A Common Mistake: Name Differences

Name Differences

Written by Brittany Leonard

April 7, 2022

Schools are required to verify the parent/guardian names on residency and income documentation match with the Online Application System (OAS) as part of the application verification process. When performing enrollment audits, we often find discrepancies where the OAS has the correct legal name of the parent /guardian but the name on the residency/income documents is different. Although these errors are correctable, it can be difficult to get a response from parents before the reporting deadline (December 15th for fall and May 1st for spring) if these types of errors are found during the enrollment audits. Here is a guide to determine if you need to obtain additional documentation:

Match Required
For certain cases where minor name differences exist, one way for the school to fix this right away would be to obtain a signed letter or an email from the parent stating the following:

“My correct legal name is (name in OAS). The name on my (residency or income) documentation is (name on documentation). My name is incorrectly spelled on the documentation and correct on the Online Parent Application”

Some common examples of cases where a letter from the parent would be sufficient:

    • Name misspelled (Theresa vs Teresa)
    • Name abbreviated (Dan vs Daniel)
    • Multiple last names (Maria Gonzalez-Dominquez vs Maria Gonzalez)

A letter would not be sufficient for differences if there are different names. In these situations, new residency documentation will need to be obtained that meets the requirements. Here are some examples:

    • Ralph Smith vs Ralph Weber
    • Maria Gonzalez vs Maria Dominquez
    • Ronald McGregory vs Thomas McGregory

Please note that the above applies only to situations where the OAS has the correct legal name of the parent/guardian. If corrections are needed to the OAS, different steps will need to be taken to address the issue.

At Hawkins Ash CPAs, our auditors are available to our clients throughout the year. To ensure a smooth audit, we prefer that clients contact us as the need arises. Please contact us today.

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Brittany Leonard
I am a Partner for Hawkins Ash CPAs. I focus on providing audit services to tax credit projects, educational agencies, municipalities, nonprofit organizations, commercial enterprises, and housing authorities.

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