Penn Foster High School Reviews 2021 | Admission, Requirements, Academics, Scholarships

Penn Foster High School is a private institution in the United States and clearly for-profit high school for span (distance) learning. It was founded in the year 1890 as the International Correspondence Schools (ICS).

Basically, Penn Foster High School is the largest high school in the United States, with over 60,000 students who they currently enrolled across all 50 states. Programs are apparently self-paced.

The school is both regionally and nationally accredited. It has its headquarters in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

It offers a high school diploma program and various high school direction of attention programs, which includes an early college program for students who are looking to start their college education and vocational concentrations in health care, electrical, carpentry, plumbing, or information technology.

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History of Penn Foster High School

In the year 1890, Thomas J. Foster, an editor of the newspaper, founded the International Correspondence Schools to make provisions for coal miners and with the education they needed to move forward in their line of careers and increase safety of workers.

According to a history of ICS, “the school’s success depends on trying to understand the market and its potential students. It’s influenced by the widely known Horatio Alger books, and people looked to pull themselves up making use of their bootstraps and climbing the social and economic ladder.”

Starting in the 1890s, ICS received competition from state schools, which also included Penn State College. And by the 1920s, public education became more global. As the popularity of correspondence schools declined, ICS lost students.

After different name changes in the 1990s, in 2006, ICS became Penn Foster High School, Penn Foster Career School, and Penn Foster College.

In 2007, the Wicks Group, a private equity firm, purchased the school from Thomson Corporation. And in the year 2009, they later resold Penn Foster to verify preparation and educational support company The Princeton Review.

In 2012, Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private-equity company purchased for $33 million the Princeton Review brand name and operations. They renamed the biological company Education Holdings 1, Inc.

In 2013, Education Holdings 1 filed for bankruptcy; it egressed 2 months later. And in 2014, Vistria Group, which was led by Martin Nesbitt, bought Penn Foster. Bain Capital bought Penn Foster from Vistria Group in the year 2018.

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What You Need to Know About Penn Foster High School

The institution offers an open enrollment and, as an online school, students do not have to work directly with certified teachers. Instead, they have to complete classes in a friendly discussion school-like format.

To get hold of a high school degree, students get to take a core curriculum of classes and five electoral courses. Students can make use of these electoral courses to concentrate on particular industries, such as information technology, or building technology, health care, or may take approved college-level courses.

Students and graduates can gain access to Career Services of Penn Foster, which supports students finding a job using resume and preparing cover letter, job search help, and tips for interview.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Penn Foster High School has about 11.5 FTE (full-time equivalent teachers) which is about 13,000 students.

The school has quite a good number of social groups and clubs. They have Photography Club, Friends of Hope, 20s Club, DIY Club, Cooking Club, Night Owls, Stand Strong, Book Club, Environmental Club, Student Council, Science Club, Quote Club, Words of Faith, Penn Foster Pet Club, Writers and Poetry Club.

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Admission Requirements of Penn Foster High School

To enroll in Penn Foster High School, students must have completed the 8th grade.

Some of the institution’s career diploma programs and online certificate programs call for the students to have a High School Diploma before they can enlist.

While getting enrolled in Penn Foster College, they ask students to have a High School Diploma or GED Equivalency Certificate to enlist in a Bachelor’s degree, Associate Degree, Undergraduate Certificate.

Some of the institution’s career diploma programs also call for the students to have a High School Diploma before they can enroll.

Penn Foster program students must have access to high-speed Internet, a Microsoft, Windows-based computer running Windows 10 or later or an Apple Mac computer running macOS or later, and an email account. However, there are restrictions on these technology requirements.

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Penn Foster High School Tuition and Payment Options

1. Pay in Full

Paying in Full is another way to save with Penn Foster. If you decide to go for the ‘pay-in-full’ option, you’ll be able to save up to 25%.

This one time payment actually covers for the entire cost of tuition, which may include; course materials, books, and the support of the institution’s committed faculty.

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2. Payment Plans

You can set up an automatic payment plan whether you want to pay your tuition in one payment, or better still, pay by mail.

Penn Foster works with you to create a plan that will work. Whatever it is you decide or choose, your tuition will include all kinds of learning materials and academic aid from Penn Foster faculty.

