Penn Foster College is a school you may have seen an advertisement for and wondered about its legitimacy. If offers various programs of study including a high school diploma, career certificates, and associate’s degrees. Since you are reading this, it’s probably safe to assume you are someone who likes to research a program or school before jumping in. This is a good thing since there are definitely some scam artists in higher education that offer college courses or degrees that are of little or no value. To answer the question of whether Penn Foster College is a scam or not, it’s necessary to examine the school’s history and its mission.
Penn Foster College, one of the pioneers in adult distance learning, is a college that offers all of its programs of study from a distance. The school was established in 1977 and has approximately 24,000 students. Prior to that it was known as International Correspondence Schools (ICS), which was founded in 1890. The school has a long and well-established history.
Where is Penn Foster College Located?
Since all of Penn Foster’s students are spread out over a large geographical area, many students have wondered where the school’s central office is located, or if there even is a central office. The answer to that question is yes, Penn Foster College definitely has a central office. It is located in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the following address:
Penn Foster College
14300 N Northsight Blvd, Suite 111
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
Penn Foster College’s headquarters have been at the Scottsdale, Arizona address since 2006. Prior to this it was located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The school’s web address is www.pennfoster.edu.
Even though Penn Foster College does have a central office, it’s important to keep in mind that the school does not offer any courses that students can take in person. The school’s primary mission is to offer distance learning courses.
Penn Foster High School
One of Penn Foster’s most popular programs is its high school diploma completion program. It’s easy to see why. The program is self-paced and very affordable. This lets working adults complete their diploma on their terms while working full time and juggling social commitments as well. Assignments can be completed and mailed in to be graded or they can be completed online through the school’s Penn Foster Online system.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster College is probably most famous for its Penn Foster Career School. The Penn Foster School offers a wide assortment of career certificates in just about everything you could possibly imagine. For example, they offer certificate programs in bookkeeping, personal training, dental assistant, drafting, auto mechanics, HVAC repair, and many others. All told, the Penn Foster Career School offers more than 50 different career certificates that students can take to prepare for a job.
Is Penn Foster Accredited?
In addition to the school’s long history, another way to determine whether Penn Foster College is a scam is by evaluating its accreditation. Penn Foster College is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Counsel (DETC), an agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education. It’s important that you are aware that most colleges and universities in the United States hold accreditation from one of six regional accreditation agencies. The DETC is not considered one of these agencies. Nevertheless, DETC accreditation is a valid form of accreditation. The primary disadvantage of graduating from a DETC accredited school is the fact that you may have trouble transferring your college credit to another school. Also, if you graduate with an associate’s degree from Penn Foster College, it’s possible that you may have trouble transferring into a bachelor’s degree program. Not all schools will accept college credit from a DETC accredited school, but some will.
A Penn Foster College Scam? Really?
After a careful evaluation of the school, it’s safe to conclude that there is no Penn Foster Scam. Penn Foster College has a long history of providing a distance learning high school diploma as well as career training programs to those who are traditionally under served by a local school or who work full time and are unable to attend traditional classes. Penn Foster College is also accredited by DETC, an agency that is recognized by the US Department of Education. The school is a legitimate and inexpensive way to earn either a high school diploma or to train for a new career.