Review Averages: 5.3 out of 10
Penn Foster Reviews:
A waste of time
Medical Billing & Coding - October 6, 2016
I started the medical billing and coding courses and I must say I was disappointed with the overall outcome. Several of the initial courses have little to do with medical coding or billing. Toward the end they have you do a program for data entry in medical billing setting appointments, inputting payment data and other office functions. The trouble is that their system is not really one that is used in the real world. Some kind of generic mostly like system that providers never use. In addition with this system being a generic knockoff the grading process was HORRIBLE!! On several of these projects completed I had to nag the instructors repeatedly to grade the projects. Had to call the school 6 times to get the final project graded to get my diploma. The biggest insult on this is don't expect to find work anytime real soon. I completed the courses and my certification with AAPC in April, and in Oct I am still looking for a job. Employers only want somebody with 2 or 3 years of experience. Not a rookie. Even though I have processed medical claims for 14 years (essentially doing the back end of medical coding)it does not mean a thing to employers. Plan to spend A LOT of time trying to find any work once you are done.
High School Diploma Program Substandard
High School Diploma - October 6, 2016
I enrolled two children in the program ages 13 and 15. One was a 7th grader who moved to 9th grade in the Penn Foster program. The other daughter was in 10th grade. Both children ran through the courses (1 credit) at a rate of 2 per day. These classes were so simplified that they would never have laid a solid foundation for college. The younger of the two children who is college bound noted this herself and raised concerns. Please if you are not an adult learner completing your education for the purposes of job or promotion do not rely on this program to prepare you for college or life. This program is not suitable for children who have their whole life ahead of them. We switched to a K12 program it was free and better. Penn Foster is not for or about the child learner. Biggest parenting mistake that we will pay dearly for financially while our kids have to return to a more structured program feeling behind.
Accounting - September 29, 2016
I was offered a discount if I paid my account off by a certain date. I paid it in full 40 days ago and I'm still waiting for my refund of overpayment. I can never get a straight answer other than wait a bit longer. Also, I'm enrolled in 2 programs and don't feel like the curriculum or support is worth the money. I can learn more from the books they sent me than I can with the exams. This college in my opinion is for people that want the degree or certificate but don't really care that they won't learn anything. It's all about the money not the education. I will never use PennFoster again and will never recommend them to anyone.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A teachable moment?
High School Diploma - August 25, 2016
I chose Penn Foster's high school diploma program for my son. I have since found that Penn Foster's support, while reasonably quick to respond, does not do well in following up on school issues. For example, they requested that I had to submit a high school enrollment application before they would mail texts. My son and I completed the application and faxed it. We waited 2 days for confirmation but received no word. I emailed support again and asked if they had received the fax. Support replied" "please give us a few days to look through our faxes for your son's application." It was a true "what the heck"? moment. Rather than risk further delay, we faxed the application again. I emailed support and informed them. That was 3 days ago. Still no word. This issue has delayed my son's studies for a week and counting. I find it simply absurd that an institution has difficulty finding at least ONE fax. It reeks of stupidity. My advice? Do not use Penn Foster for high school education.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Flexible and Affordable
Veterinary Technician - July 30, 2016
Penn Foster was a clear choice for me when I started looking at programs. It is so much more affordable, with books included in the quoted price, and they allow me to make monthly payments rather than taking out a loan. For me, the biggest factor was flexibility. I work full time and I cannot lose any hours. Because the program is self-paced, I'm able to set my own goal for turning in projects and taking exams. I can slow down on class work during an especially busy work week, and pick the pace back up when work is more under control. Due to its online nature, PF is very much a program of "you get out what you put in". Can you fail in this program? Absolutely. You must have your own motivation to keep going - no is going to make you study! The material is tough because the field is tough. I am already working in this field, and to me, for anyone working in the field seeking to get certification, there is no other choice. If you enroll in the program and fully dedicate to it, you will succeed. It will not be easy; you will have to study and research. You have to attend lectures (often taught by Veterinary Technician Specialists!), watch recordings, and read the suggested supplemental material. You will need to visit the veterinary websites suggested by instructors. It is a very difficult course, but Penn Foster does provide what you need to get there. It is AVMA accredited, so you will be able to sit for the VTNE and obtain registration.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pros vs Cons-- my eyes
