Preferred First Name

Students who would like to use a name other than their legal first name within the campus community are able to enter a preferred first name, update an existing preferred first name, or delete an existing preferred first name through Student Self-Service. You may view the University policy for acceptable uses of a preferred first name.

Do NOT enter your legal first name as your preferred first name since that will cause redundant records.

Preferred first names will be viewable in the following ways:

  • Students will see both their full legal name and their preferred first name in parentheses throughout Student Self-Service at the top of the pages. They should see their diploma name, if one has been requested with the Office of the Registrar, or the legal name on the Graduation Information page.
  • Faculty/Instructors/TAs will only see a student’s preferred first name, if one exists, and legal last name on class rosters and grade entry. Otherwise, the legal first and last name will appear.  Use your preferred first name on scantrons, tests, and other items that are handed in since the instructor will see that preferred name on the roster.
  • Advisors and college administrative staff will see a student’s preferred and legal first name.
  • Online directories will display the preferred first name, if one exists, and legal last name, otherwise the legal first and last name.
  • The i-card will show the student’s preferred first name, if one exists, and legal last name on the front of the card. The backside of the i-card will display the full legal name in a smaller font.  
  • Students who enter or update a preferred first name later than 2 weeks before the start of a semester may not see the preferred first name replicated in some systems for several days.

Contact the Registration Services Unit at registration@illinois.edu or 217-333-6565 with questions about preferred first name for students.