Review Averages: 5.4 out of 10
Penn Foster Reviews:
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
1 of 1 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.
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.
1 of 1 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.
2 of 3 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.
Vet Assistant Program
vet asst certificate - March 27, 2016
I would not recommend this program. The fact that the externship does not go along with the written portion to gel the learning experience together is a big problem with clinics that have to "train" you as they state it taking time from their busy day. I have not found one they were supposedly contracted with willing to take me on as a student with their reasons being "too much paperwork" did not want to allow me to complete all skills which would lead me to find a second clinic at the same time to do this, the training involved because you forget what you learned from 9 months ago and in general the biggie was "I'm not getting paid for this and you'll leave me when your trained!"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Can't get into a South Dakota Collage.
High School Diploma - March 22, 2016
When I enrolled into Penn Foster one of the first things I asked was, will I be able to use this degree to get into collage? The lady I talked to had told me that shouldn't be a problem.I tried enrolling in a community collage and was devastated when they denied me entry due to not having a high school diploma from a regionally accredited school. I did not know until then that Penn Foster was not regionally accredited. In a nut shell I was told to go get my G.E.D first and then reapply. I think Penn Foster is a good school, but this school did not live up to my needs. Basically I paid way to much for high school refresher courses.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Save yourself the frustration
Veterinary Technician - February 26, 2016
Don't bother with this school. It is for-profit and it seems that is all they care about, keeping people enrolled and keeping people paying. The online format is convenient for a lot of people but the use of technology is confusing. Tuition they said was $1500 for the entire curriculum. You could pay in installments, but if you changed your mind, you end up paying $500 just to buy your way out. To keep you in, they will offer you the chance to transfer to another program. Please be careful to read the agreement carefully before signing. Their only concern is making money, save yourself the aggravation. Don't fall for it. It's not as easy and convenient as it sounds. You're better off at a non-profit community college or technical school.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Medical Billing & Coding - February 18, 2016
I have been in the Medical Billing and Coding program since Sept 2015. In January I decided to dedicate my time to the program on a full time basis. They claim this is a self paced program BUT you are at their mercy when it comes to receiving your materials. I have been waiting for two weeks to get my books which are on back order. They claim its because they are waiting on the new 2016 material but we are in February. I would almost understand if this was January but the fact that we are in mid February still waiting on books that should have been ordered in December is unacceptable! I wish I could give this school a negative rating! I have lost critical time waiting on these books. Penn Foster was the least expensive school I found so I guess you get what you pay for! The only advice I can give is DO YOUR RESEARCH!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Penn Foster is What YOU Make of It
Veterinary Technician - January 6, 2016
It is hard to get good critical reviews on Penn Foster. Penn Foster is what you make of it. If you read most of the negative reviews you will find that most are from people who find studying at their own pace and staying self-motivated a foreign concept. Most of their complaints are basically of their own making for not doing due diligence on subjects such as transfer credits, etc... Because of Penn Foster's low tuition cost they have many more participants than other colleges whose programs costs considerably more. Because of this statistical fact you are going to get more people who complain on issues that are not really legitimate problems, for instance: 1. All colleges and universities require complete payment before graduation (ALL OF THEM). Ever heard of student loans? Go to any college and try not paying your tuition in full and see what happens. 2. Not all credits are transferable from institution to institution, even among regionally accredited schools. This is the way it is and always has been. Heck I had a local community college not accept transfer credits from Notre Dame for certain subjects. If you are thinking about using Penn Foster as transfer credits then check ahead of time on transferability. 3. Although this should be self-evident, they are not going to hold your hand. They provide the basic needs to get your degree and certification. No frills. Penn Foster is not perfect, but having attended several different colleges they are by far not the worst either. They fulfill a certain niche in our society for military, working adults, etc... and are poorly served by recent high school graduates who expect to have their hands held and or those who cannot honestly engage in self-guided and motivated study. One final note, I contacted the AVMA and found out that Penn Foster fully meets their requirement for distance accreditation and that there are more expensive schools in the US that do not. Interestingly enough Penn Foster is not the highest school on their complaint roster, hmmmm. Again, it is what you make of it. It is too bad that many of the negative reviews, not all, are knee jerk reactions to problems that, truth be known, are of the author's making.
Post a Public Comment:
Do not re-post articles, webpages or anything you didn't write yourself.comments powered by Disqus
OnlineDegreeReviews.org is not affiliated with Penn Foster in any way.
Did the reviews help you?
Help me get the word out about these reviews!
Each Facebook "Like" and Google +1 boosts the search rankings of these reviews so that more students will find them.
Click the "Like" or G+ buttons (or both) at the top right of this page now. Every click counts. Thanks!
Sorry for the interruption!
~ Steve Rawlinson (webmaster)