On the average, graduates of high school can earn over $8,000 or more every year even more than nongraduates.

With payment plans beginning at less than $2 each day, and the capability to start for just $1, earning your high school diploma can be very much affordable.

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Is Penn Foster High School Free?

You might wonder if the high school program is free like it is in school districts. Sorry to burst your bubble.

The high school is not free, Penn Foster High School is a private school. Consequently, they fund it through tuition paid by the students, unlike public schools they fund from taxes residents of that community pay.

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How fast can I complete the high school program?

The time to complete a course depends on the student and how many hours per week they can devote to studying.

A student who enters Penn Foster High School with no transfer credits but regularly studies can finish the curriculum in around 9 months.

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Do employers take Penn Foster degrees?

Penn Foster does not provide any guarantees. Once you’ve completed your studies, you’re on your own. Most businesses are unconcerned about nationally accredited schools.

Your best bet is to figure out what field you want to enter and then hunt for the credentials to get, either through a local school or through proctored examinations.

Are the degrees from Penn Foster legit?

The work you conduct with Penn Foster is completely legal!

When you’re working toward your diploma, they can often transfer the classes and credits you gain to other schools, preparing you to take the next step toward your career and academic ambitions.

Can I get financial aid for Penn Foster?

Penn Foster does not take financial aid from the federal government.

Although no financial aid is available, they offer inexpensive monthly payment plans with no interest.

You can take charge of your education with Penn Foster’s interest-free payment choices.

Can I Cheat on Penn Foster?

They strictly prohibit you from using Content to cheat on Penn Foster educational tests or assignments.

Even to help or facilitate cheating by others. Or jeopardize the integrity of Penn Foster students’ educational experience or Penn Foster educational programs.

What Happens if I Fail an Exam at Penn Foster?

If you’re thinking about enrolling in a Penn Foster program or currently enrolled in one, you may be concerned about what would happen if you fail a test.

You can take the time you need to study and grasp the subject with the flexibility of a self-paced, online program, but things happen.

Here’s what you can do to scale through if you don’t pass the first time:

For High School, Career School and College

1. Multiple Choice Exams

If you get less than a perfect score on a multiple choice exam in a session, you can repeat it! You’ll be able to go back to your notes and study materials and try again if you think you can perform better or if you require a passing grade.

However, your retake alternatives have a time limit! Within 30 days of the first time you took the exam, you can retake it. You can only retake each exam once. Besides that, a better grade is the official grade on your transcript at Penn Foster.

2. High School, Career School, Projects and College Written Assignments

Some of your courses will require you to submit writing assignments or projects through your Student Portal.

If your contribution does not follow the criteria, they will return it without grading and with teacher feedback.

3. College Proctored Exams

Proctored tests are final exams that students must take at the end of a semester or at the completion of a course in a college degree program.

The regulations for retakes on failed proctor exams vary, so if you’re scared you won’t pass, check in with your instructor using your Student Portal’s Help Center.

Therefore, with the information above, you can recover from an exam you failed. Besides that, the help of their flexible, online courses and committed instructors and teaching assistants will come in handy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

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

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

If there’s inclusion of textbooks with your program, you definitely receive the books throughout your course as you require them. Basically, they’re now shipped so that you receive them when you’re ready to begin the class you need them for.

Is Penn Foster High School Accredited?

Absolutely yes! They accredited Penn Foster’s online High School nationally through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), Cognia, and accredited regionally through the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (CSS-MSA).

Which colleges will accept an online high school diploma from Penn Foster?

Fact is, accepting a high school diploma can change based on the college or university. Therefore, no form of accreditation can assure that any employer or earning institution will approve of the high school diploma.

Will I be able to get help from teachers or tutors if I get stuck on a course or assignment?

Fact is, you can access instructors through phone, email, and chat! If you’ve got issues with your class or assignment, Penn Foster’s already made available experienced and certified instructors are to assist you.


Penn Foster contributes to the fact that each year there are over 43,000 graduates from across the nation earning their high school diplomas at home on their schedule. 

To conclude, know that Penn Foster High School’s online, rather than some, and accredited program, you are very much at liberty to take your first step towards the future and that illustrious career you desire.


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