About the National Name Exchange

Managed by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Name Exchange (NNE) aims to expand access to graduate education for the purposes of creating a robust and nimble workforce. Founded in 1976, it began as a consortium of fifty-five nationally-known universities which annually collected and exchanged the names of their underrepresented students who were in their sophomore, junior or senior year of their undergraduate education. Its focus is on removing barriers to access for those students historically underrepresented in higher education including first-generation students, veterans, racial and ethnic minorities, specific genders in some fields, and other groups. NNE seeks to broaden graduate school attainment with a multi-pronged approach including:

  • A student toolkit that includes information and strategies for applying to and succeeding in graduate school
  • A network of participating CGS member institutions that share information about their programs as well as offering benefits to students enrolled in NNE (such as application fee waivers)
  • A social media network that students can use to share information and strategies with each other
  • Providing accurate data to higher education researchers to better understand graduate education and workforce development

Students enrolling in NNE agree to share their data with participating higher education institutions as well as researchers from CGS and NSF.

For Students
For Students
For Institutions
For Institutions
2024 Participating Institutions
View Institution List

2024 NNE Enrollment is Now Open!

Enroll now to start your grad school journey. If this is your first time accessing the form, you will be prompted to make a CGS account.

Watch: About the National Name Exchange

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For more information about the National Name Exchange, please contact Matt Linton.


The National Name Exchange is generously supported by the National Science Foundation (grant #2331287). Read about what the funding is allowing the NNE to do in their press release.