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Name Changes

Support for Chosen Name

Swarthmore College offers support for name changes including the use of a chosen name. For legal name changes, see near the bottom of the page for how to tell Swarthmore about a legal name change.

Chosen names: Swarthmore College recognizes that some students may choose to use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves.

This policy is intended for those who have a reason for utilizing a chosen name instead of, or in addition to, their legal name, such as non-binary individuals, international students, and individuals in the process of gender transition. The lists below show where the chosen name can be used and where the legal name must be used.

Chosen Name

  • Alumni Office records
  • Athletic rosters
  • Class rosters
  • College ID (OneCard)
  • Commencement program
  • Cygnet
  • Diploma
  • Dash Directory
  • Degree Candidate List
  • Email
  • Faculty Advising Lists
  • Moodle
  • mySwarthmore login
  • Residence Life Lists

Legal Name

  • Financial Aid
  • Health Services
  • Paycheck
  • Student Employment
  • Study Abroad documents
  • Time entry
  • Transcripts

For students who want their Swarthmore email userid to reflect their chosen name, it is possible but much more involved to change the network/email userid to follow the matching pattern for the chosen name. This would require scheduled down-time, so expect to work closely with the registrar on this.

We routinely use the chosen name on your college ID card because of its importance in the college social life. However, keep in mind that college id is potentially also voter id, you might need other id for that purpose.

Please be advised that because we use your legal name in the administrative computer, sometimes the legal name appears in an unexpected context. If it does and you would like it not to, the registrar can usually figure out how to use the chosen name in that context instead.

If you want to use your chosen name across the college, please contact the Gender and Sexuality Center, or the Registrar's Office staff.  Either office is available in person or by email.Legal name changes: For students and recent alumni to change your legal name, the college, usually the Human Resources Department, will need to see your new social security card, or a photocopy of it, before we can change your legal name in the computer for your transcript, etc. Alumni also need to tell the Alumni Records Office. Please let the Registrar's Office guide you if you have any questions about which Swarthmore office to see.

You may speak with any of the deans about name changes and other support for students. Swarthmore is committed to creating inclusive, respectful, and supportive spaces for all students.

For more information about LGBTQ+ student groups and LGBTQ+ advocacy and support, please explore the Gender & Sexuality Center or speak with a dean.