Penn Foster College Reviews

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Penn Foster College
152 Reviews
61%
Recommend This School
59%
Degree Improved Career
Degree Usefulness
Instruction Quality
Financial Services
Alumni Employment
Avg. time to find work: Haven't graduated yet
% career related to degree: 17%
Average reviewer salary: $33,333

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Student Reviews

rude instructors
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I started the medical assistant program at Penn Foster. When I got to my second semester, there were courses that required webinars, some that were in 2 parts. For one of the courses, I did part 1, and kept waiting for a part 2 so I could move on with the course. They kept scheduling times that were inconvienient for me.

I emailed the instructor quite a few times before receiving an answer. She said that they scheduled the webinars around a majority of their student's schedules. Well, I am sure I was not the only one who needed an evening webinar because of my work schedule! When I withdrew, she tried to be all nice and want to know when a convient time for me was. A little to late for that!

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So Far so Good
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I think it's funny to read the reviews of some of these people. Some of them don't even talk like they made it past the third grade. I've noticed most of the negative reviews on here were for people that enrolled and then decided to drop out. You sound really ignorant when you are talking bad about the school and the problems you had trying to drop out. HAHA.

Anyways, I am about to finish up my first semester at PF. I'm taking the BS Business Management. Everything has been going really well; I can't complain. I would highly recommend this school.

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Be prepared to wait
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Degree: Gunsmithing
Graduation Year: 2012
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I'm a middle age, college educated, professional software engineer considering a change of career. I decided to take the Gunsmith career course from Penn Foster to see if that is the direction I want to go. The cost is low - $655.00 if paid in full at enrollment. Apparently, Penn Foster is not used to this type of student.

This is not a difficult course, especially for someone who has a technical background and is already familiar with the subject. I planned to knock out the entire course over 7 to 10 days.

I paid my tuition over the phone, received my Student ID and asked for all my program materials to be shipped immediately. The usual course of action is to complete a section of study and then the school ships another section's materials. I had to sign a "waiver" in order to get this arrangement, which I did. In any event, there was the usual paperwork (student contract, "waiver", criminal background check, etc.) which must be completed, signed and faxed back. Again, I did this the same day I paid my tuition.

There are only 19 lessons in the course spread over 6 sections. The first day I completed the first section (2 exams). The second day the second section (4 exams). I skipped a day and was prepared to spend a day on the third section (4 exams). Upon logging in, I noticed my account had been suspended. I called student services and was told that my application had not been processed. They had my application, but had not processed it yet. I expressed my displeasure and reiterated the fact that I had already paid for the course, they had my money and I had already sent in all the required paperwork. The representative(s) confirmed that they had the paperwork, it had simply not been processed. In addition, they could not tell me when it would be processed, since that was in "another department". At this point I was not happy. As of now, I am not able to continue. I do expect this to be cleared up, but the question is when.

In addition, some of the course materials are backordered! Not for one of the later sections of the course, but for the second section! I was told it would be 3-4 weeks before I would receive the material. How, can this be backordered? If I were at a traditional school campus, this would not happen. How can they possible expect people to wait for materials for a course? Especially when its already been paid for! If there was a legitimate reason for the backorder, you would expect them to expedite the shipping. The materials which are backordered I can actually order myself from other vendors and have them in 2-3 days. So why will it take 3-4 weeks?

Before you fork over your money to Penn Foster, get a guarantee in writing that they will process your paperwork within 24 hours of receiving it and that they have all course materials in stock. Otherwise, you'll may be waiting on them to catch up to you before you can finish your course of study. Overall, this is unacceptable and shows poor management of their back office.

So far I am pleased with the instruction (although the videos are not very professionally done) and the material is a bit "light", it is meeting my expectations. I did not expect a $655.00 course to be completely comprehensive in the area of Gunsmithing. However, for my purpose, to explore another career possibility, it is adequate.

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Not too bad
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Degree: Veterinary Technician
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This school is surprisingly better than I was expecting. So far, I've only gone through about half of my first semester, but it's going extremely well for me. Everything is a go at your own pace situation, and you get what you put into it. If you don't do the work, then obviously you're not going to get anything out of it.

As for pricing, this isn't all that bad. For my degree, it's going to be around 5000 total for my entire program. Which is not unreasonable to me at all. It is unfortunate that they do not participate in financial aid, but it's good nonetheless.

On top of that, they have more requirements for degrees than they do for certificates. You can get a certificate as soon as you finish the coursework. Whereas degrees require class participation, and practicums(like finals) at the end of each semester. In thus, if you don't study and pay attention you're not going to do well. They offer you more than ample amount of time to complete your studies, giving you at least a year per semester. Much more than a traditional college would allot you.

Anyways, I have not experienced all that much with Student Services, but the times that I have contacted them have been pleasant. I receive my books within 8 business days of the day they were shipped, and I'm on the complete opposite side of the country.

If you're not self motivated, and willing to put work into it - Don't waste your time. However, if you can maintain your studies and actually put effort into achieving your goals - this is a good school for you. :)

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Great Learning Experience
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Degree: Mechanical Engineering
Graduation Year: 2013
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It seems that all of the negative comments about Penn Foster College pertain to financial issues. When you enroll in PFC, there are rules and regulations to be followed as there would be anywhere in any institution. I am tired of the whining. I am an adult, a veteran, self motivated and self regulated.

