Ball State University recognizes that many members of our community prefer to use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. The University is committed to using a self-identified preferred first name for an individual in our community wherever possible.

However, there are certain legal documents and communications that require or have been identified to use an individual’s legal first name. The student’s preferred first name may be used in university-related systems and documents except where the use of the legal name is required by law.

Legal Name

  • Billing statement
  • Enrollment verification
  • Financial aid documents
  • Immigration documents
  • Medical Documents
  • Official correspondence with external entities
  • Official/unofficial academic transcripts
  • Paychecks/W9s/1098T/Tax forms

Preferred Name

  • Class/grade rosters
  • Commencement program
  • Dean's list
  • Ebill website
  • Email display/username
  • ID card
  • Online student directory
  • Housing & Residence Life rosters

How to change your preferred name?

Students may submit a preferred first name using their BSU-issued email credentials on Self Service Banner (SSB). Follow these steps to update any personal information via SSB. The legal last name (surname) will remain unchanged and will be included with the preferred first name. Preferred first names are limited to alphabetical characters, a hyphen (-), and a space. Click here for step-by-step directions to update your preferred name.

The University reserves the right to deny submission of a preferred name if it is inappropriate in nature. Any preferred first name used as misrepresentation or fraud can result in disciplinary action in accordance with University policy.  

Additional Information

The Office of Inclusive Excellence has a vast set of resources available for students, faculty, staff, and professional staff. Click here for more information regarding the use of preferred names.