Preferred Name

*Note: the information below pertains to Fall 2018, Spring 2019 and Summer 2019 semesters. 

The UW branch campuses and UW Colleges Online recognize that many of its students use a name other than their legal name. As long as the use of a preferred name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation, the university acknowledges that a preferred name should be used whenever possible in the course of university business and education.

Therefore, the university will permit any student who wishes to choose to identify themselves within the university’s information systems with a preferred name in addition to their legal name. It is further understood that the student's preferred name should be used except where the use of the legal name is necessitated by university business or legal requirement. 

Campus Use of Preferred Name

  • Unofficial Transcript
  • Electronic Advising Reports
  • Class Rosters
  • Grade Rosters
  • D2L

*Email (see updating your email display name below)

Please Note: preferred name is used solely for the UW branch campus and UW Colleges Online internal systems; external systems (such as home-town newspapers, official transcripts, enrollment verifications, etc) will continue to use your legal name. 

Legal/Primary Name

 Student’s Legal (Primary) name will be used in the normal course of university business related to:

  • Student Accounts
  • Financial Aid
  • Responses to enrollment inquiries such as enrollment/degree verifications
  • Official Transcripts
  • Username/Network ID 

Add/Update your Preferred Name

 Students can add a Preferred Name or make changes to an existing Preferred Name in PRISM.

        Step 1 – Click Student Center

        Step 2 – Under Personal Information click on Names

       Step 3 – Click the edit button to the right of the Preferred Name

       Step 4 – Update the First, Last or Middle Name and click the Save Button

       Step 5 – Click the Return to Current Names link at the bottom (middle) of the page

It make take up to 24 hours for your preferred name to appear in all locations (i.e. D2L) 

Changing your Legal/Primary Name

 Contact your UW branch campus Student Services office with legal documentation to change your legal name (Primary Name). 

Keeping Your Legal Name Private

Students have the right to have directory information restricted. FERPA (

Updating your Email Display Name

*Students that need to have their email display name updated may contact the service desk to submit a request for a change to their email display name. (