That being said, I do have some issues with delivery of books taking so long. I want to keep my momentum going and to wait for 2 weeks for the next course is troublesome at best. Other than that, you work hard to get this education. For the most part, you do not have assistance being that it is an online college and I think that makes you a better student. PFC cost is reasonable. I would like to see them extend some of the courses to a 4 year degree like the Mechanical Engineering that I am presently enrolled in. Other than that - GO PENN FOSTER COLLEGE. I am proud to be a part of such a long standing institution of higher education.

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GREAT SCHOOL
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So far the school has been wonderful and helpful. Stundent services have been amazing and so have the teachers. The payment plan works perfect for me in these hard times.

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Love the ease of scheduling!!
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Degree: Law
Graduation Year: 2012
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Paralegal studies was an associates degree course, I did over a six-year time frame. I did not intend for it to take that long, but the school didn't have problems with the schedule as long as it didn't take me more than two years to complete one semester.

I hardly had to wait for books, since they have implemented a new SOP that auto sends the shipment when there are two exams left on the current book.

That is one thing about online courses. They don't have roommates, class schedules, or pizza study groups. What they do have is a logical way for a busy mom to not have to leave the kids with the sitter while going to classes to have a career with pay she can be proud of receiving.

I finally paid off my tuition and will be expecting my transcripts and degree paperwork very soon. I have worked hard for this and am able to sit for a paralegal certification test.

Instructors were always quick with returning calls or emails for my questions with as much or as little detail as was required.

I only had one problem with the course and it was my fault. I didn't research this enough to realize the catch22 was relative to a paralegal career. "You must have experience to get this job, and you must get a job to have experience!" I have been told to research by sitting in courtrooms, volunteering at practices, and possibly going back to school for more specified degrees in law.

I give PF the A-OK.

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Unacceptable Finance Practices
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This institution is unbelievably awful. How is it that an individual who agreed to get a student started by paying for their monthly tuition cannot now stop the payments on their own?!?!?! They are going to keep “stealing” my money because the student is selfish and will not call to cancel it on their own. They are telling me that I have to jump through all these hoops, and spend more money, in order to get the charges to stop on my credit card.

The two individuals that I have spoken with to date are certainly not professionals. Their speech implies that they are from some little backwoods town. Additionally, they don’t even understand that what they are asking me to do in order to cancel payments to my card is absurd.

Save your time, your effort, your sanity. DO NOT BEGIN A RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS INSTITUTION!!

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HOW TO TREAT RETURNING SOLDIER
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Degree: Vocational
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APRIL 2011 AFTER RETURNING FROM AFGHANISTAN I SIGNED UP FOR 2 COURSES PLANNING TO WITH ME TO THE PHILIPPINES AND STUDY WHILE I RECOVER FROM POST DEPLOYMENT EXPERIENCES. SPENT $2,000 FOR PC MAINTENANCE AAS AND ELECTRONICS TECH.

I WAS VERY UPSET HOW AFTER I'VE FOLLOWED ALL PROCEDURES, SIGNED WAIVERS, MADE CALLS AND FOLLOW-UPS THAT THE MATERIALS ARRIVED LATE AFTER I HAD LEFT. MY BROTHER ENDED UP SHIPPING THEM THRU A CARGO CARRIER WHICH ENDED UP BEING STOLEN AND WERE ONLY REIMBURSED THE SHIPPING COST. PENN FOSTER KNEW HOW HARD MY SITUATION WAS AND WHY I NEEDED THIS VACATION TO RECOVER. THIS IS HOW THEY TREAT A RETURNING SOLDIER...

Dear sir or madam, I called student services to inform them of my special request. I am a soldier that came back from afghanistan as of late last year however i'm having difficulty re-adjusting back in the real world.

As part of my recovery from PTSD, i am leaving on 2-3year vacation to the Philippines to take care of my pregnant wife and in which I decided to enroll on 2 courses: AAS degree in computer technology and Electronics Technology Program. I had specifically requested if all materials for the completed semesters be included and ship as soon as possible or maybe altogether in one shipment as I leave California address to fly to the Philippines on May 14th. I hope you sir or madam can understand my special request and hope you'd consider my military service as a sacrifice that I now have the need to recover from my experiences as well as continue my education endeavors.

Any help in assisting with this matter is greatly appreciated. Please e-mail me back for any confirmation and or any further inquiries about my request. Thank you for your time and consideration...

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STUDENT/CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCK
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I DECIDED TO ENROLL AT PENN FOSTER BECAUSE OF SOME REVIEWS ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE THAT IT IS GREAT AND WHAT NOT,THAT'S ACCORDING TO OTHERS. BUT WHEN I WANTED TO CANCEL MY ACCOUNT THEY GAVE ME A HARD TIME CANCELING IT

.THEY WON'T CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT THROUGH E-MAIL.IT'S A HUGE HASSLE FOR ME BECAUSE I LIVE OVERSEAS WHEREIN WE HAVE A BIG TIME DIFFERENCE.I'M WARNING YOU FOR THOSE WHO WANTED TO CANCEL THEIR ACCOUNT LATER ON, DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO ENROLL IN PENN FOSTER.

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