Penn Foster College Reviews

  • 223 Reviews
  • Online
  • Annual Tuition: Not Provided
60% of 223 students said this degree improved their career prospects
60% of 223 students said they would recommend this school to others
Start Your Online College Search:

Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 3/20/2023
  • Degree: Medical Billing & Coding
"I am on my last coding class. I am completely lost in the Buck coding instruction. They compact a lot of information into a chapter. There are no lecture explaining anything so I am lost. I have a BS and 28 masters units and have never had classes with no lectures at all. There has to be lecture or you leave students feeling overwhelmed. I was a 4.00 gpa in graduate school so I know it is not my study habits. There must be better schools that teach medical coding."
  • Reviewed: 3/8/2023
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"The vet tech program though Penn foster is an absolute joke. Some of the course work is outdated and the skills no longer used in veterinary setting. The externship process is even more disgusting. They don’t offer any type of help beyond an email explaining that they can’t help you and you’ll have to figure it out. I’m currently enrolled and will likely not finish due to them not offering any kind of assistance or explanation as to why the skills I submit are unacceptable to them. I doubt any of their externship instructors have actually worked in a veterinary hospital in years or even decades. You will definitely waste money on this program and have nothing to show for it. I’ve looked into Platt college and it seems way more do-able than the joke that is Penn Foster."
  • Reviewed: 2/19/2023
  • Degree: IT Training
"I am guilty of writing reviews when things are bad, even though we should write when things are good. However this is a review of how poor the experience was that I had gone through with Penn and Foster. Right on their home page it says " learn on your schedule". This was something that appealed to me right away. I work 50 hrs a week and I am a single parent. When I have my daughter I start work at 6 am, I pick her up after school at 3:15 and work for another hour or 2 while I give her some time to unwind after school. I then make dinner and as we make dinner I do some home work with her. After dinner, I clean up then she showers and we do some computer exercises, she practices her reading, and then I read to her. We finish up around 8 or so. a Very full day.. I get 3 days a week I do not have her, that's when I was doing the Penn and Foster work. I am a slow reader and was always a C student, but I tried my hardest. There are quizzes in the excel course I needed to complete and there were sections that were less than clear on how to submit answers. I reached out to the live chat and they really couldn't assist me. As I mentioned they say you can learn on your schedule. They have removed me from the course because I wasn't going fast enough, the direct opposite of their reason to choose them. If you're looking into take the excel course with Penn and Foster here are the the disclaimers you should be aware of, you should have lots of free time, don't expect to actually learn on your schedule. I tried to do that and they removed me out for being slow, being a single parent and working full time. Also if you are intimidated by taking an online course and not very familiar with computer programs, stay away from this school. Apparently they want students who already know excel ( despite it being a program to teach you excel) are proven A or B students and can answer all of your own questions. I was really excited to go back to school and learn something new, but this school or program WILL NOT help you nor make it easy for the millions of people who are in my similar situation."
  • Reviewed: 2/17/2023
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"Don’t trust anyone who has positive words about this school. It was a disaster for me. The material seemed fine and super easy, books are basically free, but the proctors are IMPOSSIBLE - 6 questions for essentially entire textbook worth of information? I don’t care who you are, that’s ridiculous. The Facebook “group” was just full of drama. If you don’t pay off your semester by the next one, your monthly payments DOUBLE or at least mine did. They threw me in an English class (I have a bachelor’s degree I shouldn’t need any Gen Ed classes). The way they grade papers is stupid - random people are grading them so when you get them back and correct things, you’ll turn it back in only for someone else to grade it and contradict what the first person marked up. I quit basically as soon as the second semester started. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME NOR MONEY. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE."
Leslie Mills
  • Reviewed: 2/14/2023
  • Degree: Medical Billing & Coding
"It was great while I attended. I do wish they had better career help after you graduate. Communication was great. Courses were great the student portal was easy to navigate. Easy to do the licensing exams at the end. All around a great experience. I really enjoyed it."
