Penn Foster Celebrates 125th Anniversary

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Penn Foster Celebrates 125th Anniversary and Record-Breaking Growth

From Origins as Correspondence School, Penn Foster Achieves Year-Over-Year Growth to Provide Future Generations of Students with Education and Training.

Scranton, Pennsylvania (Jan. 21) — Penn Foster, a leader in career-focused online and hybrid education with a commitment to addressing the middle-skills gap in America, today announced the 125th anniversary of its founding. As one of the country’s original correspondence schools, Penn Foster is rooted in training Americans with the technical skills needed to find jobs where they live and continues that mission today by providing students with distance learning college, career school, and high school programs to better enable them for success.

“We are proud to accredit Penn Foster, an organization that has demonstrated unwavering commitment to providing students with access to affordable educational programs for 125 years,” said Dr. Leah Matthews, Executive Director of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.  “As a founding charter member of our council, Penn Foster has advanced the field of distance learning considerably over the years, and continues that mission today by ensuring that all students have access to high-quality options to further their education.”

Founded in 1890 by a newspaper editor named Thomas J. Foster to provide coal miners with the education needed to advance in their careers and increase worker safety, Penn Foster was originally known as the International Correspondence Schools (ICS). In 2006, the school changed its name to Penn Foster and transitioned to online education, offering students accredited degree, diploma, and certificate programs with a focus on high growth, in-demand fields. Penn Foster has provided educational opportunities to more than 13 million students since opening its doors, and currently has more than 130,000 active students in programs across its high school, career school and college.

In recognition of those who are part Penn Foster’s past, present and future, Penn Foster has launched a multi-media campaign where students, alumni and partners can share their stories and contribute their personal experiences as part of Penn Foster’s history.

“There are few companies, and even fewer educational institutions in this country that can boast a 125-year history and Penn Foster could not be more proud to be one of them,” said Frank Britt, CEO of Penn Foster. “We are thankful for the dedication of many generations of Penn Foster students, staff, and partners who are passionate about learning and view education as a critical step for life success.”

Penn Foster has reached a number of important milestones in its 125 years, most recently with the announcement of a record-breaking year for Penn Foster High School with over 20,000 graduates in 2014. With more than 60,000 active students, Penn Foster High School is one of the largest high schools in the country.  

Penn Foster has also established partnerships with leading youth organizations including Job Corps, YouthBuild and America’s Promise Alliance, as well as colleges and career schools, high schools and school districts across the county to help provide more students access to affordable, accredited learning opportunities.

About Penn Foster
Founded in 1890, Penn Foster has been a leader in career-focused distance and hybrid learning for 125 years through its high school, career school and college. Through direct enrollment by students as well as partnerships with schools and businesses, more than 13 million people have taken Penn Foster-enabled courses to further their education and better position them for life success. Today, Penn Foster enrolls more than 100,000 new students each year in programs designed to address the gap in middle skilled careers. Penn Foster combines affordable career-oriented education with a flexible delivery model ranging from pure play online to onsite hybrid learning solutions. For more information, visit

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