Chosen Name Frequently Asked Questions

What is a chosen name

Individuals may desire to be addressed by a name that is different than their legal name. Creating an inclusive environment is part of Kent State University’s mission statement, and we recognize that some use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves. Kent State University has established a process for identifying a chosen name.

The chosen name will be used where possible in the course of University business. There are places where the legal name will continue to be used for University business or legal needs. Those who are utilizing the chosen name should always be prepared to reference their legal name as well as provide their university identification when necessary.

Only the first and middle names can be updated with a chosen name. Last names cannot be updated through the chosen name process.

IS A CHOSEN NAME required

No. The ability to be called by a name that is familiar to an individual but is not their legal name aligns with Kent State's "Student First" goal. If an individual regularly uses their legal name, there is no reason to request a chosen name.

how IS A CHOSEN NAME Requested

A chosen name is requested through FlashLine. Please follow these instructions:

  1. Log into FlashLine
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on the Chosen Name Request link
  4. Complete and submit the request form

Can any name be requested as a CHOSEN NAME

No. The University has the authority to deny the request for a chosen name. They also have the right to remove a chosen name at any time.

Only the first and middle names can be updated with a chosen name. Last names cannot be updated through the chosen name process.

CAN A LAST NAME BE CHANGED USING THE CHOSEN NAME PROCESS

No. Only the first and middle names can be updated with a chosen name. Last names cannot be updated through the chosen name process.

CAN A CHOSEN NAME include special characters

Yes. The chosen first name is limited to at least one alphabetical character (A-Z or a-z), and can include the following special characters: apostrophe, hyphen. The chosen middle name can be blank or can be at least one alphabetical character (A-Z or a-z), and can include the following special characters: apostrophe, hyphen.

will the CHOSEN NAME be used everywhere at Kent state

No. The chosen name will be used where possible in the course of University business. There are places where the legal name will continue to be used for University business or legal needs. Those who are utilizing the chosen name should always be prepared to reference their legal name as well as provide their university identification when necessary. A listing of where the chosen name will be used may be found by visiting the Chosen Name page.

will the CHOSEN NAME show in blackboard

Yes. Once the chose name is approved, allow up to two business days for the chosen name to show in Blackboard.

will the chosen name show on the rosters

Yes. The approved chosen name will be shown on all class and grade rosters. If a student's chosen name is approved in the current term, instructor(s) will receive an email notification that a student has an approved chosen name. Rosters will now reflect this change. It is expected that the instructors will address the student by the chosen name. If the class rosters have been printed, please note the change or print a new roster.

will the CHOSEN NAME appear in the directory

Yes. Once a chosen name is approved, it will appear in the directory. It is possible to search by either the legal or chosen name. The chosen name will be the only result returned in the search. 

will the CHOSEN NAME appear in the kent.edu email

Individuals can change their display name of their kent.edu email address. Please contact TechHelp at either support.kent.edu or at 330-672-HELP.

will the kent.edu email address be changed with the approval of A CHOSEN NAME

No. The creation of the kent.edu email addressed is based on an algorithm and is assigned when a student is initially admitted or employed. An individual can, at any time, change their display name of their kent.edu email address. Please contact TechHelp at either support.kent.edu or at 330-672-HELP.

WILL it be known if a CHOSEN NAME request has been processed

Once a decision has been made to approve or deny the request for a chosen name, an email is sent to the individual's kent.edu email address which will give the status and next steps. 

Can a CHOSEN NAME be requested multiple times

The chosen name request process is not intended to entertain repeated requests for a chosen name change. Additional requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Individuals are encouraged to state the reason to change from one chosen name to another in the comments section of the request form. The chosen name is not intended to be used for purposes of fraud or misrepresentation. The University has the authority to deny any request or remove a chosen name. 

how CAN A CHOSEN NAME BE removed

An individual is able to request their chosen name be deleted by accessing the chosen name request form via FlashLine. 

What is the process for changing a legal name

The criteria and required documentation to legally change a student's name is available on the Office of the University Registrar's webpage at http://www.kent.edu/registrar/update-personal-information.  

The criteria and required documentation to legally change an employee's name is available on the Human Resources Forms Library webpage at https://www.kent.edu/hr/benefits/benefits-forms. Under the Benefit Notification section, please select the Change of Personal Information (PDF).

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR having the chosen name appear on the flashcard

Once a chosen name has been approved, allow two business days for the name to appear in the systems. It is highly recommended that a new FlashCard is obtained with the chosen name as soon as possible. The chosen name will be on the front of the card and the legal name will be printed on the back of the card.  

is there a cost to have a new flashcard created with a chosen name

No. There will not be a charge to reissue a FlashCard when a chosen name has been approved. You will need to surrender your old FlashCard to receive the new card.  

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR a regional campus individual to request a new flashcard when a CHOSEN NAME has been approved

The individual will need to visit the Student Services area of their regional campus for assistance in obtaining their new FlashCard. You will have to surrender your old FlashCard to receive the new card.

My Flashcard is connected to a PNC bank account. what do I need to do?

Once your FlashCard has been reissued, you are able to sync your new card with your PNC account by either visiting the PNC location in the Student Center or visiting pnc.com/kentstate.  

how does the CHOSEN name process affect THOSE WITH AN f-1 and j-1

Chosen name is for use within the university community. International students may feel free to select a chosen name for on-campus use. However, this does not apply in situations where one's legal name is required to be used. For the purpose of F-1 and J-1 student visa status, the legal name must be used on I-20s and DDS-2019s. An individual's legal name is what appears on the passport.