Penn Foster Career School Reviews
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This college claims to be "learn at your own pace" On the site under "help and support" it states a student has 6 years to complete the degree program. I received a letter to pay an extension fee of $95 to be paid with 30 days of the letter dated 8/14. I just tried to submit an exam and an alert "course expired" prevented me from submitting it. the first semester is a few payments shy of being paid in full and I'm not able to continue "at my own pace" I highly recommend anyone considering Penn Foster research reviews!!
Be very careful with this school. I thought I did my research on Penn Foster before enrolling, turns out I missed some key points. Here they are: 1.) I paid in full ($1,399) thinking it was for the ENTIRE cost of the program, because that is what I was lead to believe through the description of the program. Turns out, the $1,399 was only for the first semester, that's all. So I would have had to pay the $1,399 three more times in order to continue and complete the degree altogether. 2.) It is very difficult to contact instructors for help. I really only needed help for one assignment that kept being returned back to me and I couldn't figure out why. I could only find my instructor's name, but no way of contacting him. So I ended up asking a general "help" forum for the school of how to complete the assignment correctly. The response I received was very generic and was not helpful. I ended up completing the assignment from researching YouTube, Google etc for help. 3.) The proctored exams are extremely difficult and specific. Proctored exams have to be taken at a local community center or school where an instructor watches you to ensure you are not cheating or using an open book. You can take the proctored exam online, for a fee and your computer must be equipped with a microphone and webcam so they can watch you. The exam for animal A&P was ridiculously tetious. There was literally over 1,200 pages of reading material with hundreds of definitions that were expected to know in order to take the hour exam. The "community forum" page where students can ask fellow students about classes, were always full of students asking for study help with the exams and a few complaining that they were just unrealistic and too difficult for the amount of material. There was a couple students that I came across that stated that they failed the exams twice, which meant they had to retake and pay for the entire class over again. I even found a young lady's blog on the internet in which she wrote her experience with the animal A&P exams at Penn Foster. She already worked at a veterinary office and still described how her stomach sank when she opened up the exam and started reading the questions and how difficult they were. 4.) Penn Foster has a negative stigma to it. The state I live in accepts Penn Foster as an accredited school for Veterinary Technicians, however, this does not mean that employers will want to hire you if you graduated from Penn Foster. Because it is an online school, there is a very real stigma that the schooling must not be taught well and that students aren't going to be as prepared because there is no hands-on learning. As much as I hate to admit it, I agree with employers thinking this way. Basically, an online school just requires students to read and memorize material in order to pass the exams ( some exams you can even take multiple times until you get 100%), and employers know this; which is why a lot of them will not hire Penn Foster graduates. 5.) There are two externships required in the Veterinary Technician program. I did not make it to this point of having to do the externships, however in the "community forum" that I mentioned earlier, there were many distressing things made clear about completing this externships. Many students would either write about how difficult the paperwork was to get together, or that they had extreme difficulties finding a veterinary office that would 1. accept them as interns (because of the negative Penn Foster stigma) or 2. Penn Foster requires that the veterinary office performs specific types of skills the student needs to complete in order to fulfill the externship requirement. Please note that I am not writing this review as a bitter or disgruntled student. I am writing this as a warning to those considering Penn Foster for any program, but more specifically the Veterinary Technician program since I feel that it is one of their most popular programs. I thought I had done all my research needed, but turns out I hadn't. I would encourage prospective students to seek out what options they have in their area for schooling before choosing an online program. I have heard of many students that have completed online degrees, but have not been able to find work because employers will not hire an online degree graduate; that is something to seriously keep in mind. Penn Foster entices prospected students into enrolling because they advertise the flexibility of online schooling. In Penn Foster's defense, this is very true. You can basically choose whenever, day or night to complete your schooling and work at your own pace. Penn Foster also has open enrollment year round, meaning you don't have to wait for the "fall' or "winter" quarter to start your schooling, you can literally pay and start your studies immediately. But please don't let this distract you from the concerns that I have written above, or all of the concerns that many other students have written on similar sites. Like I stated in my first line, be very careful with Penn Foster.
I am not impressed at all with this school. Not only did it not prepare me accurately prepare you for the Personal training exam the administrative staff is rude, non helpful and won't even return phone calls! All they want is to separate you from your money! Stay away! The worst school ever.
So not only was I not contacted by an advisor upon sign up, I never recieved any follow up at all. The "professor" was non existent. Theyve taken hundreds of dollars from me knowing ihavent gone online in almost 2 yrs STILL no one called me to follow up. The only time they ever called me was bc my debit on file was not in service anymore. Cancellation is a run around, i emailed on 2 occassions to cancel after paying off everything and it seemed as though they sent an automated message telling me I should stay in the program to "get the most from what youre paying" even tho i just paid it off. Now somehow I owe them more money. I had a terrible experience and will warn everyone the mess theyll be signing up for.