  • Reviewed: 1/7/2023
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"Currently enrolled in Penn Foster VT program. With 17 years experience and having already passed the VTNE via an alternative pathway , I’m finding the classes a breeze. I’m just starting my externship for the second semester… and I began this school Oct 22. I plan to be finished in less then 1 year. I will say I haven’t learned anything new - aside from maybe some livestock stuff ( not my vibe ) yet , and someone the info and techniques are antiquated , and i am able To pass all exams and proctors with out much more then a review of the course. I’ve heard nightmare stories about the externship so I’m curious about that… but I’m able to complete it at my current job and put in as many hours as want to get the min hours done."
victoria o
  • Reviewed: 11/14/2022
  • Degree: Business Administration
"I took a years worth of credit hours for the Associate business management degree. I decided to not continue with this institution because there is no professor communication at all. Half of the online material can be googled. The only way to contact is a 1-800 number and you have no idea if you're actually talking to a licensed professional or the janitor. I tried to apply the transcripts to georgia highlands college for spring 2023, and THE TRANSCRIPTS WEREN'T REGIONALLY ACCREDITED!! So now I have to take a bunch of basic classes all over again. Absolutely do not recommend penn foster. You can go to the government student aid website and basically get a free ride through college(with pell grants) if you're a low income family."
bruce steo
  • Reviewed: 9/21/2022
  • Degree: Computer Programming
"For the low tuition, you can't beat the price (really). Taking everything into account, I am happy I did this, and IT WAS MAINLY DECENT. I know there are better schools. I would give it 2.5 stars out of 5 stars, or a "C-." I am in the "Computer Programming Languages" course. Overall, it is just "OK." I can speak from my experience only. This is my second time attending. I did it the first time in 1993 (another computer certificate). Now it's September of 2022, and I have been enrolled since January. After reading most of the reviews, it sounds like some programs are worse than others. This is definitely a "bargain basement" school. However, I kind of knew that - going in a second time. I took money out of my 401k and paid everything up front (I recommend paying like this, NOT monthly.) That being said, the instructors are difficult to reach, and the online format is troublesome or difficult (but not impossible) to use. I wish THEY SUPPLIED the software that I am supposed to use. (Older software would have been just fine. It DOES NOT have to be the latest and greatest.) YOU HAVE TO FIND almost everything yourself (this was very difficult most of the time). If you take this course, be prepared to spend two weeks or more hunting for software that they want you to use. I used my wife's old windows 7 laptop, and my current laptop from my job. My company had already installed MS Access, so I didn't have to hunt for it! I am also friends with two of the guys in my company's I.T. department, those three things were blessings. I ended up using the oldest versions of software (except for MS Access). Yes, there's problems, but you get what you pay for (rock bottom tuition). So it's ok."
  • Reviewed: 4/21/2022
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"I was in the vet tech program and even though I already have a bachelors degree and had taken English Lit in college, they still tried to make me take that course. Plus, all the exams were mainly multiple choice but their finals where essay and short answer. I think the chapter tests should have been set up to prepare us for our finals. Plus, after only 6 days, if you don’t want to pursuit your degree, they try to make you pay anyway. Complete rip off! Plus, I talked to many employers at animal care facilities, vet clinics, etc where I live and they do not accept a degree from Penn Foster, nor will they let you do their externships with them. Complete waste of time and money. Avoid Penn Foster at all costs!"
  • Reviewed: 3/27/2022
  • Degree: Engineering
"Penn Foster College was the best decision that I made to further my learning objective and career goals. I will warn those without initiative or the will of not applying themselves, you're going to be very disappointed! This is not going to be a short, easy journey of paying your fee and magically gaining your diploma in 6 months, you're going to have to buckle down, study and progress. I was skeptical at first just by reading the one star online reviews and complaints, but came to to conclusion that all colleges (online and brick and mortar) have bad reviews, mostly by those that prefer the easy route...remember initiative and having to apply yourself? I am a older student with a family, mortgage and lifes overhead that we aquire with age, and I was able to obtain my A.S. degree by focusing on my career and future employer. I will say that my studies were challenging and at times frustration set in, but I pushed on! I just finished my last semester and feeling relieved, also confident and overjoyed with my accomplishment. I cannot wait for my degree to be on display at work, not as a brag but as a reminder of what can be obtained with persistance and also an encouragement to fellow employees possiby thinking of pursuing a college degree. If you're reading this review and are currently a Penn Foster student, don't give up and keep grinding for your furture depends on it. If you're on the fence about using PF College for your studies, talk with your HR dept. about furthering your education as I did and they might possibly pay for half your cost as long as you have a passing grade. There is a difference between regionally and nationally accredited but my HR Manager went straight to the U.S. Dept of Education website and Penn Foster was a registered school, informed me that it was infact a college and HR reconized it as so and we proceeded from there. There will be naysayers in all points of life, but the advantage of studying at your own pace is very benificial, especially if you're already deep into the workforce (unpredictable schedule, overtime, call ins etc,) so falling behind with your courses won't be as bothersome to say if you were attending the brick and mortar route as I seen friends fall behind because of working crazy hours. I believe the tides are turning concerning opinions/outlooks about online learning. Employers are realizing the advantages of online studies and the positive workforce it helps create. Initiative and applying yourself matters in your workplace and with your studies, no one can do it for you in either case! Penn Foster College is nationally accredited for our college programs by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)"
  • Reviewed: 3/13/2022
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"Wow! Never knew this College was this bad! I see everything negative in this school except for 30-40% of people want to help you and the rest of them don't! I can't believe I thought this school was better and had developed ' A MATURITY LEVEL" but that's not the case! I should've went elsewhere and people are right . This school doesn't care and they want is your $$. It's funny I've got to pay a certain amount to them every month and since people refused to contact me about certain exam or test I needed to take and didn't wanna due to the ridiculousness of others I gotta pay for these classes I'm failing plus repay to take em again! You know it's funny that people who really work there , vet tech dept has been so disappointing and disrespectful in more ways than one! I mentioned someone was a witch and I got blamed for speaking that. It was some stupid code of conduct and the funny thing is they don't bother to look at themselves and how they conduct the students!"
