Many individuals on campus have expressed a desire to be known by a first name different than their legal first name. This different name would be a chosen first name.
Chosen First Name
It is the practice of Villanova University that any student, faculty, or staff may choose to be identified within the University community with a chosen first name that may differ from the individual's legal first name. We encourage you to review the full version of the Chosen Name Policy.
Individuals who want to use a chosen first name should initiate this process in myNOVA.
A person's chosen first name will appear instead of, or in addition to, the person's legal first name in University-related systems and documents where it is technically feasible and where the use of the legal first name is not required or necessary by University business or any legal need.
Villanova University reserves the right to deny or remove any chosen first name for any reason; including, but not limited to, misuse, misrepresentation, attempting to avoid legal obligation, or the use of offensive names, with or without notice.
Under Villanova University’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) policy, a student's full name (including chosen and legal first names) is identified, along with other items, as directory information and may be disclosed to the public without the student's consent unless the student opts not to permit such disclosure. Case of public disclosure include, but are not limited to, mailings that go to a physical or email address shared with parents/guardians and other family members. To revoke the disclosure of directory information, a student has the option of restricting this access. Please refer to the Confidentiality Request available from the Office of the Registrar’s website.
Adding and/or editing your Chosen First Name
Current students, faculty and staff can add or edit a Chosen First Name via the "Personal Information" page in their myNOVA account:
- Log into myNOVA and enter ‘Personal Information’ in the search box
- Select "Personal Information" from the resulting task list.
- Once you are in the Personal Information channel, select the "Edit" icon in the "Personal Details" section.
- In the new window, the space for you to enter your chosen first name is located below "Date of Birth."
- Select "Update" once finished.
Chosen First Name and Email Display, Global Address List
24 hours after submitting a Chosen Name update in myNOVA, students display name for their villanova.edu email address will be updated. This update affects email display name only, it does not change the student’s email address or login ID. The Global Address List display name (user name on PC and laptops) uses chosen name and changes could take a few days to update here.
Villanova Systems and Offices Using Chosen First Name
The chart below indicates which Villanova administrative systems and offices are currently using chosen first names, and which are not incorporating this information. This listing will be updated as new listings and more systems are updated:
Currently Using Chosen First Name
Not Using a Chosen First Name
|As of March 7, 2022
Office of the Bursar (including vBill and refunds)
(Both chosen and legal names used)
|Dean of Students
(Both chosen and legal names used)
National Student Clearinghouse
Email Display Name
National Student Loan Data Systems
Office of Financial Assistance
Global Address List (GAL) - User name display on PC
|Reporting to any entity external to Villanova University
(Both chosen and legal names used)
*You may list a chosen or legal first name to be printed on your diploma. Please be advised that in some situations, the name appearing on your diploma may need to match other legal documents you possess. If that is the case, you may need to have your legal name printed on your diploma.
University-wide administrative reports will be updated over a period of time.
For all other offices/systems/processes not listed above, you should assume your legal name is being utilized.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Your chosen first name will be used in cases where your legal name is not necessary. The University’s phased implementation of the chosen first name policy began in the Spring of 2022 and will be applied to additional systems and pages over time. In some cases, your chosen first name may appear alongside your legal name. This is to ensure that the implementation provides a consistent name experience across University systems and that the use of your chosen first name is everywhere, except when technically unfeasible and/or legally necessary.
Some examples of when your legal name is necessary include, but may not be limited to, financial assistance documents, vBill statements, payroll and employment documents, and federal immigration documents. In some cases when you provide a chosen first name, it may be necessary to clarify that your chosen first name is different than your legal name. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, official interactions with police, University public safety, and/or other law enforcement officials, and verification of medical records.
Once a chosen first name is indicated in myNova, individuals may obtain a Villanova University Wildcard Identification (ID) with the chosen first name printed on the card in place of the legal name.
The first Wildcard issued with a chosen first name will be printed at no additional cost for the individual as long as the original Wildcard is returned to the Wildcard Office in Dougherty Hall at time of issuance of the chosen first name Wildcard.
The Villanova ID that is printed with the chosen first name may be used as a valid identification card within the University. However, the Villanova University ID may not be used as an alternative to a legal ID, as it is not a valid legal form of identification. The use of a Villanova University ID to misrepresent an individual’s legal identity, in any circumstance, will be considered misuse and may result in disciplinary action.
Please note that most automated systems at Villanova University will be updated within 24 hours with your new information. Please allow at least 24 hours after indicating a chosen first name in myNova before attempting to obtain a new Villanova University Wildcard.
You are free to determine the chosen first name you want to be known by in the University’s information system.
The University reserves the right to deny or remove any chosen name for any reason, including but not limited to misuse, misrepresentation, attempting to avoid legal obligation, or the use of offensive names, with or without notice.
The University reserves the right to change a chosen first name back to the student’s legal name when it is deemed inappropriate. In such an instance, the student will receive an email advising them of the decision to revert the name.
No, your last name will continue to be your legal last name. Only a chosen first name may be provided.
University systems that read data directly for the University’s information system will display the chosen first name immediately. Third-Party systems may take up to 24 hours to display your chosen first name because a job process must run to feed the data to the system. Each third-party system and data feed is different.
As often as you wish. There is no restriction while you are an actively enrolled student. However, the University strongly encourages the limitation of frequent changes to avoid confusion. Once your enrollment ceases, you will not be able to update your chosen first name settings.
Yes, your chosen first name is directory information and may be used instead of a legal name; such cases include, but are not limited to, mailings that go to a physical or email address that you share with your parents/guardians and other family members.
Also, if you have granted your parents/guardians access to your student account via Parent Proxy, they will have access to your chosen name as well.
This update affects email display name only. At this time, student email addresses, login ID and the default zoom system names cannot be changed. Users may customize their own zoom name upon use.