy whereby any current student may use a preferred or chosen first name on campus. We strive to have this name used wherever a legal name is not necessary. Midland University recognizes that students may use names other than their legal 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 of a legal name, people who use an Anglicized name, or people who use a name that affirms their gender identity. 

Students are required to provide their full legal name at the time of admission. It is the policy of the university that students may use whatever preferred or chosen first name they want, regardless of whether they have legally changed their name, except where their legal names are required by law, industry standard, or strong business need. The legal name will still be required and used for all official, external communication. Student addresses are linked to the student’s legal name. That means any notices sent to the student’s home address, including tuition and other payments due to the university, will bear the legal name.

The use of a preferred or chosen name cannot be for illegal purposes, misrepresentation, or falsification. No legal documentation is required to make a change to the first and/or middle name used as a preferred/chosen name. 

Foreign nationals are reminded that names which do not match passports, immigration sponsorship forms, U.S. Permanent Residence cards, OPT cards, and the like, could result in government requests for additional evidence or possibly denials of benefits such as work authorization/extensions, Social Security card applications, etc.

Chosen Name can appear on: Course rosters, Canvas and other education applications, Student ID Card, Directory and Email, Academic Letters such as Dean’s List, President’s List

Legal Name will appear: Official/unofficial transcripts, Academic Record, Enrollment verifications, Student Clearinghouse, Census rosters (University Registrar’s Office); 1098T documentation, student bills (Student Billing); Scholarships/Financial Aid Processing (Financial Aid); Payroll and other payroll documents (Finance/Payroll/Human Resources); mass communications may default to legal name (University Communications)

Procedures: Legal Name Changes: Students should complete their legal names changes by completing the appropriate form with the University Registrar’s Office and providing necessary documentation. The University Registrar’s Office will then update the student information system and alert all appropriate parties (Financial Aid, Billing, IT, etc.) as necessary.

 Chosen Name: Students have the option to include a preferred or chosen name on the initial application for admission. Once enrolled, students can request an update to the preferred or chosen name by completing the appropriate form. The University Registrar’s Office will then update the student information system and alert all appropriate parties (Financial Aid, Billing, IT, etc.) as necessary.

Diplomas: Students have the option to provide their preferred name when completing the Graduation Petition. Subsequent name changes can be requested via the Diploma Replacement policy in the University Registrar’s Office. 

Keeping Your Legal Name Private: If a student does not wish Midland University to share the student’s legal first name with external organizations, the student the option of requesting FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) directory exclusion, which revokes the University’s right to share directory information with any outside source. Students who wish to exclude any release of student information, under the FERPA exclusion guidelines, may request so by submitting the request in the University Registrar’s Office. It is important to know that choosing to request FERPA exclusion means that the student will not be listed in the directory and the University cannot confirm the student’s status (e.g., for the purposes insurance verifications, etc.). For more information, contact the University Registrar’s Office.

Data Collection and Dissemination

Legal Sex Designation: Midland University is required to collect this data in order to comply with federal reporting including IPEDS reporting, student employment, international student status and the granting of federal financial aid. If you are an employee or federal aid recipient your designation must match your sex designation with the Social Security office. If you are an international student your designation must match the sex designation on your passport. Legal Sex Designation is the sex that is indicated on government issued ID, such as a passport, driver’s license or social security registration.

Pronouns: Students may display chosen pronouns in Canvas by going to User Settings, edit settings, pronouns. A preselected list of pronouns is populated and will then appear after your name in Canvas.

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