Student Preferred First Name

Student Preferred First Name Policy at Texas A&M University

A preferred first name is a name by which you are normally addressed, and is different from your legal first name. Texas A&M University  allows a student to provide a preferred first name that will be used in place of the legal first name for certain University functions and records. Submitting a preferred first name for common use will not remove or alter the legal first name. For information about changing your legal name, please refer to the Student Name Change information on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Applicants who indicate a preferred first name on the application for admission will automatically have their preferred first name entered in the Texas A&M University student information system. Current and former students may add a preferred name using the “My Information” icon in Howdy. Click the “Edit” option in the upper right corner of the “Personal Details” section, and enter your preferred first name in the “Preferred First Name” field. 

While preferred first names do not require approval from the University for use, Texas A&M officials reserve the right to review preferred first name records. Preferred first names that are deemed by the Student Conduct Office as inappropriate for reasons including, but not limited to, avoidance of a legal obligation, fraud, use of obscene or offensive language, or misrepresentation will be removed and their use ceased. Students using preferred first names in this manner may also be subject to conduct sanctions.

A preferred first name may not be used where use of the legal name is required by policies applicable to the University, the State of Texas or in accordance with local, state, or federal laws and regulations.

Examples of where preferred first names are used:
  • Class rosters
  • Student Self-Service in Howdy
  • Learning Management System
Examples of where the legal name will be used:
  • Official Transcripts
  • Diplomas and Certificates
  • Scholarships & Financial Aid records
  • Tax documents
For questions about this policy, please refer to the Office of the Registrar at
Texas A&M University defines student name as directory information. As such, both legal and preferred first names may be disclosed without prior consent. A student who does not want names disclosed can withhold directory information by selecting the “My Information” icon in Howdy. This is subject to certain exceptions, including those university officials with a legitimate educational interest. It is important to know that withholding directory information may prevent the University from verifying your student status (e.g., for the purposes of insurance verifications or employment), certifying your degree, or publishing your name in the commencement program without prior written consent.