Preferred First Name Policy

Policy Statement

California Lutheran University recognizes that students may choose to identify themselves within the university community with a preferred first name that differs from their legal first name. Preferred first name will be used across university systems, where feasible.

Policy Requirements

The individual is free to determine the preferred first name they want to be known by, regardless of whether they have legally changed their name. The University reserves the right to remove a preferred first name if it is used inappropriately, including but not limited to, avoiding a legal obligation or for the purpose of misrepresentation. The legal name will continue to be used in university related systems, business processes, and documents such as reporting, financial aid, transcripts, payroll and tax documents, and other records where use of legal first name is required by law or University Policy.

Reason for the Policy

The University recognizes that many of its community members use names other than their legal names to identify themselves.

  • Legal Name: The name that appears on government issued identification
  • Preferred First Name: A name other than the legal name; may not be used to avoid legal obligation or with the intention to misrepresent

Registrar's Office – Maintains preferred first name for students. Undergraduate Admissions Office - Maintains preferred first name for Traditional Undergraduate applicants. Graduate Admissions Office - Maintains preferred first name for applicants to Graduate and Professionals Programs.


Preferred first name, when provided, will be maintained by the respective University office (Registrar’s office, Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Admissions). Students may: 1. provide a preferred first name through the online application for admission, or 2. contact the registrar's office to update their preferred first name, or

Other information/Questions

To assist faculty and instructors in consistently addressing a student throughout a semester, students are encouraged to add a preferred first name prior to the start of a semester.

Scope of Policy

The preferred first name will be either used or displayed with the legal name in the following systems:

  • MyCLU Portal
  • Blackboard classes
  • Self-Service
  • Faculty Advisee Lists
  • Student Housing

Students will have the option to change the following:

  • Email Address

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will my preferred first name appear?

Preferred first names appear on the MyCLU Portal, BlackBoard, Self-Service, housing roster, and in the campus directory. Faculty are notified how to view the preferred name as it does not appear on the class roster.

Who may use a preferred first name?

Preferred first names may be used by students.

How soon will my preferred first name be updated in university systems?

It will be updated in university systems within 24 hours.

Does it cost anything to use a preferred first name?

There is not a fee associated with using a preferred first name. However, please see the Cal Lutheran Safety and Security website for information regarding fees associated with replacement ID cards.

Will my preferred first name be used for all business and educational matters at Cal Lutheran?

No. Your legal name will be used in systems and processes where it is required by law or University Policy.

How many times can I change my preferred first name?

You may change your preferred first name as many times as you would like. However, keep in mind that it may have ripple effects in your day-to-day on-campus experiences. Changing your preferred first name more than once can lead to confusion regarding your identity, challenges in customer service, and/or the interruption of your ability to access some university systems.

I added a preferred first name. Why didn’t my email name change?

On the Update Preferred First Name form did you check the box requesting to change your Cal Lutheran email? If yes, contact the Helpdesk if it has been more than 10 business days since you submitted the form. Please wait at least 10 business days before contacting the Helpdesk to ensure there has been sufficient time to process the request.

How do I update my legal name at the University?

Students should contact the Registrar’s Office. You will need to submit 2 pieces of identification: photo identification and the name change document (i.e. a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court document reflecting the name change).