Medical Billing & Coding - July 13, 2016
This is my personal review-- Please read from start to finish if you really want to get a grasp on the pro's and con's from someone who has attended both regionally and nationally accredited schools. I heard of Penn Foster from a friend/ old co-worker in 2005. He was in his mid 30's and was in the process of graduating with his High School Diploma from PF- I will never forget his excitement! I guess for me this is what trigged my interest in this school. Although, I didn't have any plans on attending as I was naïve in thinking they only offered HS diplomas and was a student at a local community college. I still asked questions in conversations and he graduated and eventually became a master plumber-- as far as I am concerned this is not a career in which you need to have proof of a GED/ HS diploma ( training/ experience and passing the state exam is your real worry). Well, fast forward a couple years later... The year is 2008. I am working 60 hours x week in car sales, making great money within a declining economy. On top of my 60 hour work week, I was a full time college student and was wrapping up my freshman year in a Regionally accredited school. Life was hectic and to add to it, I found out I was pregnant with 3 years before getting a degree in a promising career. I knew that 60 hours a week wasn't going to cut it once my baby was born- I needed something with flexibility. Although I wasn't into medicine- I knew that the medical field was a field in which there would always be work. So I did my research and decided that I would take an online course in Medical Billing and Coding-- I picked Penn Foster. I was really excited at first as it was self-paced-- my plan was to do 2 hours of work each night and finish ASAP. The advisor I spoke to advised that I could finish as quickly as 3 months and my tuition payment was only $80.00. He told me all of my assignments would be completed online and that my books would be mailed to me. Everything sounded great even though I knew that they were Nationally accredited, it was ok. So far everything was all good. I received my first set of books which consisted of a hardcover Medical Terminology text book (with a CD-ROM) and 3 paper backed books that looked like they were printed from home and used legal sized glossy card stock as the cover. Yes. Plain old white books with green letters. I figured, Ok, next month I will probably get more REAL text books. Following month was the same. In my minds defense I thought- the program was inexpensive and as long as I was learning that is what mattered most- right?!?! Did I mention that this was a time when the economy was in the slums? You guessed it- the dealership I worked for was going out of business. I had completed 50% of my studies and had been on time with every single payment but still owed a hefty chunk of change. ****** UNTIL PAYMENT WAS MADE IN FULL I WOULD RECIEVE MY DEGREE************ Understood. I spoke to the advisor I had been working with all along, he was always eager to help in the beginning but then I soon realized when money became a factor he was then snooty. Money brings out the worst in people. ********* I never met, spoke, emailed and or received an instructor in the 2 months I studied with PF but still I obtained an 100% as all the exams were open book. My plan was to bring my cheat book to work and consider my self a professional! <--- Sarcasm. I stopped going and figured since I was already paying for it and was going to have a debt either way I might as well do some extra curricular reading should the time and money be available in the future. Now lets fast forward to the year 2016. I decide I want to go back to PF... I have 50% completion and over 50% paid. I called the school as I was still able to log onto my account. The advisor told me that I could not complete my Medical Billing and Coding course as it has been too long and that the medical field is always changing-- understood. Although, I am not a professional in the medical field nor an instructor, I would a assume an entry exam would be applicable in this situation... they don't offer that. All is owe is $264... they said pay that off and you can enroll in anything and pay full tuition. I completed over 10 courses for their general education pre req ( although admission rep said there would be none) Communications, customer service, patient interactions, etc. (NOTE: Medical Billing and Coding is a profession in which you are at the computer 100% .. software was not yet covered and neither was ergonomics......... No discounts- no transfer of internal credits- nada! The basics of customer service and/or communications are pretty transparent and include very subtle changes. I offered to pay the $264 towards my new course study but they refused and stated I would have to pay the $264 and there is also a down payment for the next course.... What this institution has at heart is finances not education. I have studied both regional and nationally courses and in each there is the ability