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Student Preferred Name

Georgia Southern University recognizes that many of its students use a name other than their legal name. As long as the use of a preferred name is not for misrepresentation, the university acknowledges that a preferred name should be used whenever possible in the course of university business and education.

Therefore, the university will permit any student who wishes to identify themselves within the university’s information systems with a preferred name in addition to their legal name. It is further understood that the student’s preferred name should be used in university communications and reporting, except where the use of the legal name is necessitated by university business or legal requirement.

This service may be modified, changed, altered, or rescinded at the discretion of Georgia Southern University.

A preferred name is a first name (i.e., given name) that may be chosen to be used instead of the legal first name. Students may opt to go by a preferred name that is different from their legal first name. This name will appear instead of the legal name in the student’s MyGeorgiaSouthern portal, Folio, DegreeWorks and the faculty’s Attendance Verification sheet. Some records, such as paychecks or financial aid data that require the use of a legal name will not change to the preferred name. However, whenever possible, the preferred name will be used.

In public or semi-public systems where names are visible to other students, instructors, faculty, campus officials, and the general public, the preferred name may only be displayed. Specific examples are the student Folio, and the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal (including portal class roster and attendance verification modules). In systems such as these, it is important to display the preferred name. The student’s full legal name will be displayed in confidential administrative systems used by faculty, staff, and campus officials. Banner Student Forms, WINGS Class Rosters, and Final Grading Rosters are good examples of these types of administrative systems. Preferred name is also not displayed in other third-party software systems such as those used in Health Services, Housing, Student Affairs, etc.

Student Preferred Name FAQs

No. Your preferred name will only be displayed in your MyGeorgiaSouthern portal, Folio, and on the faculty’s portal class roster and attendance verification modules. Your legal name will always be used in business processes that require the use of the legal name, such as for payroll records, student transcripts, and financial aid.

Log into the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal and go to the Personal Settings icon under WINGS. Then, click on Personal Information. From here, you will see all your personal information. In the Personal Details area, click on “Edit” in the far right corner to edit your Personal Details. A popup will appear that will allow you to edit your preferred first name. Once done, click “Update.”

No. Preferred name only applies to your first name. If you would like to change your middle or last name on your university record, then you will need to change your legal name.

Students may determine and designate a preferred name that they want to be known by in university systems. The University reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language, or is being used for misrepresentation.

No. Using a preferred name is entirely optional.

Some campus departments interact with and send reports to federal, state, and other government agencies that verify the identity of students using the legal name and other personally identifiable information that prohibits the use of the preferred name.

Students who wish to change their legal name must supply supporting legal documentation and complete the Name Change Form online web form with the Enrollment Services.

No. This option is not available.

This service is student-focused and based on a student role. Employee, as well as student employee names, are maintained in Banner SIS and OneUSG Connect, and legal name is used in this system per USG policy.

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Last updated: 8/23/2023