Breanne Spain
  • Reviewed: 2/15/2022
  • Degree: Gunsmithing
"I would HIGHLY recommend NOT taking any classes at Penn Foster. I had multiple exams I took that took me hours to complete that their computer system did not record the grade to and I now have to retake. They did absolutely nothing to correct it or make it right. They told me next time to take a picture to prove I took it! Are you serious?! On top of that the course and information is an absolute joke! I am taking the gunsmith course, however I already own and operated a gunsmith business. I simply took this course for insurance purposes. MAYBE 25% of what is in the course is useful in this business. The majority is the history of when certain firearm and when it was made. That information is irrelevant to paying your salary. Horrible experience. Would never recommend to anyone and I feel it was a complete waste of money. If I was not at the end of the course I would get a refund and forget the certification."
  • Reviewed: 1/22/2022
  • Degree: Electrician
"Do not attend this school. They cram as much information as they can into a lesson that should be separated into different courses. Absolutely the worst school i have ever attended. Not enough time given for the convoluted info they try to convey. Not to mention they jump from one topic to the other and expect you to already understand the physics behind machines to be able to read the blueprint. Ridiculous, i dont know how this place is accredited."
Michelle Benetti
  • Reviewed: 1/13/2022
  • Degree: Business
"Wow, reading the negative reviews just boggles my brain. For those complaining, your simply looking for a reason to complain, YOU MUST BE MOTIVATED AND WORK ON YOUR OWN. There is no one to hold your hand. Staff is amazing if you reach out. PF is a great school and legit. Courses are challenging, this is no fluke. Those saying "employers are laughing" at their degree.. I call BS. Employers CANNOT AND DO NOT do such things..again your looking for excuses for your poor studying skills and the fact that your struggling. I am 46 yrs old and have been passing my exams with A's. You have to want to learn. The school has nothing to do with you wanting to do the work. It is self paced so it's on you if your not grasping the work in your program. The fact that it's online only, self paced is a great thing if your dedicated. It's crazy how people will find any excuse to blame someone else. The staff is amazing. They have been helpful. The cost is exactly what it should be to get an associates. Payment plans are available. I highly recommend PF and can't wait to graduate top of my class."
