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Prep Student/Parent I.D. Cards

Penguin Pass is the official identification card of New England Conservatory—required for access to essential campus services. New students should request a card when you begin your studies, 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.

Returning Students

Returning Prep students who have been issued an ID card may continue to use their NEC Prep ID from previous years.

Lost IDs

If you’ve already been issued an ID and have lost it, you must obtain a replacement ID. There is a $15.00 fee for replacement IDs, payable by cash or check (made out to New England Conservatory) at the Prep Office (SB 120).

New Students

Incoming Preparatory School students are required to submit a photograph via e-mail to The image should be attached to an e-mail message containing your full legal name, date of birth, and NEC I.D. number. The photo you submit should be a recent (within 6 months) likeness of you against a plain—preferably white—background. Students who have e-mailed a photograph will receive an e-mail notifying you when your Penguin Pass I.D. is ready for pickup at the Prep office. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for processing.

Requirements for the Photo

  • Photo should be in color, and recent enough to be a good likeness of you—ideally, taken within the last six months.
  • You must be the only person in the photo.
  • Photo must be a headshot that measures at least one inch in width at high resolution.
  • Photo must be clear, facing forward, full face, from the top of head to at least mid chest-level, taken in normal street attire without a hat or sunglasses or any other obstruction of the face, including head resting on hands.
  • Photo should be taken against a plain, light background, preferably white.
  • See example of correctly prepared photo in sample Penguin Pass shown above.
  • Digital photo must be in .jpg file format.


Parents of NEC Preparatory School students do not receive Penguin Passes, but may pick up Prep Parent I.D.s at the Prep office.

Uses for Your Penguin Pass

  • Identification
  • Dining
  • Library Privileges
  • Access to Campus Buildings via card access entrances
  • Cashless Purchases at Laundry Facilities, Vending Machines, Print Shop, 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. Be sure that you or your parents add value to your Cold Cash account prior to arriving on campus. Additional value can be added at any time.

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.

Contact Us

To replace a lost or stolen Penguin Pass, contact NEC Prep at 617-585-1160.

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 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Or via email at