Preferred (Chosen) Name for Students

Preferred (Chosen) Name

A student may choose a first name other than their legal name to identify themselves at OTC.  A preferred (chosen) name is different than the student’s legal name.  Students may identify a preferred (chosen) first name through any of the following processes:

  • By identifying a preferred name in the “my contact” section of myOTC.
  • By completing the Change of Student Information form and submitting to Student Services
  • By identifying a preferred first name on the OTC application for admission

OTC reserves the right to deny or remove a preferred (chosen) name for any reason, including but not limited to misuse, misrepresentation, attempting to avoid legal obligation, or the use of inappropriate or offensive names, with or without notice.

Under FERPA, a student’s name, including preferred (chosen) name may be disclosed to the public as directory information unless the student opts not to permit such disclosure.  To revoke the disclosure of directory information or to learn more about FERPA, visit our
FERPA website.

Adding a preferred (chosen) name does not change a student’s official name as part of their educational record.  A student’s official name at OTC is their legal name.  Use the Change of Student Information form to update your legal name.

College infrastructure is multi-faceted and complex.  Each system at OTC is evaluated individually to determine if preferred (chosen) name or legal name is required.

Preferred (chosen) name is used when addressing students in person or through select web portal screens.  Typically preferred (chosen) name is present for in-person point of service or classroom settings. OTC systems that use preferred (chosen) name include:

  • Account Information Page
  • Canvas
  • Colleague (Datatel)
    • Context Card
    • Communications Management (when correct chosen name merge field is selected)
  • EverFi
  • Informer (Will depend on how the query was written)
  • myOTC – Advising/Student Planning, Class Rosters, Schedule (advisor view only) and welcome message
  • OTC Email Address (see an example for Sally Student who has a preferred name of Mary)
    • Display name will update immediately (example: Student, Sally)
    • User name initials (example: ms0123456) will update once a semester)
  • OTC Web Store
  • PageUp
  • Team Dynamics (Help Desk)
  • Time Clock Plus (only on the first import)
  • Tutor Track
  • Student Success
  • StuData (S&A Drives)
  • Web-Apps

Legal name is used when dealing with legal resources such as tax or financial information.  Typically legal name occurs on legal forms or third-party portals.  OTC systems that currently use Legal Name include:

  • myOTC (Financial Aid and Student Accounts portals)
  • Nelnet
  • Paypal
  • Commerce Manager
  • Maxient
  • Ratex (Bookstore)
  • Bank Mobile/Smart Card
  • Award Spring

Campus systems are evaluated as they are identified by IT and the Registrar’s Office.  If you have a campus computer system that you would like evaluated for the use of either preferred (chosen) or legal name, please submit that request to

Last reviewed: 03/07/2019