Penn Foster Career School Reviews

  • 162 Reviews
  • Online
  • Annual Tuition: Not Provided
46% of 162 students said this degree improved their career prospects
46% of 162 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 1/9/2023
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"First of all, this school is only for people with willpower, independent learners, and organization. If you are struggling with mental health, finances, or family issues this school is not for you. They treat you better if you pay in full, the material is mostly read online and it is not updated. I do not like reading online, and recently, the e-book of the program is not available anymore for download. The exams were confusing, I am doing my Externship writing skills before applying to the externship which makes no sense. They send it back saying it was lacking information while in fact, I wrote what was in their material. I personally felt that this is a school for students that are heroes, not the average person that needs a boost for entering a marketplace like me (after staying 10 years as a stay-at-home mother). I would recommend it only if I know the person is very smart, organized, and have strong willpower."
  • Reviewed: 12/27/2022
  • Degree: Medical Billing & Coding
"I chose Penn Foster because it seemed affordable and listed everything I needed to know on site, so I wasn't bombarded by phone calls and emails from recruiters. I knew how much it would cost upfront and that I could pay in monthly installments was another deciding factor. I chose medical billing and coding and at first it seemed that I was going to learn specifically about this career path, until I passed the intro and went on to the next course. It's just fluff, basic math(fractions, addition, multiplication, division, subtraction, etc) and then there's grammar. I just wanted to learn medical billing and coding, not do everything I did in elementary and high school. I just want a course that's to the point and teaches me what I need to know for the career path I'm choosing, not fluff. I'm highly considering stopping this and cutting my losses. This course is set for two years but I just read that you can get your certification within 9 months, so maybe if Penn Foster cut the fluff, I wouldn't be wasting my time. This doesn't pay my present bills, so the sooner I have a certification, the better, and two years for a certification is just excessive. The courses and reviews are unorganized as well. In the intro section, the key take away notes and definitions were easy to find, record, and follow in each section. Now, they're all listed at the end of the lesson in one jumbled mess instead of the section they're supposed to be in. The flashcards they have are copy and pasted with the word of what you're trying to memorize stated plainly in the definition, so what's the point in trying to memorize it if it's already there?"
  • Reviewed: 12/27/2022
  • Degree: Computer and Information Science
"I took the Microsoft office training and was very satisfied with the course as some of the other reviewers here have said you're not going to get your hand held you're not going to get spoon fed I had no issues with helper support and the training did help me in my career I would say if you want to go to a trade school like plumbing electrician or something like that you may get more hands on at an actual technical center however for office like work the school met my needs and did what they said they were going to do just make sure that you are disciplined and can dedicate the time it is not a nursery school it is a training environment from my money Penn Foster did fine"
Austin Block
  • Reviewed: 2/25/2022
  • Degree: CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
"Hey Guys, I’m a graduate of Penn Foster High School (2014) and plan on taking a college course in engineering here very soon. All I can say is this school forged in me the drive for self improvement and education. Being a SELF PACED curriculum you HAVE TO BE DISCIPLINED, that has always been they’re claim to fame and it works IF you stick to it, it puts YOU in control of your future. I wonder sometimes where I would be without this school, being ADD I struggle with focus, discipline and concentration daily which makes me living proof that this school teaches you more then just what’s needed to pass….it also teaches you discipline, perseverance and an almost “unhealthy” drive to excel😉 traits that help you throughout your whole life. Trust me I would be in a bad place and probably never have reached where I am today without Penn Foster. Thank you."
  • Reviewed: 12/23/2021
  • Degree: Medical Billing & Coding
"I Just graduated Penn Foster and loved it. It is 100% online and self- taught. It isn't just handed to you, you have to work for it. Overall I enjoyed my experience and learned a lot. I would recommend it to anyone that thinks they would like self teaching and online. Enjoy it and stay determined you got this."
  • Reviewed: 11/30/2021
  • Degree: HVAC
"This program for HVAC was a total joke. The platform they use is absolutely horrible and not user friendly at all. It is nothing but non stop reading extremely boring textbooks. They need to add videos and have instructors help you stay on track. You won’t be job ready when you’re finished."
  • Reviewed: 7/31/2021
  • Degree: Child Development
"I had a good experience with Penn Foster Graduated and received my diploma within a few days after completing schooling. I was excited until I found out that Texas doesn’t except Penn Foster so much for nothing and dreams crushed. Not only that, but loss of money that I can’t get back."
  • Reviewed: 5/23/2021
  • Degree: Paralegal
"This school is a total joke.. They claim it is perfect for your working schedule but they demand you complete an unrealistic amount of work or you get charged for extension time. If you can't pay it they threaten to boot you out an you lose money. They give you good grades until your very last finals when they make it appear like you didn't crack a book. SCAM! Don't use this school!!"
