Preferred name

Many members of the WCC community use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves. Students and employees will have a choice of displaying their preferred first name instead of their legal first name. Generally, it will take 2-3 business days to process your request to add a preferred first name.

The addition of a preferred name will be almost immediate in some systems; others may take additional time based on system configurations. WCC reserves the right to decline inappropriate preferred names, preferred names with numbers or symbols, or remove a preferred name if it is used inappropriately. NOTE: Some students may not be able to select a preferred name due to such factors as legal constraints.

Your legal name will still appear on records that require a legal name such as transcripts, payroll, financial aid records, disbursement checks, etc.

To add a preferred name

Current students or applicants

  • Log into your MyWCC account
  • Select the Student Services tab
  • Select the NEW: Student Services Dashboard
  • Under the General Heading choose Personal Information
  • Use the edit pencil to open the field and add your preferred name
  • Then choose update


  • Visit Human Resources in BE 120.

The College reserves the right to modify this procedure at any time.

Where will my preferred name appear?


  • Class rosters
  • Photo ID
  • MyWCC
  • BlackBoard
  • Certain non-legal communications from the College to you


  • Photo ID
  • College Catalog
  • Faculty & Staff Directory
  • Course Schedule
  • Certain ORAWEB Reports


Over time, the College may add or adjust the list of where a preferred name appears.

Preferred name FAQs

Q. Can any member of the Washtenaw Community College community set a preferred name?
A. Yes, any student, faculty or staff member may opt to use a preferred name within the guidelines of this procedure.

Q. Can I set my preferred name to whatever I want?
A. Generally yes. For example, employees and students may use a nickname; variation of a given name, first name, middle name, forename, surname; regardless of gender. The College reserves the right to decline or remove a preferred name if it is inappropriate, contains symbols or numbers, or is used inappropriately.

Q. Can I use my preferred name for everything at WCC?
A. No. Your legal name will continue to be used in business processes that require use of the legal name, such as for payroll, tax forms, financial aid, student employment, accounting records, student transcripts, and degree or certificate diplomas.

Q. Are there situations or reasons why I may not be able to use a preferred name?
A.  Yes, below are two examples:

  1. Allied Health students will be able to use a preferred name when on campus (student photo ID, rosters, etc.) however, their legal name (which is the name used for background checks) will be the name provided to off-campus sites and the legal name will also be used on their Allied Health photo ID card.
  2. Students whose name displays on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry will not be able to use a preferred name.

Q. Who will have access to my legal name?
A. Your legal name is accessible to WCC employees that are designated to have access to all, or portions of, your student or employee record.

Q. Will there be a charge to add a preferred name?
A. No, there is no charge. The cost to have a new WCC Staff or Student photo ID card will be waived (for the first change).

Q. What if I wish to change my current preferred name to a new preferred name?
A. You may remove a previously added preferred name at any time and revert to your legal name. For your first request to add a preferred name, the photo ID fee is waived. The photo ID replacement charge is applied for any subsequent changes to your preferred name. You are limited to the addition of one preferred name per year.

Preferred name limitations

College will not permit a preferred name if:

  • The preferred name contains symbols or characters not in the standard 26 letter alphabet. Preferred names with punctuation are at the discretion of the College.
  • The preferred name carries a connotation that is profane, obscene; is a swear word or depicts a swear word;
  • It is sexually explicit or graphic;
  • It is excretory-related;
  • It is used to describe intimate body parts or genitals;
  • It is used to describe alcohol, alcohol use, drugs, drug use, or drug culture;
  • It is used to describe illegal activities or illegal substances;
  • It is used to describe or identify gang life or activities;
  • It is used to substantially interfere with an individual’s identification;
  • It is used to disparage or promote or condone hate or violence directed at any type of business, group, person, or persons;
  • It represents a foreign word falling into any of these categories;
  • It represents an actual or phonetic spelling of a word prohibited under any of these categories;
  • It represents a standard, chat, or other abbreviation of a word prohibited under any of these categories.

The College reserves the right to limit the number of characters in a preferred name.