Penn Foster Career School Reviews

  • 156 Reviews
  • Online
  • Annual Tuition: Not Provided
46% of 156 students said this degree improved their career prospects
46% of 156 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 5/20/2019
  • Degree: Landscape Design
"My only critique of this school would be that they advertise as a "go at your own pace" online school, which I thought was great because my job has random hours/days off and I have a busy schedule. I signed up and paid it off early so I could save some money with the promotions they offered. About a year later I had a lot going on and I still hadn't finished my course, only to get an email from Penn Foster saying I had to pay $100 to renew my course for another 6 months which I didn't see ANYWHERE when I was reading about the school/program. That part was very misleading and they should really emphasize that yes, this is go at your own pace, BUT you should complete within a year to avoid additional charges. They really need to be more transparent about added costs. Just letting anyone know who might be interested in taking a course here because I wish I would have known that."
  • Reviewed: 5/18/2019
  • Degree: Medical Billing & Coding
"Current 2019 student, I find the student portal extremely well put together. This is a 100% self taught course - self paced course. You have 12 months to complete the coursework and then the option to extend your studies twice for additional time for an extra fee if you need to. This is common in most online certificate courses regardless where you go. Is it easy to cheat, well yes but why would you? You are just cheating yourself and i guess this is where your morals would come in. There is help via the student portal via facts and questions, instructor outreach and social community groups. I have found the social groups to be the most viable of all. The contract was clear in black and white, read what you are signing and understand, ask questions. I have found no promise after completion of career assistance or placement, may have been removed prior to my enrollment. The course is difficult and challenging especially if you have no medical background. Take initiative, use study supplements and outer resources along with the course. Upon course completion you get a free voucher to sit for the NHA CBCS exam and / or can sit for the CPC (You Pay) via the AAPC. If you do not have at least 2 yrs prior coding experience to the exam you will receive a CPC-A until your 2 yrs on hands experience is completed. I highly advise doing the AAPC Plexicode classes in addition to your course. This not only gives you real world on hands experience but it eliminates 1 of the required CPC- A years. Know before you sign what type of learner you are, and if you learn better by instructor, traditional classroom settings then this is not for you."
Angie A.
  • Reviewed: 4/25/2019
  • Degree: Pharmacy Technician
"So let me just start off by saying this is not your traditional institution. This place is self-serve. You do the work yourself and if you want positive results your going to have to work it out yourself. The staff here do not help you. In the program that I was in you are graded by the computer. No teacher. No homework. Nada. You learn on your own. There is no guaranteed career help and job placement. Theyre just telling you lies to get you to pay. This was money wasted that I couldve used towards my actual college tuition. But, oh well. You live. You learn. Just dont make the same mistake. Really do your research before you make a decision wherever you decide to go."
  • Reviewed: 3/27/2019
  • Degree: Medical Billing & Coding
"I took the Medical Billing and Coding program and honestly, I don't recommend it. I took a course previous to this at another school and that's the only thing that helped me. This course is very very hard, someone who has never had exposure to medical codes and the books would be totally lost. I was able to finish in 3 months only because I had exposure to the content previously. I wanted to get a diploma thinking it would get my foot in the door at medical offices but it's done anything but. If you want to get a job even as a medical receptionist you'll need to be nationally certified as a coder to really stand out. This diploma isn't what you're looking for. My biggest issue was I'd get high grades on my tests but the teachers grading them would mark answers wrong that were right. I'd call and justify my answers and they'd correct it but, over all it just wasn't the kind of experience I'd want anyone else to go through. I really wouldn't recommend this school I'd say go to an actual school or college and get the hands on experience because this course as far as the coding part goes, a first timer would fail miserably. The coding is way too advanced for an online school especially when you can't have in person help. Lastly, at the time I went they claimed to offer career placement but that never happened."
  • Reviewed: 3/24/2019
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"So let me start off by saying that if you are the kind of individual who needs to be hands on, or tutored, then this should be an obvious opt out for you. It is very self paced, and simple, if you take it seriously, it takes no time at all. my instructor was very hard to get a hold of, but I was also working crazy hours so emails were the majority of our conversations. They do evaluate you, you are tested, quized, etc. you have a whole network of other students to reach out to for help if necessary, and if you apply yourself, the internship is a breeze. I would definitely recommend it, considering pre- diploma I was making 9.50/hr and I got a dollar raise within a week of being at my job just for completing the course and presenting my diploma to my manager. I was also offered another raise in the event that I go do the AVMA cert test."
Brad B.
  • Reviewed: 3/21/2019
  • Degree: Industrial/Organizational Psychology
"Starting out with the online training courses seemed like a great way to continue working and taking classes at my own pace. However, after completing a few courses, I have to change my mind. The first set of classes went great, but after trying to continue on to the next set of courses things got progressively worse. They changed my student number and now i am unable to view the classes I have already taken along with the scores I earned. I am unable to log into my new student account as well and am not able to get the issue resolved after a month of trying to contact the school. The only reason i am continuing with Penn Foster is the fact that my employer is connected with them for my apprenticeship course. i would not recommend this school if you have another choice."
Nick M.
  • Reviewed: 2/6/2019
  • Degree: Engineering
"DO NOT APPLY. DO NOT ATTEND. I never write reviews but had to speak out on this one. Do not waste your time with this school. It cost nothing to get in and everyone qualifies. I applied and started my course work immediately. A week into it I realized that the course material was so easy a 5-year-old could do it. I breezed through the first course in a week. I realized that this college was a joke and decided to drop out of it. I contacted support and they dropped me through email without hesitation. They mentioned that there will be a bill because I went past a certain pertage of the course and would owe them. I got the bill in the mail. Let's just say I owe Penn Foster more than a month's rent and my apartment is not cheap. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME IN THIS NATIONALLY ACCREDITED FLY-BY- C*** SCHOOL. Employers will laugh at you and you will owe this school way more than the degree is worth!"
