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Preferred Name Policy

St. John’s University recognizes that some students may prefer to identify themselves by a First Name and/or Middle Name other than their Legal Name. For this reason beginning with the Fall 2018 semester, the University will enable students to use a Preferred Name where possible in the course of University business and education.

Students may request this service by completing a Preferred Name Change Request form and submitting it to the Office of the Registrar or by emailing it to A photo ID or a picture of a photo ID showing the student’s legal name will be required for submission of form. Emailed forms must come from SJU email address.

The student’s Preferred First Name and/or Middle Name may be used in many University contexts, such as MySJU, Blackboard, class rosters and ID Cards. Please note the University is legally required to use a student’s Legal Name for official records; however, whenever reasonably possible a student’s Preferred Name will be used.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Preferred Name?

A Preferred Name is a name a student wishes to be known by in the University community that is different from a student’s Legal Name. St. John’s University policy covers Preferred First Name and/or Middle Name. Students who wish to change their Legal Name can obtain information from the Office of the Registrar.

What is a Legal Name? 

A Legal Name is the name that appears on your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or U.S. Social Security Card.

Do I have to use a Preferred Name?

No. Use of a Preferred Name is optional.

Where will my Preferred Name be used? 

  • MY SJU
  • Class Rosters
  • Blackboard
  • University ID cards
  • Grading Rosters

Where will my Legal Name be used?

  • Diplomas & Commencement Information
  • Academic Certification
  • Transcripts
  • Financial Aid
  • Bursar’s Office/Billing Information
  • National Student Clearinghouse
  • Athletics Rosters
  • Department of Public Safety
  • International Students Documentation/SEVIS
  • Student Financial Services Documents
  • Federal Request for Information
  • Judicial Records

How do I get my Preferred Name on my St. John’s ID card?

  • Once the Office of the Registrar has approved your Preferred Name, if you wish to have your name on your ID card changed you can do so at no cost in the Storm Card Office. Please allow 24 business hours after receiving notice that your name has been changed before going to the Storm Card Office.
  • Please note: Only your preferred first name and your legal last name will print on your ID card due to limited space.

Can I change my email address to better match my preferred name?

  • Yes, once the Office of the Registrar has approved your Preferred Name, your email address will be changed at that time.  It will take 24 – 48 business hours for this change to take effect. An IT Service Desk representative will call/email you when your email address has been changed.

Are there any Preferred Name restrictions?

  • Preferred Names may not be used for purposes of fraud or misrepresentation. The University reserves the right to deny a Preferred Name if it is determined inappropriate or if it contains offensive language.
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