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Chosen/Preferred Name Option
The Student Chosen/Preferred Name option is now available.
Georgia Tech recognizes that many of its students use a first name, and possibly a middle name or initial, other than their legal name. As long as the use of a chosen/preferred name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation, the Institute acknowledges that a chosen/preferred name should be used whenever possible in the course of conducting daily business and in the educational process.
For this reason, the Institute will permit any student who wishes to do so to identify themselves within the student information system with a chosen/preferred first name and/or a middle name or initial in addition to their legal name. It is further understood that the student's chosen/preferred name should be used in Institute communications and reporting, except where the use of the legal name is necessitated by Institute business practices or legal requirements. For example, the official academic record, the transcript, as well as financial aid documents must carry the legal name.
It is important to note that this option may be modified, changed, altered, or rescinded at the discretion of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
What is a Chosen/Preferred Name?
Students may opt to go by a chosen/preferred first name and/or middle name or initial that is different from their legal first name. This name will appear instead of legal name in the GT Directory online and may propagate to other systems on campus. How each system will handle this information may vary, so until a universal application of the use of a chosen/preferred name is realized, students and users of the information simply need to be aware.
Some records, such as paychecks or financial aid, as well as the academic record (transcript) that require the use of a legal name, will not change to chosen/preferred first name. However, whenever possible, chosen/preferred first name will be used.
The Institute allows students to specify a chosen/preferred first name and/or middle name or initial by filing with the Registrar’s Office a change of name form. Once the change of name form is processed and the change entered in the student information system (Banner/OSCAR), it will appear on forms in Banner/OSCAR, including the class roster and the grade roster. This will not happen automatically, but it should update within 24-48 hours.
At the same time that the Registrar’s Office enters the chosen/preferred name in Banner, it will also update the Georgia Tech Enterprise Directory (GTED) system which will allow the change to propagate into other GT systems. The changes may not appear in all places at the same time. After the changes are made by the Registrar’s Office, it may require a day or so for the information to appear in other systems.
Campus Use of Chosen/Preferred Name
In public or semi-public systems where names are visible to other students, instructors, faculty, campus officials, and the general public, chosen/preferred name will be displayed if that system has been updated to interact with Banner or extracts name information from GTED.
Campus departments are encouraged to utilize chosen/preferred first name and/or middle name or initial in their business practices.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When will my chosen/preferred name appear in Institute systems?
- Will my chosen/preferred name appear or be used everywhere in university systems?
- How can I set my chosen/preferred name?
- May I specify a chosen/preferred last name?
- Can I set my chosen/preferred name to whatever I want?
- Do I have to provide and set a chosen/preferred name?
- When/why will campus departments use my legal name?
- How do I correct or change my legal name for university systems?
- How do I get a new BuzzCard with my chosen/preferred name?
- Why are employees not included in the use of chosen/preferred name?
When will my chosen/preferred name appear in Institute systems?
In addition to the Banner modules mentioned above, most systems will use your Chosen/Preferred Name. Be aware that changes could take 1-3 days to propagate. Legal name will always be used in business processes that require the use of the legal name, such as payroll records, student transcripts, and financial aid. Some of the most common systems which use the new chosen/preferred name include BuzzCard, BuzzPort, GT Directory online, Ga Tech Enterprise Directory (GTED), Ga Tech Active Directory (GTAD), Office 365, and T-Square. Some systems which do not use the new name include PeopleSoft/TechWorks, and other systems which use employee data from PeopleSoft/Techworks.
Will my chosen/preferred name appear or be used everywhere in university systems?
Yes, starting in Fall 2017, but remain aware that the systems, which are many, will not all be updated at exactly the same time and any change has to propagate through the other systems. This could take time. 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.
How can I set my chosen/preferred name?
Using the change of name form on the Registrar’s Office website at:
Indicate what you wish to use for your chosen/preferred first name and/or middle name or initial.
May I specify a chosen/preferred last name?
You may not specify a chosen/preferred last name. If you would like to change your last name on your student record, you will need to change your legal name.
Can I set my chosen/preferred name to whatever I want?
Students may determine and designate a chosen/preferred name that they want to be known by in Institute systems. The Institute reserves the right to remove a chosen/preferred name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language, or is being used for misrepresentation.
Do I have to provide and set a chosen/preferred name?
No. Using a chosen/preferred first name and/or middle name or initial is entirely optional.
When/why will campus departments use my legal name?
Some campus departments interact with and send reports to Federal, State and other government agencies that require a person’s legal name. Additionally, systems which are not integrated to have access to Chosen/Preferred Names will continue to use Legal Names.
How do I correct or change my legal name for university systems?
Students who wish to change their legal name must supply supporting legal documentation and complete the form required by the Registrar’s Office at:
How do I get a new BuzzCard with my chosen/preferred name?
Once the chosen/preferred name appears in Banner/OSCAR students can visit the BuzzCard Center to have a new card printed. The BuzzCard is the official identification card of the Georgia Institute of Technology, a state agency, therefore chosen/preferred name will appear on the front of the card and legal name will appear on the back. Additional information regarding the BuzzCard Center including location and hours of operation can be found on the BuzzCard website at:
Why are employees not included in the use of chosen/preferred name?
This service is student focused for the time being. A larger project to manage identity for all campus constituents is under review and it is the long-term goal to provide this option for students, faculty, and staff. In the meantime, employees, can set a Chosen/Preferred Name in Office 365, Whitepages, and some other systems via Office 365 Display Name Change.
A change of legal name requires a signed, completed request form and an original or notarized copy of one of the official documents from the approved list. A declaration of chosen/preferred name requires a signed, completed request form with no additional documents
Updated Oct. 2020