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EIU Center For Gender and Sexual Diversity

EIU Preferred Name Policy

In 2015, EIU implemented a preferred name policy in order to embrace a person's chosen name, rather than one they may have been assigned at birth. The preferred name is used only on internal systems. External systems, such as financial aid reporting with the government and teacher licensure records use the legal name.

Places Where Preferred First Name is Used

  • Panther Card
  • PAWS (select screens only)
  • Email account display name (this will take 24 hours and does not alter netid)
  • EIU Online
  • Degree Audit Reporting System (not yet implemented)
  • Grade Reports
  • Advisee Lists
  • Diploma (preferred or legal name can be indicated on graduation application)
  • Directory Listing (unless you have a Request to Withhold  Directory Information in place)

Places Where Legal First Name is Used

  • Student Accounts
  • Financial Aid
  • Responses to enrollment inquiries such as verification requests (unless you have a Request to Withhold Directory Information in place)
  • Transcript
  • College of Education teacher licensure records

There is a $10 replacement fee for your Panther Card if you have one to turn in. If you lost your Panther Card there is a $20 replacement fee, both fees are charged to your student account.

Keeping your Legal Name Private:

If you do not want EIU to share your legal name with external organizations, you have the option to Request to Withhold Directory Information. By completing this form, you will revoke the University's right to share your information with any outside source. The form is available at and must be printed, signed and returned to the Office of the Registrar, Room 1220 Old Main. 

It is important to know that choosing to submit a Request to Withhold Directory Information means individuals will not be listed in the directory, will not be included in the commencement program, and the University cannot confirm the student status (e.g., for the purposes of credit card and insurance verifications, etc.). For more information, please contact the Office of the Registrar’s Office at 581-3511.  

It is not possible to change the legal name to preferred in the EIU system yet list the legal name in the directory. 


To set a preferred name:

  1. Log into PAWS (you can find that link from the EIU home page)
  2. Click on Personal Information 
  3. Click on Change Preferred First Name (it is 4th from the bottom)
  4. Read through the information, it will give you all the information you need to know about our Preferred Name policy here at EIU, and at the bottom of the page, you will type in your preferred first name. 

After you submit the form, it will take about 24 for systems to update, but your NetID username will not change.

For more information please visit the EIU Preferred First Name page. 

This information is taken from the Eastern Illinois University Preferred First Name page from the Office of the Registrar. Last Updated: 8/21/2018.

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