Home Destination Abroad Name Mismatch in Certificates | MS in US

Name Mismatch in Certificates | MS in US

Following is the email conversation with Praveen about variety of topics.

  • University Selection
  • Admission Decision
  • Name Change in Passport
  • Names between Marksheet, Blank Surname in Passport.

This is lengthy article, but it has useful information to any prospective student applying to U.S. Universities.

Praveen : How long does it take for grad schools to generally respond to packets and inform if the admit is given/rejected/waitlisted? Also lets say if I have get admit in 1 particular university, can I request or buy more time from this university in order to wait for responses from other better univs?

HSB: It depends on universities. In general, it will take 2 to 4 months to respond. University where you have admit, what is the procedure to accept admission? Are they asking deposit ?

Praveen : Am so happy to get such a prompt reply from you. And it was thrilling the other day to communicate with you via “Live chat”. Am from XXXXXX. I have got admit already in UTDallas for EE. I have opted for VLSI. I was not sure of how I should ask them for more time. UTD started pressurising me to accept their admit. So I just clicked “Accept admit” in their student service site so that it would facilitate them to send the I20 asap. Also I heard from my cousin doing IE in Clemson that there is nothing wrong in accepting the admit at this stage in order to get the I20. Also he mentioned that after getting the I20s from the respective universities, we can choose which university has got to be our destination.

I have also applied for NCSU, TAMU, UOA, ASU and UTarlington but as of yet no response from any of these univs. Also I was a bit surprised with UTD’s lightning response. That admit email came within 10 working days of sending the packets.


What your cousin said is right. Accepting admission has got nothing to do with if you have to attend that school. Some schools will give I-20 only of you pay deposit of $300 or so. I thought you were in such situation. You don’t need to communicate anything to UTD. Just get I-20 and wait for other admits. What is your profile?

Praveen –

GRE Quantitative: 780; GRE Verbal: 560; GRE Analytical/AWA: 4 ; TOEFL: 106

  1. University of Texas at Dallas (MS EE [VLSI], Fall 2010)
  2. Arizona State University (MS EE [VLSI], Fall 2010)
  3. North Carolina State University (MS EE [VLSI], Fall 2010)
  4. University of Arizona (MS EE [VLSI], Fall 2010)
  5. Texas A&M University (MS EE [VLSI], Fall 2010)
  6. University of Texas at Arlingotn (MS EE [VLSI], Fall 2010)

Praveen –

Hi HSB am continuing from the last gmail conversation we had 3 months ago so that you can perhaps recognise who I am. My current status is I have got 4 admits out of the 6 applied. They are Univ of Arizona, ASU, UTD and UTA. Got a reject from TAMU. Almost everyone got rejected from TAMU. Waiting for response from NCSU.

By the way I have a very important doubt. I read all your articles about surname problems in passport. All the solutions that you have given seem to point out that if at all am going to do a name change, it has to be before I take up my GRE. But you know what? I read these articles only after I got an admit from UTD. And your articles regarding the pot-full of woes that accompany a person without surname has set alarm bells ringing in my stomach. Just as many other Indians have it, my passport too has my name printed as S.Praveen. And am planning to change it to sth like Praveen Srini by going to the gazetted office or whichever the concerned place is.

But is this too late? How effective is this going to be? Will it bring any confusions? Should I email all my grad coords after the name change in passport asking them to take note of it? Is the changing of the name now as good as changing the name before taking GRE? Pls enlighten me. I want to get your guidance before I go change my name in the passport office.

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Did you receive I-20 from universities yet? If so, you have to fine out few more details. If you change the name in passport, then you will have to get New I-20. You have to talk to them first and find out what happens if you change the name in passport. Would they send you new I-20?

All you need now is I-20 that will match the name in your new passport and US visa that has both First and Last Name. If you plan to use the GRE Scores again, you will have to use the old name and show that your name was changed after that. Do let me know what you plan to do and what response you get from university. I will post in the blog. It will help thousands of other readers.

Praveen –

Thanks for the extremely prompt reply. Only for UTD I sent my financial document proof followed by which I got the I-20 from UTD in 30 odd working days. For the rest of the universities, I have not yet shown the financial document proof yet so no I-20s. Actually here am trying to play a tricky waiting game. Because I believe NCSU results might be out by march end. So in case by some good fortune I get an admit in NCSU, then I needn’t get the I-20s of ASU, UA and UTA. So directly I’ll go for the I-20 of NCSU because it is my first choice. So am planning to take more financial doc-related action only post mid or 3rd wk of-march so that by that time some response will arrive from NCSU.

