Student Preferred/Proper Name Information

NIU recognizes that students might use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves. The university acknowledges that a preferred/proper name may be chosen by students and will be used as reasonably possible for certain university business. Preferred/proper name is used on class rosters, academic requirements reports (ARR), grade rosters, the online directory, O365, and Blackboard. Further, students can have their preferred/proper name displayed on their OneCard.

When students apply for graduation, they will be given the option to select either their preferred/proper name or their legal name to be printed on their diploma, in the commencement program, and in any press releases containing graduation information supplied by Registration and Records.

A student’s legal name will be maintained and used when required for academic records and other business and compliance purposes. Some examples of when a student’s legal name will be used include: admission documents, official transcripts, official certifications of enrollment or graduation, employment records, financial documents, reports for federal and state agencies, and financial aid documents. In other cases, it is important that other entities can associate the document or credential to you, historically, currently or in the future. In some circumstances, it may also be necessary to clarify that your preferred/proper name is different than your legal name. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, official interactions with police, security, and/or law enforcement and verification of medical records.

Preferred/proper names can be designated by the student within the university’s student information system. Preferred/proper names may include upper- and lower-case letters, spaces, hyphens, and supported accent marks.

Inappropriate use of the preferred/proper name, including but not limited to misrepresentation, attempting to avoid a legal obligation, or interpreted as offensive or derogatory may result in the preferred/proper name request being denied. Please note that preferred/proper name changes are only available to applicants and currently enrolled students.

Read FAQs about Student Preferred/Proper Name.