Penn Foster was not what I had hoped for. It started out ok, but I was hoping to get more hands on equipment sent to work on instead of a carburetor and a mini wrench. Didn't really learn a whole lot that I couldn't have learned from youtube or a book from Menards. They didn't send out a text book or have any videos to watch even. Really was hoping for more. You get what you put in for the most part with the online/correspondence programs, but this one didn't give me as much to work with as another school I attended. Plus the online dashboard is outdated and cumbersome.
I feel I need to write a review on the Penn Foster small engine repair diploma course. First of all, I'm a retired federal engine/diesel mechanic technician with a total of 25 yrs experience. The diploma course with Penn Foster is a very good detailed course to prepare an individual in the field of Outdoor Power Equipment. Be in mind though, that if you simply just take the book course and do not follow along with an engine, tools, carbs, etc then you will be cheating yourself. You must apply what you learn while moving along with the online book portion of this course. If you do apply what you are learning and repeat it a few good times including using the special tools such as calipers, micrometers gauges, etc, then you will be a solid technician who is ready to take the OPE certification test. Good course with clear instruction and photo's with materials.
I attended Penn Foster as a way to better my career and I have to say I absolutely loved it. I studied to become a Home Health Aide and passed the course with a B+ average. The course was very detailed and clear and I had no problem understanding the material. After the online portion was complete I applied for positions as a Home Health Aide to complete my externship (which I'm currently still doing). Also, the instructors were are very nice and helpful as I reached out to them on several different occasions with questions. I reccomened this school for anyone looking to become a HHA.
These people are thieves. They took my money (PAID IN FILL) and refuse to let me restart my program. I started in 2014 and got extremely sick and am just now well enough to continue. Its supposed to be work at your own pace, totally false advertising. I called to restart my program and was told that all I needed to do was get a new student ID number. They gave me a new number and when I tried to login, it said I owed them ANOTHER $1400. They refuse to give me full credit for what I have already paid. DO NOT give them your money...go to a REAL school.
Great program. It is perfect for someone like me who also works a full time job. You DO have to be responsible, self-motivated and disciplined to study on your own. It's at your own pace so you'll fall behind if you're a procrastinator or need someone else to constantly urge you to study. You need to be able to schedule study time and commit to it. You need to be a self-learner but also know when you need to ask for help or clarification. There's always plenty of help, resources and support though if you need it. (instructors, study groups, community boards, etc) You just have to take the initiative and make the effort to look for or ask for it. No one's going to lead or babysit you. You have to pay your tuition or you won't get your diploma until you do. In other words, you have to be accountable for your financial committment. Pretty simple concepts. Do your research. Know what is required for your particular path or goal. In my case, during my studies I need to also complete hands- on externship hours in an actual accredited Veterinary practice. In my state you also need to graduate from an AVMA accredited degree program in order to then take (and must pass) the State exam, to become a certified Vet Tech. Penn Foster's Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology meets this requirement. Like I said, you need to do your research, know what's required and be prepared to meet those requirements. If you need to be coaxed, guided and led through every step, the online method may not be for you. If you can commit and guide yourself, and seek help and/or clarification when needed, you'll do fine. You have to truly learn the material. After all you have to know it to pass the State Exam. In any of the negative reviews I've read it appears quite obvious that the person failed to meet one or more of the "requirements" to success.
DONT GO HERE! Worst school. I ended up withdrawing because I did not like going online. I went back to the community college I had previously been going to. Still paying off the $1400 I owed Penn Foster for taking 4 classes there. I did a payment plan because I could not afford to pay all at once. When I finished out schooling at my CC, and starting applying to Universities, you have to send in your transcripts from previous schools. When I called Penn Foster to request transcripts, they wouldn't even talk to me about them until I paid the 400 I still owed on my account. So, I had to figure out some way to round up $400 because theres no way I was going to transfer without those transcripts. Finally got the money, paid off my balance, and was broke for weeks. I requested and paid for my transcripts, one copy to me and 4 copies to various other colleges and none of them were received. I spent $70 on transcripts, plus the $400 I owed to not get anything. I have had to call them about 30 times, each with a hold of about 15mins till someone picks up, and I continuously get different answers from each person. When I originally called to withdraw from the program no one ever warned me that I was not going to be able to get transcripts, etc. I am currently waiting to get a call back from a supervisor at the school because the student help center will not help me because I am no longer a student, and no other department is able to tell me what is happening. If this does not get resolved, I won't be able to ever attend a 4 year institution because they won't even look at my application without those transcripts. On top of all of this crap I have had to put up with, when I was actually attending the school, calling anyone at the school was a complete bear. You're on hold and transferring all of the time. The online website was under maintenance a lot. I never felt like I really learned much either because quizzes barely covered 1/5 of the material and you had multiple chances not the test and they would give you the right answers the ones you got wrong, even though it was already an open book exam. The school isn't even accredited!! When you go to get a job in the field no one wants to hire yo because they know how easy it is to get through the school and you don't have any experience! You're practically laughed out the door. WISH I COULD GIVE ZERO STARS!