Admission & Aid

Preferred/Affirmed First Name

Student policy and "how to" instructions on the use of a preferred or affirst first name

Preferred/Affirmed Name Use

To foster a campus environment that is inclusive and that encourages self-expression, Santa Monica College recognizes and provides a mechanism by which any current student may use a preferred or affirmed first name and a chosen pronoun on campus. We recognize that students may use a name that conforms to their gender expression or may go by a shortened first name or nickname. Students may use a preferred or affirmed first name, regardless of whether they have legally changed their name.

We encourage SMC personnel to use students' preferred or affirmed names and pronouns in their daily interactions with students, whether the student requests it verbally or formally records their preference on their student portal and the name is integrated into our student information system.

Effective January 23, 2020, students may request to use a preferred or affirmed name through their Corsair Connect account. This is optional. Steps on how to make the request are noted below.


The preferred or affirmed name has been integrated in Corsair Connect, Canvas, and class rosters available to faculty. Systems used by College staff in their interactions and communications with students will integrate the preferred or affirmed name as these systems are updated. The student's legal first name will continue to be used where required by law, industry standard, or strong business need. This includes student employment, financial aid, admission, refunds and disbursements, transcripts, etc. Effective with Spring 2020 graduates, students will have the option to request their diplomas be issued with their preferred or affirmed name.

We trust students to choose a preferred name after careful consideration, with good intentions, and with best interests in mind. We do not anticipate having to deny a name change request or remove a preferred name. However, SMC reserves the right to reject inappropriate name use, including but not limited to when used for misrepresentation or to avoid a legal obligation.

FAQ on Preferred Names