Information for IT Support Staff

Technical Information for IT Support Staff

Technical Help for IT Support Staff

IT support staff in schools and center should contact ISC Client Care with PennKey-related technical questions and concerns.

Guest PennKey Account Request Information

Guests of the University can be sponsored for Guest PennKeys.  For more information, see How to Sponsor a Guest.

Creating PennCommunity Records to Allow PennName Reservation for New Faculty & Staff

IT support staff are often asked to create system accounts on PennNames compliant systems well in advance of the arrival of a new faculty or staff person. Reserving a PennName requires an individual to have a Penn ID associated with a record in Penn Community. However, since Business Administrators are unable to create records in Payroll (an upstream data source for Penn Community) without verification of an employee's identity, many LSPs are unable to honor requests for early access to PennNames compliant systems.

Below is a process IT support staff can follow to reserve a PennName for a new faculty or staff member in advance of his or her arrival on campus.

  1. Verify the identify of your guest by reviewing his or her credentials. To ensure that the "guest" record created in Penn Community matches the record that will be subsequently created in the Payroll system, it is essential that the employee include the following information.
    • First and Last Name
    • Social Security Number
    • Date of Birth
  2. Visit your PennKey Administrator.
  3. Ask your PennKey Administrator to create a persistent Penn Community record for the individual.
  4. Be certain that the new employee is assigned a persistent guest (PGUE) affiliation as shown in the image .
  5. Once the record is saved, a Penn ID will be created for this individual.
  6. Now ask the PennNames coordinator for your department to add their sponsorship to that individual's preferred new PennName (2-8 lower cased letters or digits, starting with a letter), using the just-created Penn ID.
  7. When the individual is on campus and generates their PennKey, they're guaranteed to get that same name.
PennNames web client

If your school or Center does not have an assigned PennKey Administrator (data manager) you may follow the following process:

  1. Verify the identity of your guest by reviewing his or her credentials. Complete and print a Guest PennKey form and ask the new employee to complete the top portion of the form. To ensure that the "guest" record created in Penn Community matches the record that will be subsequently created in the Payroll system, it is essential that the employee include the following information in part 1 of the form.
    • First and Last Name
    • Social Security Number
    • Date of Birth
  2. Complete the sponsor portion (part 2) of the Guest PennKey form.
  3. Include the following text in the "Special Handling Instructions" in part 2 of the form:
  4. "Request is for a new employee who will be starting on XX/XX/XXXX. Please create Persistent Member record"
  5. Specify whether you want a Setup Code to be mailed to the individual or not. If requesting mailing of a Setup Code, the employee's full mailing address must be included in the "Guest Information" portion of the form.
  6. Fax a copy of the form to the fax number indicated on the form.

For more information, see PennNames home page.

PennKey Letter Text

Most incoming students receive their PennKey information electronically; letters will continue to be mailed for some graduate and professional students determined by their school's admission process.

Sample letter:

<Date> template for new students to be mailed in spring

<Full Name> 
<Address line1>
<Address line 2>
<Address line 3>
<Address line 4>

Dear New Student,

Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania. To log in to many critical electronic services at the University, you will need to select a username known as a "PennKey" and create a password to protect it.

At the bottom of this sheet you will find your 7-character PennKey Setup Code, required to create your PennKey and password. We recommend that you create your PennKey and password as soon as possible. Your Setup Code will expire 60 days after the date of this letter.

How to create and test your PennKey

Navigate to the PennKey home page:
On this page, click "Register my PennKey".
On the login screen, enter your PennKey Setup Code, the last four digits of your 9-digit U.S. Social Security Number (if you have no U.S. Social Security Number, enter the last four digits of your Penn-assigned 9-digit identifier), and your birth date.
Follow the prompts to create your PennKey and password. Do not share this password.
Return to the PennKey home page and test your PennKey and password by clicking on "Test my PennKey" and following the prompts.
If you need assistance or further information, send email to or visit To request a new Setup Code (only needed if your code has expired), visit the student PennKey Administration Station on campus at 221 Franklin Building or use the Setup Code Service by visiting

=========USE YOUR PENNKEY NOW =========

Access Penn InTouch, your personal gateway for registration, financial and other student data.

Take care of some 'Must-Do' items now at

PennKey Setup Code and Penn ID - What they are and when to use them:

PennKey Setup Code . This is a 7-character code you need in order to set up your PennKey, using the procedure above. After step 4, please discard the code - you will not use it again. Your PennKey uniquely identifies you, and is used in conjunction with your PennKey password to establish your identity to many electronic resources.

Penn ID . This 8-digit number is a persistent, unique identifier for you at Penn. It will be used in place of a Social Security Number whenever possible - please keep track of it. There is no password associated 
with your Penn ID.

PennKey Setup Code: <#######>
Penn ID: <########>