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Name change on diploma and records after graduation

bferamics30bferamics30 Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
edited November 2011 in College Life
One of my friends has a dilemma which interests me, since I might consider getting a name change sometime in the future.

Basically she had her first name legally changed after graduating from college. She called the university's office over the phone and asked if she could change the name on the diploma and records and whoever she spoke to said no.

I thought this to be strange because after doing a quick google search, I found that many universities (and even high schools) definitely allow you to change the name on your diploma/records even after graduation, although some require a fee in addition to proof. Many of them address this directly on their FAQ pages. The problem is I can't find info on it from HER university.

Here are of the universities that allow name changes after graduation just from a quick search:

Columbia University:

Verify Name on Diploma | Columbia University Registrar

Harvard University:

Harvard Kennedy School - Replacement Diploma


NYU > University Registrar > Graduation > Diplomas

UC Berkeley:

Frequently Asked Questions - Office Of The Registrar

UCLA: (they have different routes for people who are changing names before vs after graduation)


or some lesser known state universities like:

San Jose State University


Sacramento State University

FAQ - Office of the University Registrar, Sacramento State

Does this just vary from college to college? Quite a few people I've talked to are under the impression that you can't change the name on records/diplomas after graduation, although this obviously isn't true for many universities as shown in the above links

I've been trying to convince her to contact someone else from the university, perhaps someone higher up? Sometimes people give out wrong information...
Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
Post edited by bferamics30 on

Replies to: Name change on diploma and records after graduation

  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 32,500 Senior Member
    I'm sure it varies by university. What kind of change was it? Was it merely a name change because of a nickname or something more significant like a sex change? I really can't imagine going through all the trouble to change all those records unless it was something like a sex change. Otherwise, it would be quite easy to explain name changes.
  • bferamics30bferamics30 Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    She's a (naturalized) immigrant who had her first name legally changed to a western name. She's paranoid about paperwork headaches down the line, although a lot of people were trying to reason with her that it was unnecessary. I'm quite paranoid myself so I didn't discourage her :P

    Having your name legally changed is a hassle in that it involves a fee and paperwork, but the court already tells you who you're supposed to contact about the change during the whole shebang.
    It's your choice if you want to change other records afterwards (like old school records).

    I don't think she cares about changing her elementary school records or anything (LOL), on the other hand I don't think wanting your new name on your college diploma/records is too unreasonable. Plus she is considering graduate school so it would make the application process smoother.
  • demeterdemeter Registered User Posts: 1,367 Senior Member
    I've had my name legally changed, FWIW. I was afraid of precisely that problem when I applied to colleges my senior year, so I included a name change certificate in my application file. When in doubt, I include a name change certificate (or a copy) - never had any problems.

    Don't school records usually have some other identifier besides your name? I know my transcript also shows the last 4 digits of my SSN and possibly my birthday. That information can be easily matched with that provided in the application.
This discussion has been closed.