Bio-demographic Information Policy


A student’s official academic record at The University of Scranton reflects the bio-demographic information submitted by the student at admission.  Bio-demographic information includes data such as:  legal name, date of birth, address, phone number, ethnicity, gender, social security number, citizenship status. 

Students who wish to change the bio-demographic information maintained in their official academic record may do so as described below.

Legal Name

Legal name is defined as that name verified by a birth certificate, certificate of marriage, divorce decree, social security card, passport or court order.  Legal name is utilized in University business processes that require use of the legal name, various federal reports,   and on a student’s official academic transcript and diploma1.  Students who wish to change their legal name must complete a Change of Bio-Demographic Information Form and provide original or notarized copies of supporting legal documentation to the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services.

Preferred Name

The University of Scranton recognizes that some students prefer to identify themselves by a first name and/or middle name other than their legal name.  The University allows students to use a preferred name in the routine course of university business and when reasonably possible except in instances where the use of legal name is required.  Preferred name may not be used for purposes of fraud, evasion or misrepresentation.  Students who wish to use a preferred name must complete a Change of Bio-Demographic Information Form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar.  The University reserves the right to deny use of a preferred name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language.

Email Address

A University e-mail account is created for a student when the student is admitted to the University. If a student processes a change of legal name or requests use a preferred name post matriculation, the student will be given the option of updating their email address to reflect the change in legal name or preferred name on the Change of Bio-demographic Information Form.

Date of Birth

Date of birth as reported at admission is presumed to be accurate.  A student seeking to correct his/her date of birth must submit a Change of Bio-demographic Information Form to the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services with an original or notarized copy of the student’s birth certificate.

Address and Phone Number

Students are expected to maintain accurate contact information on file with the University, including mailing address, permanent address and phone number(s).  Students may update their contact information using the Student Address Correction Form published by the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services.

Ethnicity

A student seeking to report or correct his/her ethnicity must submit a Change of Bio-demographic Information Form to the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services.  As ethnicity is self-reported, no documentation is required.

Social Security Number

A student seeking to correct his/her social security number on file with the University must submit a Change of Bio-Demographic Information Form to the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services along with an original or notarized copy of the social security card and original or notarized copy of a valid government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. The name on the social security card must match the legal name listed in the student’s official academic record.

Citizenship Status

A student seeking to correct or update his/her citizenship status must submit a Change of Bio-demographic Information Form to the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services along with photo identification and original or notarized copies of a resident card, passport and/or naturalization papers.

FAQ's Regarding Preferred Names

What is a Legal Name?

A Legal Name is the name that appears on your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or U.S. Social Security Card.

What is a Preferred Name?

A Preferred Name is a first and middle name a student wishes to be known by in the University Community that is different from a student’s Legal Name. Surnames can be changed only with a legal name change

Do I have to use a Preferred Name?

No. Use of a Preferred Name is optional.

Where will my Preferred Name appear?

Your preferred name will be used in the routine course of university business and when reasonably possible including:

  • Royal ID Card2
  • Class Rosters
  • University E-mail address3
  • Desire2Learn4
  • Public Directory, unless a FERPA information block has been requested

Where will my Legal Name be used?

Your Legal Name will be used in business and other processes that require use of a Legal Name including:

  • International Student Documentation in the federal government SEVIS system
  • Enrollment certifications
  • Official Academic Transcript
  • W-2 Reporting to the Government
  • Diploma (unless otherwise requested)
  • Student Financial Aid FAFSA data

Are there any Preferred Name restrictions?

Preferred Names may not be used for purposes of fraud, evasion or misrepresentation.  The University reserves the right to remove a Preferred Name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language.

Will my Preferred Name appear in the University Directory?

Yes, your Preferred Name will appear in the University Directory unless you request a FERPA information block.

Does a Preferred First Name affect my Legal Name?

No. An approved Preferred Name does not change your Legal Name.

How do I request a Preferred Name?

Students may request this service by completing a Change of Bio-demographic Information Form and submitting it to the Office of the Registrar.  All requests are reviewed by the University Office of the Registrar and Academic Services.

Who will have access to my Legal Name?

Any University of Scranton employee with a legitimate educational interest will have access to the legal name.   

When will my preferred name show up on University records?

Once a student’s request for a preferred name is processed, it will appear in university applications within 24 hours. Because instructors, advisors and other university employees may update class lists only at the beginning of the semester, however, it is recommended that a student enter a preferred name prior to the start of the semester. If making a change during the semester, a student may need to ask instructors and staff members to update their lists.

If I used a Preferred Name in my application for admission to The University of Scranton, do I still need to request a Preferred Name? 

Yes, incoming students should request the use of a preferred name by completing a Change of Bio-demographic Information Form and submitting it to the Office of the Registrar.

Will I automatically receive a new Royal ID Card if I choose to use a Preferred Name?

No, a new Royal Card is not created automatically.

How do I get my Preferred Name on my Royal ID Card?

Twenty-four hours after receipt of an e-mail from the Office of the Registrar confirming a preferred name change, University students may obtain a new Royal ID Card reflecting their preferred name by visiting the Technology Support Center (TSC) in Alumni Memorial Hall during regular University business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:30am to 4:30 pm.  In order for TSC to issue an new/updated Royal ID, students must present one form of photo identification (e.g., driver’s license, existing Royal ID card) for security purposes.

Will I have a new photograph taken for my new Royal ID Card?

Yes, a new photograph is taken whenever a Royal Card is replaced. 

Will I automatically receive a new University of Scranton email address if I choose to use a Preferred Name?

Students who have an existing @scranton.edu email address can obtain a change of email address to reflect their preferred name by choosing this option on the Change of Bio-demographic Information Form and submitting it to the Office of the Registrar.  This can be elected at the same time as a preferred name change or any time thereafter.

Is the Royal ID Card a form of identification accepted off campus?

Yes, in some places.  However, it is advisable to carry a government-issued form of ID such as a driver’s license or passport with you in order to access resources that are not on The University of Scranton Campus.  Please note that if your Royal ID contains a preferred name, it may cause confusion if used as a second form of identification off campus in conjunction with a government-issued form of ID that reflects a legal name.

For More Information

If you have more questions about requesting a Preferred Name, please contact Julie Ferguson, University Registrar, julie.ferguson@scranton.edu

Graduating students who wish to use a name other than legal name on a diploma must inform the Office of the Registrar on the Application for Graduation form.

University students may obtain a new Royal ID Card reflecting their preferred name by visiting the Technology Support Center in Alumni Memorial Hall during regular University business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:30am to 4:30 pm.
Students who have an existing @scranton.edu email address can obtain a change of email address to reflect their preferred name by choosing this option on the Change of Bio-demographic Information Form and submitting it to the Office of the Registrar.  This can be elected at the same time as a preferred name change or any time thereafter.
4 A preferred name will be updated in 3rd party software when the content is refreshed. Most systems refresh on a nightly basis.