Preferred First Name Initiative

Preferred First Name Initiative


Appalachian State University provides students the opportunity to use a preferred first name different than their legal first name for certain purposes. Any student at Appalachian State University can indicate their preferred first name regardless of whether or not they have legally changed their name. Currently, this option applies to first name only and only if the preferred first name differs from the legal first name. Students should not provide a preferred first name if it is the same as their legal first name.

The displaying of preferred first name was made available in April 2016. When a student provides a preferred first name, it changes their first name as it appears in certain locations. In general, updates will occur within one day but some may take up to two weeks.

While the university is continuing to explore future options for displaying preferred first name, there have already been many updates completed. In moving forward, progress of changes and what is being planned for the future will continue to be maintained on this website in an effort to keep the entire campus community informed.

Places Where Preferred First Name is Used:

  • Advisor Self Service (Advisee Photos, Advisee listing)
  • AppSync - Clubs and Organizations system
  • AsULearn - Course Management system
  • Clockworks
  • Counseling Center Check-in
  • Email Display Name (Google)
  • Faculty Self Service (Class Photos, Rosters, Final Grade Worksheets)
  • Financial Aid Check-in
  • Housing Management System
  • Medicat - Student Health Services system
  • Online Campus Directory
  • Student Self Service - Display confirmation page
  • Student Self Service - Name Display

Future Preferred First Name Use Planned:

  • ASU AppCard (Student ID)
  • Campus Reporting
  • Degreeworks
  • MapWorks - Academic Career Management system
  • Other Student Auxiliary Systems

Places Where Legal First Name Must Be Used:

  • Diploma
  • Enrollment/Degree inquiries, such as verification requests
  • Financial Aid (Legal paperwork/records)
  • Official and Unofficial Transcripts
  • Payroll/Human Resources Employment Documents
  • Some student Auxiliary systems (Jump Forward, Terra Dotta)
  • Student Accounts

How to Indicate Your Preferred First Name?

To indicate your preferred first name, login to AppalNet and click on the Self Service Tab. From there, click on the Personal Information Tab, then Preferred First Name. Enter your Preferred First Name and be sure to hit Update your Preferred First Name to ensure it has been saved.