And I gather from your reply that by far, I need to take action directed only towards UTD as I have already obtained the I-20 from them. Ok so as you said, I’ll email their grad coordinator asking them what are the implications of changing the passport name. Also as a note of caution, I’ll email the grad coords of ASU, UA and UTA as well, telling them that am planning to change my passport name and if there’ll be any hassles in issuing my I-20 with my new name after I send my financial documents.. But from what you said, I presume there won’t be any problem with the other 3 univs with respect to the changing of my name because I haven’t yet given financial documental proof yet. But the emails I intend to send these 3 univs is just a precautionary measure.

So am I going in the right direction? Pls give me an “OK” signal if the sequence of steps am intending to take now is correct or any amendments need to be made.


Yup. go ahead. They will issue I-20 based on name you have in application form, unless you let them know about the name change.

Praveen –

All my transcripts have my name as S.Praveen and in case I change my name to a new one in my passport, that will still not be able to prevent me from getting my degree certificate and 8th sem marksheet (and thereby consolidated transcript) with my old name right. These documents will be having my name as S.Praveen right? And wouldn’t that be another collosal problem?


Thats how we use our name in India. Initials. Name Systems followed in US is First Name Last Name ( or Last Name, First Name). You will not have problems by changing your name in passport.

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So, your problem is solved. Schools don’t care on how ur name is in passport or certificate. So, they are not going to answers your queries.

Praveen –

thanks hsb for the reassuring replies. So I gather from this conversation that I can go ahead with the changing of my name in the passport and that the existance of all my academic documents and transcripts with my old name are prefectly okay and will not pose any harm even though they do not match with my new passport name. Is my conclusion right?

All right then thanks again and you could start a new topic in Happy Schools Blog quoting my scenario as an example and the solution that could be used to douse this problem . Also pls include in the same topic that the old name in the academic documents will not pose a problem even though they do not match with the new passport name. Because it is this key statement that calms the nerves of many students like me. This’ll be a beneficial topic for sure for all MS aspirants.

Praveen –

Hi HSB. I have included my previous conversations with you as reference for identity purpose. Currently I have got my name changed in the passport with proper first name and surname. Now my attention shifts to a dilemma that is raging in my mind for a long time. I waited for pretty much a long time for results of NCSU. But still I haven’t yet got a response from NCSU. So I have to be sure of my backup plan. Assuming I don’t get NCSU, I will have to choose between ASU, Univ of Arizona and Univ of texas at dallas as my final destination. I have applied for MSEE. And am targetting VLSI or Embedded Systems.

Assuming a bad job scenario (because this is the reality now in US), my criterion in deciding are cost of living, job prospects, quality of coursework and research, on campus jobs within the universities, and also availabilty of TA/RA opportunities. Worst case if I don’t get a job after finishing my MS, I should make my moves such that highest priority is given to the cost and such that I end up paying off minimal loan. Taking these into considerations, I have done the first level filtering and decided against going to Univ of Arizona as its tuition fee is high and also because cost of living in general is high in Arizona. Although its research work is excellent, I think I have to make that bit of bargain.

So now its between ASU and UTD. Once again ASU in tempe is slightly costlier in terms of tuition fees than texas dallas univ. Also the cost of living as such (in Arizona) is marginally higher than Texas as I already mentioned above. Besided this, I recently heard that the on-campus job scenario in ASU isn’t that good. But as far as proximity to silicon industries is concerned both ASU and UTD are equally good and the scale hangs in balance as big players like Texas Instruments etc are nearby. Not that UTD is the best bet now but because ASU is way ahead of UTD far as EE rankings are concerned, this adds to my confusion.

But considering so many of these pros and cons and with a lot of soul-searching and retrospection, I am concluding UTD wins the race by a hairline margin. So as of now am planning to make UTD as my end destination in case NCSU does not turn up with any response. The final date till which I am going to wait is 15th April. After that, am going ahead with UTD.

So do you think am justified in taking this decision? Is my thought process sequence correct? Pls give your take on this.


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