to return and continue education. Penn Foster does not offer this. The material is low budget and even someone who can't read can pass. There is something for everyone and I don't knock any type of education as I believe our minds should always be stimulated. Please! Do your research on your field and ask several businesses across the nation if they would accept a diploma/degree from PF and/ or any other institution be it regionally or nationally. Time is more valuable than money- don't invest in hypocrisy. Your life, your future. GED Courses: Several states are now offering government GED courses in which you will walk away with a HS DIPLOMA!! Some facilities that host these classes are local High Schools, Libraries and churches. Some even offer an online option. If you have the courage to start something- do it right. I will start off using the rating system provided by onlinedegreereviews.org Technolo
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
AVOID- They will screw you
Business Management - June 24, 2016
AVOID!!!! I recently had a major issue with the school and up until that point I was really pleased with them. I wanted two switch majors and made a call to them two months ago, in those two months I followed every thing I was advised to do to the T, then I make a call to get the ball rolling only to find out almost everything he advised me was incorrect to the point where I am out $772. That's a lot of money for me.... A LOT>. After more then two and a half hours on the phone with numerous people at the school (including two hang up from them!) they refused to fix THEIR MISTAKE! I repeat a representative from there school made several mistakes while advising a student and they are unwilling to work with said student. A student with a 4.0 GPA, who was always at least a week early for all due dates, and who PAID IN FULL!!! I did exactly what I was told to do and they screwed me over.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very Good High School Program
High School Diploma - May 14, 2016
I signed up for this program in 2014 wanted to further my education. I signed up for high school with early college classes. In order to get your diploma you have to take a total of 100 exams. You have to write essays the whole nine yards. They don't just hand you a diploma you have to work for it. At any rate, the school is regionally accredited for high school,(I checked). I have been accepted into community college with my diploma. Just because you have the diploma you still have to take a college entrance exam so study hard while attending.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Getting a job and fearing your diploma is not accepted!
High School Diploma - April 25, 2016
I finished my diploma last year, this is my second time graduation high school. I finished my 4 years in my native country but right after I finished I moved back to the states. Now the school closed down and there was no way to get a copy of my transcripts as this is a 3rd world county and nothing is ever in order. I am now 35 yrs old and looking for a job has never been so demanding... I actually lost a really good job with a large institution where I could have moved forward in my education. Word of mouth was no suffice with no valid documents I was good as NADA!! This was back in 2012 which is when I saw the Penn Foster commercial and I was immediately hooked. I don't have time after work to go to a night class for a simple G.E.D... I feel like I was cheating myself. Well, thankfully I completed the program and I am very excited to even hang this sucker up, my only dilemma is would certain employers accept this diploma without any issues??!! This is my current situation at the moment. I moved to another state and literately everywhere I apply they want everything, Diploma certificate along with the original transcripts. I was able to do an income tax class with HR block and they did accept the diploma and I was able to become a tax agent. They said that in order for a person to qualify the IRS needs copies of the persons educational background. So lets see!! Im keeping my fingers crossed... So far the CC here does accept it which is a plus.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Medical Billing & Coding - April 3, 2016
The worst educational decision I've ever made! Avoid avoid avoid penny foster!!!! Take online community college 2 credit medical language - it will be more beneficial. When I signed up I thought "self paced online course and I had a certain amount of time to complete the course" " cool right?" However, what they don't tell you is are going to write 250 words every week on a given topic such as lupus, opiate receptors, MS AND THEN REPLY 150 words to 3 different peers as long as you are in the class. So research takes time and then formatting your paper - so a lot of work for no credit hours or continuing education hours. Then you write s research paper. I had this class done within 4 weeks - I hated every minute - I wished I never enrolled - I tried dropping out but I already had two assignments done so it did not make money sense to drop out so I just kept on. Please do yourself a favor - RUN - do your research - and call your local community college! If I had known this I would have said no to penn foster. I took the medical terminology online class.
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