  • Reviewed: 5/16/2021
  • Degree: Computer Programming
"I took the computer programming languages course in the java section i kept getting a plagiarism message on one of my quizzes. I tried to call the intructors and no response. The person that said its easier to communicate with the president over the instructors is true. When i called to withdraw from the course customer service picked up the my call quick. I payed the remaining balance so it wont affect my credit and quit the class. Two things i realized on this school make sure the course is uptodate what they taught me were teaching me was java, visual basic, and database the class included two books and an online printout. If i knew this is what i was getting and the headache with support i would of bought the books online at cheaper rate and done them on the side. My best recomendation is do your own investigation look at their curriculum of the class interested and look at the books they supply with each class. In their website Under the course u can see which text books they offer in curriculum. 2 if the books are not the latest or few years off you will be learning old things but not uptodate. 3 see if you can sit for licensure it will say within the class section. Accreditation and licensure is very important for lots of jobs in the real world. Do your homework before going with penn foster. Your local community college or training center might be best deal. I ended up learning the language i needed by buying coding books on amazon updated my resume got a job offer on what i learned with the coding book. If you are self taught and disciplined u can learn by yourself. Managers i spoke with with some many people graduating with not experience they look for licensure taken after college through national licensing centers to know they are prepared for the career of their choice. Not all courses offer licensures at the end of their corresponding class but usually those are easier to get entry level jobs without. For my programming job all i need was to prove the interviewing i understood the code what was wrong or missing and also i made a porfolio or the different codes i worked on my own time."
Don't give enough visuals- WASTE OF MONEY
  • Reviewed: 4/22/2021
  • Degree: Animal Training
"I learn best through hands on work and visuals like pictures and videos. This course offered little of those. For example, they'd talk about certain cuts but then not even have a picture of what they're talking about or how it's suppose to look. How is that helpful in anyway? They expect you to understand it just from a description? So now I have to pretty much learn through various youtube videos what I'm suppose to be learning in this class, taking up even more of my time. I don't recommend this course at all. Such a waste of money and time. It's so stupid."
  • Reviewed: 4/13/2021
  • Degree: Accounting
"LOOK ELSEWHERE!! I dont ever/usually write reviews on anything.. Unless its a good Amazon purchase.. This school is awful!! there is little help from the instructions, I am paying over 300 just in tutoring... Even my tutor who mastered in Accounting said that the verbiage in this bookkkeeping course doesn't make sense, its confusing, hard to follow, and they are teaching pretty hard accounting ( which my tutor says you will NEVER use)- I would not suggest this school for this program, I have done the veterinary assistant degree and it was well written and easy to follow.. But this course! AWFUL!! not only are they giving you complicated questions and tasks but they are having you read from a book from 2018, that has a ton of changes.. then the instructor's say when asked " oh yeah.. heres an updated task sheet of everything that is WRONG".... and it particular one instructor is rude, condescending and not helpful at all-- by the way you get a different instructor each time.. whoever is "on call"- and my only study time is weekends, which the school is closed so I cant even call to get accurate help... point being, go elsewhere if you want to know more about bookkeeping.."
  • Reviewed: 4/9/2021
  • Degree: Pharmacy Technician
"I graduated then found out this school was not valid in my state. I ended up throwing $2,000 down the drain. They say you can choose two companies to work for, but they don’t actually have a working program for that. I found a job on my own at a Walgreens who didn't help me obtain my license and made me do their 4 class short program again. I’m not sure why, if they have their own programs to get you certified on the job, you would ever need to use this school."
James Rupp
  • Reviewed: 10/5/2020
  • Degree: Carpentry Science
"If someone was interested in their carpentry class I would just recommend getting the textbook on ebay for $100 and stay away from their class. Constant technical glitches cause questions to be on the exam from a previous textbook not in use and navigation of their website isn’t the easiest. I’m currently sitting on an exam that needs to be changed to reflect the textbook that is in use so in the mean time I’ve made no progress for the last week while I wait for this to be sorted out."
Nancy MacGillvray
  • Reviewed: 3/6/2020
  • Degree: Economics
"This school, if that what it is, has wrecked my credit. I registered but due to personal problems could not take the classes. It was easy to get in touch with someone from penn Foster before I registered. After, nothing. Would not answer the phone or emails. So they decided to send me to a collection agency. Completely wrecked my credit. Stay far away from this place, it’s nothing but a scam."
