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

Q. How much do programs cost?

A. 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.

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

A. 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.

Q. Do you accept financial aid?

A. 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.

Q. Can I claim Penn Foster on my taxes?

A. No, students shouldn’t claim their Penn Foster tuition payments on their federal or state tax returns. Because we do not participate in the United States Department of Education student aid programs, we are not an eligible institution for students to claim or qualify for various tax credits. With this in mind, we do not send students or graduates 1098 forms or any other paperwork needed for filing your yearly return.

Q. Why are your programs so inexpensive?

A. 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. Penn Foster believes that every person has a right to get an education. Finances should not create a barrier between our students and their goals.

Q. Is financial aid available for Penn Foster High School?

A. Penn Foster does not accept financial aid for our high school program, and neither do any other high schools nationwide. 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.

Q. What happens if I miss a payment?

A. Don't panic if you happen to miss a payment — Penn Foster's Student Services is available Monday through Friday, 9am to 6pm (Eastern time) to help you with any payment questions. Students who miss a payment also have a grace period.

Q. What if I want to pay off my tuition within the next several months? Will I get the pay-in-full savings?

A. In order to receive the pay-in-full savings, the program would have to be paid in full at the time of enrollment. The difference between the payment options is the dollar amount the credit will cost you for selecting a monthly payment plan versus paying in full. You can increase your tuition savings by enrolling in our automatic payment plan.

Q. If I finish my semester but I still owe money, will my payment go up?

A. That depends on how much money you owe from your previous semester in the degree program, as well as the cost of the next semester, which is different for each degree program based on the number of credits required for each semester.

Q. Can the minimum monthly payment be set higher when enrolling, if I request to make the payments higher?

A. Yes, but keep in mind when you enroll that it is better to put more money into your initial payment up front, in order to lower your monthly payments with 0% interest right from the start.

Q. Do I get textbooks for my program?

A. While the majority of coursework, including study guides and exams, is completed online, some courses include physical textbooks to complement your online classes. You can verify whether or not the course you’re interested in would include textbooks by checking the “program details” page and clicking on the listed classes. Any textbooks included are listed under the class they would come with.

If your program does include physical textbooks, that cost is covered in your tuition and you do not need to purchase the books or pay an additional fee for them.

Some programs have the option to choose either physical textbooks or e-books. When enrolling, make sure you select the option you would prefer if it’s available or contact an Admissions Specialist to help you through the enrollment process.

Q. If I have textbooks with my program, when do I receive them?

A. If textbooks are included with your program, you will receive the books throughout your course as you need them. Generally, they are shipped so you receive them when you’re ready to start the class you need them for. You can see when a shipment is sent and track the delivery through your Student Portal.

If your program includes e-books, your book will be available when you reach the class you need it for. Simply follow the link in your class and you’ll have immediate access to the book.

Tuition FAQ CTA

Accreditation

Q. What is the difference between regional and national accreditation?

A. 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.

Q. Is Penn Foster accredited?

A. 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.

Q. 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?

A. 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.

Q. 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?

A. 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.

Q. Will I be able to use your program as certification to work in my state?

A. 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.

Enrollment

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Technology

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Academic

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*Start for $1 offer applies to select programs.