Joanna M
  • Reviewed: 2/5/2019
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"I should have read more reviews before signing up! This school is basically useless. I have not graduated yet, and probably wont. Just a waste of time and money. Everything is outdated, I couldve basically just researched everything online and it wouldve been about the same. Its almost impossible to get ahold of anyone also. I tried to get at least some of my money back, and all I got was a one sentence reply saying that I have completed too much to be able to get ANY type of refund at all. Go to an actual real college, not here. All they care about is taking your money and wont work with you at all."
Andrea S.
  • Reviewed: 1/24/2019
  • Degree: Accounting
"This program is extremely outdated. If I had know that most of the activities involved manually drawing out the ledgers and journals, I would not have bought this program. Knowing how to format and align accounting journals should no longer be a part of any bookkeeping course, as no one does this manually any more. Besides that, the information I received was a good basis for learning bookkeeping."
  • Reviewed: 1/24/2019
  • Degree: Private Investigator
"I've taken several formal private investigator courses over the years and I am a licensed Private Investigator. I took this course as a refresher and for continuing development. Overall this course was in depth a general (not state specific). I have 3 observations: 1) Some of the course material is outdated. I think we can move passed 3.5" floppy disks and very outdated computer technology that is introduced as investigative tools; 2)The study materials looked like they were made in the early 2000's and the self-check tests and exams were worded poorly in some areas; and 3) There were no videos or anything to catch the student visually. It was an OK class for what it was, and still a better than some of the in-class courses I've taken. This course does set a foundation but my expectations may be too high."
  • Reviewed: 12/12/2018
  • Degree: Business
"Penn foster is a great college but it is definitely a real college in saying that it means you will have to pay a tuition every semester and you will have to study really hard. The material is hard material but not impossible to make good grades if you put in the time and effort. Some people that left bad reviews are most likely disgruntled because they thought they could just get a degree without putting in hard work and without paying. You can go to penn foster for pennies compared to other colleges what do you people expect ,its not free. If you are going to attend an online college get ready to do the work it sometimes can be harder than traditional college no one will be catering to you. You will need to know how to research and find other resources when needing help sometimes. I use you tube tutorials alot. Grow up and quit dissing penn foster ,I already have a couple of job prospects once I get my degree."
  • Reviewed: 10/5/2018
  • Degree: Business
"After reading some of these awful reviews, I felt I had to say something. I began the Vet tech program and have since transferred over to the Business Management program. Had NO PROBLEM whatsoever in switching programs. Staff were very helpful and polite. This is not a traditional school and some of us are glad it isn't. They are VERY clear about time frames and extensions. I saw quite a few reviews where people are complaining about that. You are an adult. Take some responsibility. And for EVERY class I have taken there has been an assigned instructor. I also attended ECPI (MCI) for a registered nursing program some years ago. THAT was a joke!!! This school is much more organized. If you want or need a babysitter reading a text book to you or holding your hand to make sure you complete your assignments, DON'T sign up for an online program that is self paced. I have had nothing but good experiences and I am glad I chose to stay with Penn Foster."
Waste of money
  • Reviewed: 9/22/2018
  • Degree: Animal Training
"I missed one payment and they sent my account into collections. I was still working on my course work. You pay $$$ for a book to read that you could easily learn from YouTube or by job shadowing. Don't waaste your time here. They are money hungry and that's all that matters."
Waste of money
  • Reviewed: 9/22/2018
  • Degree: Animal Training
"I missed one payment and they sent my account into collections. I was still working on my course work. You pay $$$ for a book to read that you could easily learn from YouTube or by job shadowing. Don't waaste your time here. They are money hungry and that's all that matters."
  • Reviewed: 9/21/2018
  • Degree: Medical Billing & Coding
"I like many others do not recommend the medical billing & coding online course as it is waste of time, effort and money. I also, do not understand how they are still in business because they are crooks as far as I can tell. The whole at your own pace they try to sell people on is anything but self paced and yes you will have to pay an extension fee, excuse me what? Yes pay an extension fee to continue to take the courses that are supposed to prepare you for a career. DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE! Go to an online school that accepts financial aid if you qualify that is. Good luck to you all!"
  • Reviewed: 9/5/2018
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"First, dont let the 2017 graduation year fool you. I never graduated, but it was required in order to post a review. Having an interest in animal care I decided to enroll in Penn Fosters Veterinary Assistants program. Since I had no income my dad offered to help me and paid the nearly $1,000 fee for the course, plus a $95 extension I needed towards the end. I completed the course and it was time to set up my internship program. I contacted several veterinary places, including the one we use for our dog, and they recommended I get set up with one of the larger clinics or animal hospitals since I would learn a lot more. I learned though Penn Foster that Banfield Animal Hospital recognized their students so I went to our local Banfield. They confirmed that they did, indeed, take Penn Foster students and gave me the name of their contact person. Unfortunately she was not in that day. After several visits and a couple emails I never was able to make contact with her, meantime my extension was about to run out. I then made several attempts to make contact with the department at Penn Foster via email as instructed to see if they could offer any suggestions. To this day I have heard nothing from them and still dont have a certificate of completion or a job in my chosen field. It has left me with the feeling that once they get their money theyre done with you and dont care. Whats worse is my dad spent $1,000 for nothing. What a waste. My recommendation is to go to a real school if you want the training."
  • Reviewed: 8/19/2018
  • Degree: Healthcare Administration
"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!!"
  • Reviewed: 8/15/2018
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"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."
  • Reviewed: 6/22/2018
  • Degree: Personal Training
"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."
  • Reviewed: 6/4/2018
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"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."