Preferred names at PCC

You can use your preferred first name instead of your legal first name in most systems at PCC. Using preferred first names for each other helps students thrive in a community that supports their identities.

Updating your pronouns

If you also want to update your pronouns, see pronouns at PCC.

What is a preferred name?

Your preferred first name is the name you go by in day-to-day life. It could be a nickname, a shortened version of your name, or a name you self-identify with but haven’t opted to change legally.

How to change your preferred name

You can set your preferred name in the admissions application or by using the Update preferred name form. You can make changes to your preferred name once per term.

Where your preferred name will be used

The following systems display your preferred name instead of your legal name:

  • Class rosters and grading tools used by faculty
  • Display name in Google Suite (Google Calendar, Gmail, Meet, Drive, and Docs)
  • Optional: PCC email address and username. When you update your preferred name, you will have the choice to also update your email address and username used for any PCC login. For example, your address could change from to You will still be able to view and receive emails from your previous address after the update happens.
  • Optional: PCC ID card. When you get your ID card, you can specify if you want to use your preferred name or legal name. Check with the authority in question if you plan to rely on the PCC ID as legal or photo identification.

Preferred name will be used whenever possible. However, some records such as official transcripts and financial aid documents require the use of a legal name. In those cases, we have to use a legal name to comply with state or federal law.

Get help or report problems

Email for help if something goes wrong during the update process or if you have questions when submitting a preferred name change request.

Why am I still getting email at my old address?

If you exchanged email with someone before your name change, that person may have your old contact info saved in their personal contact list. If someone is sending messages to your old account, ask them to update your info in their contact list:

  1. Have them go to their contacts page
  2. Search for your name
  3. Click edit and delete any old addresses or names

Next time they email you, Gmail will use your newer address and name.


PCC reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is used improperly. Improper use means anything that would be legally improper: for example, changing a name to avoid paying fines, avoid legal obligations, or misrepresent yourself.

Preferred names cannot contain inappropriate or offensive language. Preferred names must adhere to database character standards used by college systems.

Updating your legal name

Submit the following documents if your legal name has changed and you need to update your college record. You can bring the documents to an Enrollment Services office or email them to

  • A signed copy of the name change form
  • One piece of valid photo ID
  • A copy of the official name change document (marriage license, divorce decree, immigration documents, etc.)

Need help navigating the legal name change process? Check out the PCC Legal Resource Center: a free legal clinic that can help with legal name changes.