SVSU front entrance

Chosen Name Policy

Saginaw Valley State University is a diverse and inclusive campus community recognizing that some or many of its members would prefer to use a chosen first name other than their legal name. We are pleased to provide this option.

SVSU refers to the term, "Chosen Name," to identify the term used for students or employees who would like to be referred to by something other than their legal name. Chosen name will be displayed whenever the legal name is not required. Individuals must enter a first, middle and last name when modifying their chosen name. A chosen name must not contain offensive or obscene words and cannot be used for the purposes of fraud and/or misrepresentation. Applications with these violations will be denied by the Office of the Registrar and, in the case of a student, will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct, and in the case of an employee, to the Office of Human Resources and/or the employee’s supervisor.

*If an individual notices that their name is misspelled, they should notify the Office of the Registrar at registrar@svsu.edu or in-person and it will be corrected.

Chosen names can be added/changed through MySVSU:

  1. Self-Service --> Students --> My Academic Profile --> User Profile --> Edit Personal Identity
  2. Self-Service --> Employees --> Personal Profile --> User Profile --> Edit Personal Identity

A legal name is one that appears on an individual's driver’s license, passport, social security card, birth certificate and immigration documents. The university must always maintain a record of students’ and employees’ legal names. SVSU students and university employees can implement a change of their legal name and this form is located on the Office of the Registrar’s website under Forms. Legal documentation must be attached for the form to be processed. This completed form with documentation must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. A legal name change will result in a comprehensive change in the university’s records.


A chosen name is one that the student or employee wishes to be known by within the university community that appears in selected locations in which a legal name is not required. To assure accurate identification, the legal last name will appear along with the chosen name whenever possible.

Chosen names can be changed through MySVSU:

  1. Self-Service --> Students --> My Academic Profile --> User Profile --> Edit Personal Identity
  2. Self-Service --> Employee --> Personal Profile --> User Profile --> Edit Personal Identity

The university’s computer system will only recognize letters within a name, both chosen and legal. Therefore, a name that includes symbols like $, ____, %, etc. will not be recognizable in the system. In addition, students should not include any numbers in the name. All chosen names must include both first name and last names comprised of letters only.


International students may also implement a chosen name change, but the legal name will still appear on all legal and immigration documents, such the passport, F1 visa, I-20, etc.    


Chosen names are currently on class and grade rosters, and soon to be in email, online directory, Canvas, the ID card and etc. SVSU will continue adding it to other places.

When a student or employee initiates a chosen name change, certain campus offices will still maintain the legal name on record. Such offices include the Registrar, Financial Services and Financial Aid. If the individual is an employee, then the Department of Human Resources will be notified and payroll updated. If the individual is a student, then Work-Study, the Office of Career Services and etc. will be appraised of the name change. The legal name will still be listed or used in admissions correspondence, transcripts, federal and state agency reports, enrollment verification reports, Solomon enrollment reports for the military, degree verifications, financial documents and/or where required by law.  


Dean's and President's lists are derived from official enrollment data and will list the student’s legal name, consistent with their name on their transcript.


University transcripts are legal documents and will always list the student’s legal name, regardless of whether the student has implemented a chosen name change. Chosen names will not be listed on transcripts. 


Students nearing graduation must complete an Application to Graduate, and the Office of the Registrar will honor the chosen name listed on the application for purposes of the Commencement ceremony and the diploma. The Office of the Registrar, however, is not involved in producing the Commencement ceremony invitations that some families of graduates arrange to have printed through the SVSU Bookstore. In such cases, the way in which the student’s name is listed is strictly between the Bookstore staff and the student or his/her family.  


CONTACT US.






Office of the Registrar
Wickes 151
registrar@svsu.edu
(989) 964-4085