Hofstra University

Chosen Name Policy

Hofstra University recognizes that students may choose to identify themselves by a First Name other than their Legal Name. For this reason, students may request the use of a Chosen Name where possible in the course of University business and education, provided the name is not for inappropriate purposes, such as misrepresentation or fraud. The request is made using the form discussed below. Students may also request use of a Chosen Name via the admission process by indicating their Chosen Name on the admission application. This is an opportunity afforded to all students and requesting use of a Chosen Name does not indicate that a student is a member of a particular cultural or identity group.

  • A Chosen Name is a first name a student wishes to be known by in the Hofstra community that is different from a student's Legal Name.
  • A Legal Name is the full name that appears on an individual's passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, U.S. Social Security Card, or other government issued identification.
  • Hofstra's policy covers Chosen First Names. Last Names can be changed only with a legal name change.  For more information about legal name changes, please contact Student Financial Services and the Registrar, Suite, 206 Memorial Hall, via email at registrar@hofstra.edu, online at www.hofstra.edu/sfs/registrar, or by phone (516) 463- 8000, option 2.

Students may choose to identify a Chosen First Name in addition to the Legal Name. To request the use of a chosen First and/or Middle Name:

  1. Print and complete the form available here: at www.hofstra.edu/sfs/chosenname
  2. Submit the form to the Registrar via e-mail to registrar@hofstra.edu, or in person during business hours in 206 Memorial Hall.

Apart from the form, no formal documentation is required to support a Chosen Name request. Students will also have the opportunity to request use of a Chosen Name through the admission process by indicating their Chosen Name on the application in the space provided.  A request for a Chosen Name will not be approved if it contains inappropriate or offensive language, or is otherwise inappropriate, such as for purpose of misrepresentation or fraud. Students will receive an e-mail sent to their Pride account, notifying them when their Chosen name has been updated in the University's system. (For students who indicated their Chosen Name on the admission application, the Chosen Name will automatically be listed in the University's system.) In the event that a request is denied for one of the reasons listed above, the student will be notified in writing and may receive a Referral to Community Standards. The University reserves the right to remove a Chosen Name if used inappropriately, including if used for misrepresentation or fraud.

Upon approval, the student's Chosen Name may be used in many University contexts, including class rosters and Blackboard, as described below. The University will endeavor to display Chosen Names to the University community where feasible, except where the use of the legal name is necessitated by University business and/or legal requirements. In the event that your Chosen Name is not displaying correctly, please contact the Office of the Registrar. If members of the University community do not use your Chosen Name, please communicate to them directly your preference that you be called by your Chosen Name. Should members of the University community have any issues regarding Chosen Name implementation, please contact the Dean of Students Office. The University will periodically review the areas where the Chosen Name is used, and reserves the right to make changes to this Policy and/or the areas where the Chosen Name appears.

Where Chosen Names will be Displayed

The University will endeavor to display Chosen Names to the University community where feasible, except where the use of the legal name is necessitated by University business and/or   legal requirements. Examples include:

  • ADP Enterprise eTime
  • Advising Rosters (when systems permit)
  • Blackboard
  • Blackboard discussion groups
  • Class Rosters
  • DegreeWorks
  • Grade Rosters
  • Handshake
  • HofCard (at student’s option)
  • NAVIGATE
  • Pride e-mail
  • Residence Life Housing Rosters and Door Decorations
  • Public Directory (unless a FERPA information block has been requested) 
  • GetInvolvedHU
  • Mailings to a student’s home may contain chosen name

Where Legal Names will be Displayed

A Legal Name will be used in business and other processes or related systems that require use of a Legal Name. The most common areas where Hofstra will use a student's Legal Name are:

  • Admission Letters
  • Any Payroll or tax-related documents
  • Athletics Rosters
  • Diplomas
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Employment documents (e.g. paychecks)
  • Enrollment/degree verification
  • Financial Aid/Student Account (e.g. loan-related documents, refunds of credit balances)
  • International Student Affairs Documentation
  • Accounts Payable documents (e.g. student reimbursements)
  • Transcripts
  • Mailings to a student’s home may contain legal name
  • Select student-facing screens within the Hofstra portal

Chosen First Name and Legal Name

An approved Chosen Name does not change a Legal Name. For more information about legal name changes, please contact Student Financial Services and the Registrar Suite, 206 Memorial Hall, via email at registrar@hofstra.edu, online at www.hofstra.edu/sfs/registrar, or by phone (516) 463-8000, option 2. See also resource listed below.

Access to a Legal Name at Hofstra

Access to a student's Legal Name will be limited to those with administrative need.

Chosen Name and the Student ID Card

Replacing a student identification card (HofCard) to display a Chosen Name is an option for students, but is not a requirement. However, if for any reason, a student replaces a HofCard after designating a Chosen Name, the Chosen Name will appear on the HofCard. (Note, Student ID cards with Chosen Names may not be used as legal identification for the student.)

In order to receive a new HofCard with a Chosen Name, a student must follow these steps:

  1. Make a Chosen Name request by printing and completing the Chosen Name Request form available at www.hofstra.edu/sfs/chosenname , and submitting it via e-mail to the Student Financial Services and Registrar Suite at registrar@hofstra.edu, or in person during business hours in 206 Memorial Hall.
  2. Upon notification that a Chosen Name has been updated in Banner, go to Hofstra Card Services in Room 110 of the Student Center, to obtain a replacement card. Students will not be charged for the first replacement HofCard that is issued as a result of an approved Chosen Name change request. Subsequent replacement cards follow standard replacement guidelines.

For More Information:

Questions about requesting a chosen Name may be directed to the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion at IEI@hofstra.edu, or the Title IX Coordinator for Student Issues at StudentTitlelX@hofstra.edu.

For information about legal name change procedures in New York State, see: http://nycourts.gov/CourtHeIp/NameChange/index.shtml (link is external)

Important Note: This policy does not form a contract or confer rights of any kind and Hofstra University reserves the right at its discretion to change or rescind any of the statements, procedures, regulations, or conditions contained herein without prior notice.

Rev. 06/2021