Penguin Pass

Update Your Penguin Pass

Your Campus Credentials

Penguin Pass is the official identification card of New England Conservatory—required for access to essential campus services. New students receive a card when you arrive for the fall semester, and you should carry the card at all times while on campus. The Penguin Pass is also used as a primary mode of identification by faculty, staff, and others associated with NEC. Students, staff and faculty members are required to present their penguin pass upon entering any of the campus facilities.

New Students

Incoming students should UPLOAD A PHOTO by clicking HERE.  The photo you submit should be a recent (within 6 months) likeness of you against a plain—preferably white—background. More specific details regarding the requirements of your identification photo can be found here. Upon arriving at NEC, students who have e-mailed a photograph before orientation will obtain their Penguin Pass in their orientation packets.  Students who were unable to submit a photo before orientation will have a photo taken upon arrival. 


Uses for Your Penguin Pass

  • Identification
  • Dining
  • Library Privileges
  • Access to Campus Buildings via card access entrances
  • Cashless Purchases at Laundry Facilities, Vending Machines, and Public Copiers
  • Cashless Purchases at Local Businesses

Cold Cash

Cold Cash is a prepaid spending account on the Penguin Pass offering a safe and convenient way to make cashless purchases on and around campus. Cold Cash offers a great way for you to manage spending while at the Conservatory. There are no costs or fees to use Cold Cash, a complimentary service provided by New England Conservatory.

Benefits of Cold Cash

  • Convenient—Make purchases with the ID Card you already carry. No need to carry cash, exact change or debit/credit cards.
  • Prepaid—Only spend what’s in the account. The balance is immediately adjusted as you use your card.
  • Fast and Easy to Use—Just swipe and go at self service locations or present to the cashier for payment.
  • Easy to Add Value—Add funds to Cold Cash by cash, check or debit/credit card—via mail, web, phone, or in person at the NEC Business Office.
  • 24/7 Account Access—Add value, view transactions, and more! Once registered you are in total control of your account 24/7 via online login.
  • Recurring Allowance—Create your own schedule to automatically add value to Cold Cash—a great budgeting tool for students and parents!
  • Safe & Secure—If your Penguin Pass is lost, the account can be suspended immediately and value transferred to a new card.
  • Carries Over—Add value with confidence knowing funds carry over from semester to semester and year to year for as long as you are at New England Conservatory.

Students: Be Ready for the Start of the Fall Semester

Be sure that you or your parents add value to your Cold Cash account prior to arriving on campus for the fall semester. By adding value to Cold Cash this summer, you’ll ensure you are ready for the start of classes. Additional value can be added at any time.

Contact Us

How to submit your photo by e-mail.

To replace a lost or stolen Penguin Pass, contact NEC Building Operations at 617-585-1180.

If you have any questions about your Cold Cash account, please contact the Penguin Pass Service Center at 1-866-434-5443, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET or via email at

If you are a merchant that accepts NEC's Penguin Pass for Cold Cash payments, you can get 24/7 support from CardSmith’s Merchant services at 1-877-711-9089. You will receive a live answer Mon–Fri, 8am-6pm, or after hours pager service to the technician on call.