Student Name Policy

Gettysburg College Student Name Policy

Approved by: President’s Council

Approval date: 4/19/2023

Effective date: 1/1/2024

Revision history: none

Gettysburg College recognizes that students may choose to identify themselves by a first and middle name other than their legal/government name. For this reason, students may enter a chosen name in the College’s system of record.  This name will be used where possible in the course of college business and education, provided the name is not for inappropriate purposes, such as misrepresentation or fraud. 

Gettysburg College’s system of record includes a chosen name field that is populated with the chosen name that appears on an incoming student’s Common Application. If no chosen name is entered on the Common Application, this field defaults to the student’s legal/government first and middle name.

Things to know and consider:

Why might a student use a chosen name?

  • A student may go by a name other than their legal/government name for gender identity/expression, cultural or religious reasons
  • An international student may also choose to go by a name other than their legal/government name while they are studying in the United States
  • Chosen names will appear on communications from the college to you and your family including Dean's List letters, academic standing letters, and communications from Financial Aid.

What is a chosen name versus a legal/government name?

  • A chosen name is specified by entering first and middle names in the College’s system of record.
  • A legal/government name is the full name that appears on an individual's passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, U.S. Social Security Card, or other government issued identification (including an F1 Visa).

What are some examples of where chosen name versus legal/government name may appear?

Chosen Name

Legal/Government Name

Campus Experience pages

Financial Aid Documents

Class Rosters/Faculty Advising Rosters

Payroll and HR related data in PeopleSoft and CNAV


Tax Forms (W-2, 1099, 1042-S, 1098-T, W-9, W-8BEN)


Health Insurance Information & Student Accounts Billing System

Student ID Card (Student must make this request if making a change from legal to chosen name)

I-20, F1 Visas


Internal/External Communications (including websites and mailings to parents and guardians)

Official transcripts

Residential Education Rosters/Directories

NCAA Athletics paperwork (for rosters and game announces a student may request use of a chosen name)

Email Display Name (Student must make this request; alias does not change)

Payments and related notifications (payroll, student refund checks, fellowship stipend checks, etc.)

Diploma (Student must make this request)

Loan Documents



Regarding legal name changes:

What is the process to update my account and email username due to a legal name change?

Three weeks prior to the start of a semester, setup an appointment and present the Vice President for Information Technology the documentation of the legal name change.  Depending upon what other campus systems the student uses, there may be additional next steps which will be discussed at the appointment.

Why does IT need three weeks to change my username due to a legal name change?

When a student has a legal name change, IT must create all new accounts in all systems and then manually copy any existing information from previous accounts to the new accounts.   Additionally, time is needed for the new information to propagate through all data and technical systems.  To reduce any negative side effects of migration and the propagation delays of the change through systems (email, Office 365, network file drives, system permissions, course rosters, financial aid, payroll, semester reporting, etc), a legal name change is not performed during a semester. 

What if after graduation I would like a copy of my diploma with my legal/government name instead of the chosen name?

The Office of the Registrar will automatically have a diploma with a student’s legal/government name printed and kept on file in the Office of the Registrar for approximately one year.  The graduate may request this diploma during that first year at no extra charge. If over a year from graduation, and the original diploma with the legal name has been destroyed, the graduate may request a replacement diploma, but a fee would apply.

Regarding chosen names:

What if I don’t want my chosen name used on public information or external communications including those sent to my legal guardian(s)?

Gettysburg College will always use chosen name (with the exception of the required areas listed above under the legal/government name section). 

Step by Step Guide on how to change your chosen name

What is the process to update my name in campus systems?

  • Edit your name (and pronouns if you choose) in PeopleSoft.
    1. Login into Campus Experience
    2. Click on “My Profile”
    3. Click on “Biographical Information”
    4. A web page displays containing name with an edit icon to the right allowing for a name to be changed
  • To edit your email display name and cloud system name information, contact Associate Dean for Inclusion and Belonging
  • To get a new college ID card, follow the instructions on the ID card office website. Please inform the ID Card Office if you are changing your name and/or picture for identity-based reasons so you will not be charged the replacement ID card fee.
  • Please inform Counseling and Wellness staff, and Health Services staff if you wish to use your chosen name at your appointments so they can make the necessary adjustments to their systems.

Contact the following for additional support and resources:

College Life Office

Counseling & Wellness

Gender & Sexuality Resource Center

Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Office of International Student Services

Office of Multicultural Engagement

Religious & Spiritual Life


DISCLAIMER: Technological platforms are continuously evolving. Should you find that a system is using the incorrect name, please complete this form.