Cynthia Maher
  • Reviewed: 2/19/2020
  • Degree: Higher Education
"Hi there, Pennfoster is great. It certainly teaches you if you know how to read and continue the steps of what it says. It is like opening up a cook book and making a recipe. Not too hard because the recipe is right there for you to learn. In order to learn you must first read. Sort of like instructions on how to assemble your toy Car. It takes patience and understanding. Nothing to do with a person talking to you. Full blown read it. Get it, show it and do it. You can call instructors for help or simply use the enternet... People think you need to do the questions repeatedly each a 100 times to remember the problem. Those are the people with Alzheimer. If you know how to read then your going to be just fine. If there are colleges out there, which there is that will take this high school diploma then no problem from there. You will be tought something whole entirely different in college face to face repeatedly depending where you choose to go. It is a get it done to move on to the next step in life high school diploma. Not sit and dwell on 50 same questions when you should get it the 3rd time. Lol"
  • Reviewed: 1/23/2020
  • Degree: Diesel Mechanic
"The classes are good. The outside assignments are a joke. You will supposedly be assigned a “coach” or instructor which does not exist. You will receive emails saying your instructor is pleased with your progress which is a joke since you never communicate with a live person. Did I learn from the lessons? Yes I did but I would not do anything more with Penn Foster. Find a local technical college with hands on classes."
  • Reviewed: 9/14/2019
  • Degree: Special Education
"Suspended my account for couple of months due to family situation and ended up in collection agency. Full amount of hole education program was filled against my parents. Watch out! If anything happens get ready for collection. No chance to resume your program after that process. Competitors offered any time to Star, Stop or continue similar education for much less!!!"
Hailey Brooks
  • Reviewed: 9/8/2019
"I was super excited to enroll and get a certificate. I am impressed now and I don't plan on finishing. I had no idea the program was just reading. I graduated High School a few years early by doing Penn Foster, it was fun, we had projects and hand on activity's. We watched a lot of videos too. With the career program I have nothing but endless reading to do. When I got to the Blue Prints class that's when I realized it was not going to work. Reading for hours on end about lines and CAD drafting helps me in no way. That's like reading about a video game and expecting your self to be great at playing it your first time. The blue print class would have been great if they offered a discounted price to download CAD on your computer, or if it came with a cheap version for free. If they gave you that as a learning tool the course would have been perfect. CAD has so many tools and options, you cant learn how to use it just reading a book talking about it. It would have been cool if they gave you assignments to draw up some prints, or even put a model house together. A lot of the books you only read a few chapters. Instead they could send prints of just the chapters you need. Even send a small wood board and a door knob and have us install it as an assignment. They had me read about a lot of tools I have never used before. It would have been better if they showed a video of tool maintenance, use, and safety tips, with a small text included with it. The program was not challenging and very boring."
Penn Foster
Responded: 9/11/2019

Dear Hailey, We are disappointed to hear that you were not pleased with your program. Upon reviewing the course outline we see that your course includes 4 optional hands-on exercises as well as access to several online videos and 5 shipped textbooks. We appreciate your feedback, and we will be sharing your thoughts with our Product Development Team for suggestions on how we may be able to improve this program for future students. If you have additional comments or concerns, please feel free to reach us by writing to:

Thank you!

  • Reviewed: 8/27/2019
  • Degree: Medical Billing & Coding
"If I could give less stars, I would but unfortunately there was no option to do so. Do not give this school any of your time or money. The old saying goes, you get what you pay for and boy does this apply to this place. All they want is your money but they offer little to no help. I emailed my "instructor" numerous times during this "school" process and not once did I ever get a reply. They say they're all about communication and having someone there to help you along the way if you have any questions but every single one of my questions went unanswered. This is a self taught, self paced school, which I had zero issues with. If you struggle with that this is not for you but if you like to have your time wasted going over "How to form a great sentence" or "Ways to communicate in the office" or "How to open a word document" then this is for you! About half way through you start to learn about the most vital part, Medical coding and billing but even then its choppy, confusing, and half of the information is inaccurate and when the teachers grade your assignments and mark your right answers wrong, it takes them forever to get back to you and correct their mistake. I could go on and on and on about how much of a waste this school is. I will never recommend this school to anyone I know. Absolute waste of time. Absolute waste of money. If you can afford it, go to an actual school with teachers who want to see students succeed."
  • Reviewed: 8/12/2019
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"Im So thankful for Penn foster . I Dropped out of high school my senior year in 2016 .I enrolled in Penn foster in June 2019 and got my diploma in one month .thanks to Penn foster ill be attending college in August! Im so grateful that everything was a smooth process ..I had no complications,no complaints.The test is all multiple questions and also, Theyll send your diploma within 1-5 days once you completed all your course."