Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about the a Penn Foster program or tuition? Browse the list of commonly asked questions below. If you don’t see an answer to your questions, visit our program pages or call us toll-free at 1-888-427-1600 to talk to one of our enrollment advisors.

TUITION & PAYMENT

How much do programs cost?
Each program has its own affordable tuition with several payment options.

Do you accept financial aid?
We do not accept financial aid, but  do have a number of convenient payment options available to assist students.

Why are your programs so inexpensive?
Since Penn Foster does not have a brick and mortar campus that students need to attend, we are able to save money on operation costs and pass those savings on to our students.

ACCREDITATION

Is Penn Foster accredited?
Penn Foster High School is regionally accredited for grades 9 through adult by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (CSS-MSA) and nationally accredited by the AdvancEd Accreditation Commission and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).

Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited for non-degree granting postsecondary programs by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 215-662-5603, www.msa-cess.org. In addition, Penn Foster Career School is nationally accredited 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). Penn Foster has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

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). No form of accreditation guarantees that any learning institution will accept credits from any school as transfer credits.

What is the difference between regional and national accreditation?
The major difference between regional and national accrediting agencies lies in the type of institutions that they evaluate and accredit. Regional agencies are responsible for accrediting public colleges and universities and major private, nonprofit institutions. National agencies accredit private, proprietary schools and specialty institutions such as correspondence schools.

ENROLLMENT

When do classes start?
Penn Foster has open enrollment, which means classes start as soon as you enroll.

If I start a program and don’t like it, can I switch to something else?
Yes. This would need to be done through the Student Services department.

COLLEGE

Will college credits from Penn Foster transfer into another college degree program?
Penn Foster college credits have been accepted for transfer into colleges across the country. Students should check with a specific college to see if they accept our credits, as credit transfer can vary depending on the school. Also, many of Penn Foster’s individual courses are recognized by the American Council on Education’s Credit Recommendation Service for potential transfer. No form of accreditation guarantees that any learning institution will accept credits from any school as transfer credits.

Will Penn Foster accept my college credits from a different college or university?
Yes, degree students can have prior coursework that was completed at an accredited college or university evaluated for potential credit transfer into one of our college programs. You must have a minimum grade of “C,” and up to 75% of required credits may be transferred. If you wish to receive credit, contact the college you attended and request for your official transcript(s) to be sent to Penn Foster College for evaluation. All approved transfer credits will be deducted from your tuition.

CAREER SCHOOL

Once I complete my program, am I qualified to immediately enter my vocational field? If not, what other steps do I need to take to get certification or licensure?
Certification and licensure requirements will vary depending on the program, vocational field, and state. Students should check with the governing body in their state that oversees their field of interest, to determine their state’s requirements.

Will I be able to use your program as certification to work in my state?
This will depend on the program, as some states may require additional education or may have requirements our programs do not meet. Students are encouraged to check with the governing body in their state that oversees their vocational field to determine what their state’s requirements are.

What will I get when I finish a career diploma program?
When you complete a career diploma program, you will receive a nationally and regionally accredited career diploma. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited for non-degree granting postsecondary programs by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 215-662-5603, www.msa-cess.org. In addition, Penn Foster Career School is nationally accredited 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). Penn Foster has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

HIGH SCHOOL

How do I take my tests in the high school and career programs?
Exams will be taken online for all career and high school programs. Some programs have requirements that cannot be fulfilled online, for example certain programs have externships that must be completed in the field

Why doesn’t every college or university accept Penn Foster’s High School Diploma?
Penn Foster High School is regionally accredited for grades nine through adult by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The school is also nationally accredited by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools. There is more information on Penn Foster High School’s accreditation page. It is up to the individual college as to whether they will accept your diploma, but Penn Foster graduates have gone on to study at many universities nationwide. No form of accreditation guarantees that any learning institution will accept credits from any school as transfer credits. Acceptance of a high school diploma can vary based on the college or university.

Why don’t you offer any AP (Advanced Placement) courses for the High School Diploma?
The Penn Foster High School curriculum was designed to meet minimum standard requirements of the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools, which does not require AP courses. However, individual AP courses are available through our HCC division.

What is the difference between a high school diploma and a GED?
A high school diploma generally represents 12 years of completed schooling and proficiency in core subjects as required by that state. The General Educational Development test (GED) is a content-based test that measures high school knowledge in five specific areas.

Do you offer a GED?
Penn Foster does not offer a GED. We offer a regionally and nationally accredited high school diploma.

Will Penn Foster accept my transferred credits from a different high school?
To receive transfer credits, an official transcript from an accredited institution recognized by Penn Foster must be submitted for evaluation. Transfer credits will be awarded for comparable high school subjects where a full credit has been earned. Since high school programs vary, only an evaluation by Penn Foster will determine the actual number of transfer credits to be awarded. The maximum number of transfer credits allowed is 16.

TECHNOLOGY

Does Penn Foster provide laptops?
Computers are not provided. This is one of the ways Penn Foster is able to keep the tuition lower for our students. Most of the programs offered through Penn Foster require access to a computer and the Internet, although there are some programs that do not require it.

Can I do everything for my program online?
The amount of the work that can be completed online varies by program. Some programs can be completed entirely online, while others (primarily those that require textbooks or learning supplements) require a combination of online and “traditional” study.

MORE QUESTIONS?

Call an Enrollment Specialist at 1-888-427-1600