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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about the cost, or tuition, of a Penn Foster program? Browse the list of commonly asked questions below. These are general questions about Penn Foster, and are not program-specific. If you don’t see an answer to your questions, visit our program pages or browse the student Community, or click on the blue box to the right and chat with one of our admissions specialists. You can even call us to talk to one of our specialists live.

Tuition and Payment

How much do programs cost?

Each program has its own affordable tuition with several payment options with 0% interest. Students can pay in full or pay with monthly payments. Students that chose to pay in full will not be assessed a finance charge. You can enroll in many of our programs for an average cost of $2 a day. Only a limited number of programs have one or two payment options.

Why isn't the high school program free like it is in school districts?

Penn Foster High School is a private school and funded through tuition paid by the students, unlike public schools that are funded from taxes paid by residents of that community.

Do you accept financial aid?

We do not accept financial aid, but we do have a number of convenient payment options available to assist students, including payment plans with 0% interest, student discounts and promotions, and overall low program costs.

Tuition & Payment FAQs

Accreditation

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.

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 Accreditors 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.

If Penn Foster College is not regionally accredited, will I still be able to get a job or transfer credits to another college after I complete a degree program?

Penn Foster College is nationally accredited, and our college graduates have been able to gain employment and transfer credits to other colleges and universities upon completion of our degree programs. However, these decisions are up to the discretion of the colleges, universities, or individual employers, and students should check with those entities to determine if they will be able to transfer credits or use their degree in a satisfactory capacity. No form of accreditation guarantees that any learning institution will accept credits from any school as transfer credits.

Accreditation FAQs

Enrollment

When do my classes start?

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

What is the age limit for Penn Foster's programs?

Penn Foster has minimum age requirements for each program, but we do not set a maximum age limit on any of our programs.

If I start a program and don't like it, can I switch to something different?

Yes. This would need to be done through the Student Services department. You can call Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm, Eastern Time.

Enrollment FAQs

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.

Will my Mac® computer be compatible for the program?

This varies by program. Some programs can be completed on a Mac® computer. However, other programs have portions of study that can be completed on a MAC,® and require a PC-based computer.

Is Penn Foster just an online school?

Most of Penn Foster’s programs require a computer and Internet access to be completed. However, many of the programs also include books/study units that are mailed to the students. Some programs also provide the opportunity to take work study or a practicum in the field.

Technology FAQs

Academic

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.

How does Penn Foster teach trade-related programs online without hands-on training?

Penn Foster’s trade-related programs give students the functional knowledge and theories behind practical skills needed to work in their vocational field. In addition, several programs contain practical exercises, which are a combination of a suggested activity and a required examination. Many programs also contain a work experience option, which allows students to apply the skills they’ve learned by doing real-life, hands-on exercises at a facility in their local community.

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.

Academic FAQs

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