  • Reviewed: 11/10/2021
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"Penn Foster is literally the worst just when you think they can’t stoop any lower they do. This back ally dumpster of a school is probably one of if the not the worst institutions of higher learning in the United States. They do not care about their students at all! I can handle working on my own (there are no teachers you learn from the textbook and online material only) but that is actually not the most terrible part. The most terrible part is the externship! By the time you get to the second externship you HAVE to complete your first two semesters. So by the time you find out how awful the program is you’re already too deep to turn back. I am a veterinary technician student going on 2 years in the program and am still working on the same internship that I was working on 8 months ago. You have to find your own internship Penn Foster does not partner with the site so you are 100% on your own. So if they don’t do things that are on your list of skills which is probably many (especially if you work for a GP your completely screwed). Good luck finding places that do orogastric intubation or let you use cat bags which by the way are considered outdated and cruel now in the veterinary field. They even force you to do “grief counseling” should never ever be done by an intern. When I worked for my first site the veterinarian was cruel and mean and yelled at me on my second day of being a surgery intern and blamed me for “not responding when an animal could of died” when it is the responsibility of a vet not an intern to be able to take care in an emergency. I was let go because I was upset and complained that the veterinarian was cruel. I was told by the practice manager that it was “wrong for the her to be paid for her time to help me as an intern”. Penn Foster blamed me for being let go and said it was all my fault and that I can’t be a vet tech and “have emotions”. I mean seriously. So none of the 200+ hours I completed counted. I had to start all over again and it took a few months to find and get started at a new site. I recently finished at that site and I was told by the manager that “nine of those skills can’t be done here and haven’t been done in general practice for years” So I had to find a site YET AGAIN to finish my internship because I couldn’t complete it at the first site. I was approved by my evaluator “essentially a person who checks off all your skills and approves” them. BTW they don’t check in on you or communicate with them you actually have to email them through the school they don’t have a personal email. Otherwise they will never contact you. Anyways she approved of me to do 2 partially completed skills at another site as long as I have 2 different initials and signatures. Then I was trying to process the paperwork and then they told me I couldn’t do that “share skills” between sites. Such an inane rule how are you supposed to complete your externship under these conditions. For most it’s impossible! They can’t even get their stories straight different staff members will say completely different things there’s no consistency and often times the response you get is “I don’t know.”They literally try to make it impossible for you to graduate and they will always blame the AVMA which is the veterinary accrediting body. What kind of “college” doesn’t even insure that it’s even POSSIBLE to complete REQUIRED course work. This is so messed up! They treat their students like wallets and take full advantage and bully you into accepting their backwards despicable practices. They are terrible! AVOID AT ALL COSTS!"
Rosaida Checa
  • Reviewed: 9/25/2021
  • Degree: Medical Assistant
"I had read enough negative comments, Penn Foster is not for dumbs, everybody complaint that there's more on the tests than on the classes, I guess that is what make the difference. That is why there are links, to investigate, not everybody deserve a high GPA. I finished my High School and currently assisting at Penn Foster. The experience? The best!!!"
Kyle Everett
  • Reviewed: 9/15/2021
  • Degree: Electrical Engineering
"I won’t even call this a class cause it’s just a course. They ship about 15 binders each with 5-15 booklets that are filled with errors and just a waste of time. They spend 200 pages on the most basic topics then skim over the more in depth stuff, and then at the end of each booklet section you get quizzed, but the quizzes never cover anything that you just went over. Their refund program is supposed to be based off percentage completed, but you won’t get it back because they’ll just claim that it doesn’t apply to your program and all sales are final. There is no hands on, there are only like 3 short videos that explain the most basic of principles, there are no zoom classes, and there is no help. I would not recommend them to anybody for any degree"
Vincent Antonio Moorman
  • Reviewed: 8/30/2021
  • Degree: Hospitality Management
"This is the absolute worse route to go for an education. All they are concerned with is money. The material is not edited and full of grammatical errors. They should be ashamed of how they are scamming people on a regular. Do not go this route. Learn from my mistake. A total waste of money. These instructors are a joke and do not even know how to speak correctly -- nor, what they are doing. They go through employees like clockwork. Utterly terrible and offensive!"
Lisa Cabb
  • Reviewed: 7/29/2021
  • Degree: Business
"I love Penn Foster College. All these current "reviews" by the student with one name are a joke obviously, since they all have the same tone about then. Get real. This is college and college coursework. If you can't handle it, or you didn't read the enrollment info that's on you. Penn Foster College may not be for everyone, but it is a good, quality education. Do YOUR OWN research before you enroll."
  • Reviewed: 6/6/2021
  • Degree: Veterinary Technician
"I can't speak for all the majors, but the Veterinary Technician one is absolute CRAP. The materials are very, very often misspelled and overly wordy. There's so much fluff to pick through I sometimes has to read the same sentence several times before it actually makes sense. The proctored exams are horrid. 7-8 questions constitutes the entire final. They are so random that you can study 98% of the material, and the questions on the test will be from the 2% you didn't study in depth. Also, their student services department is just about useless. They are never able to answer any of my questions, I get told I'll get called back and it never happens, AND they put a hold on my account without even bothering to tell me why, or that it was even going to happen. Don't waste your time here, all they care about is getting as much money out of you as they can while giving the minimum amount of effort on actually teaching you."