Student Preferred/Proper Name Information

NIU recognizes that students might use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves As long as the use of this different name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation, the university acknowledges that a preferred/proper name may be chosen by individuals and will be used as reasonably possible for certain university business. Preferred/proper name is used on class rosters, academic requirements report (ARR), grade rosters, online directory, O365 and Blackboard. Further, students can have the preferred/proper name displayed on the OneCard. Preferred/proper name will also be listed in the commencement program.

The legal name will be maintained and used for academic records, business and data integrity purposes. Use of a legal name includes, but is not limited to, admission documents, official transcripts, diplomas, certification 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 cases, it may also be necessary to clarify that a preferred/proper name is different from the legal name. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, official interactions with law enforcement and verification of medical records.

If students use a name that is different from their legal name, this can be designated within the university’s student information system. Preferred/proper names are limited to using upper and lower case letters, space, dash(-), apostrophe(’) and backwards apostrophe (`).

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 preferred/proper name changes are only applicable to applicants and currently enrolled students.

Read FAQs about Student Preferred/Proper Name.