Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Preferred Name-Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new preferred name policy?

The policy allows students to select a preferred name, instead of their legal name, for certain uses at Ohio State. 

What is a preferred name?

It is the name that you are called in day to day life. Perhaps you have always gone by your middle name, or a nickname, or a name that is easier to pronounce. Transgender students may self-identify by one name but have not opted to make that change legally.

How do I make the change?

Students can make the change themselves via Buckeye Link self-service in the personal information area. There is no documentation or permission required. There is a heading for name, and an option for preferred name. Changing it is as easy as changing an address or phone number. If no preferred name is selected, the legal name is the default.

Where will my preferred name be used?

The preferred name will show up on class rosters, for advisors, and Carmen-basically any day- to-day record. It will not show up on diplomas, transcripts, or enrollment or degree verifications. 

Will it appear on my BuckID?

No. Your BuckID can be used as a secondary form of identification in many places, and having two IDs with different names could prove to be a problem.

What about the smaller campuses?

The system for those students is the same as for those attending the Columbus campus.

What about student employees?

Everything student related would follow the preferred name model, and everything employee related would not. So a student would show up in Carmen under the preferred name, and their legal name would show up on a paycheck.

Where did this idea come from?

Ohio State had accepted preferred names for several years, but under this initiative that name will be used in more places. The new system was initiatied by the Office of Student Life and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and developed by the University Registrar and the Office of the CIO. 



Dave Isaacs