• Report: #193640

Complaint Review: Penn Foster Career Schools

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  • Submitted: Sun, May 28, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, February 05, 2013

  • Reported By:Williamson New York
Penn Foster Career Schools
925 Oak Street Scranton, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

Penn Foster Career Schools Highly questionable practices, Misleading Course Titles Ripoff Scranton Pennsylvania

*Consumer Comment: Saddened by slanderous allegations

*Consumer Comment: Just a thought...

*General Comment: Yeah right.

*General Comment: Update

*Consumer Comment: Pennfoster is trouble!

*Consumer Comment: Don't mislead individuals about the United States Armed Service(s)

*Consumer Comment: Don't mislead individuals about the United States Armed Service(s)

*Consumer Comment: Just because you didn't have a bad experince doesn't mean everyone has good experince so who cares if you disagree

*Consumer Comment: Penn Foster is a great school

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Too Funny

*General Comment: UMMMMM

*Consumer Suggestion: Research Before You Buy & Use Spell Check

*Consumer Comment: Penn Foster Career School

*General Comment: People Who Can't Spell telling People Who Can't Spell that they Cant Spell ha

*Consumer Comment: penn foster ex student

*Consumer Comment: Freelance Writer?

*Consumer Comment: Penn Foster is not a rip-off

*Consumer Suggestion: Let's call it like it is please...

*Consumer Suggestion: If you wish to be taken more seriously...

*Consumer Comment: PennFoster-not a rip-off

*Consumer Comment: Penn Foster is a legit School ... September 2007

*Consumer Suggestion: I am a Current Student Also Took Classes In 2004 Also

*Author of original report: Update

*Author of original report: It appears to me that the BBB of PA doesn't seem to intrested in following up or even coming to a real conclusion. They just want to close the case.

*Author of original report: Update

*Author of original report: Update

*Author of original report: Update

*Author of original report: Update

*Author of original report: update

*Author of original report: update

*Author of original report: update

*Author of original report: update

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I am finishing a course I took from them, first I would like to report that some of the course titles are misleading in thier description. I took the Freelance Writer's Course, the description included it as a course for those intrested in writting a novel to take.

In reality it is more of a half hearted reporter's course. The majority of the course was reading a book and answering mutable choice questions, only submitted four manuscripts for the entire course.

The books didn't go far enough into chacater development, plot and story line to be concidered a course for novelist. The course covered the basics of the industry as far as genere and terminology.

NOTE: It required a synopsis as part of a final exam but failed to cover the synopsis in any of material I read. I had to turn to other sources for material to finish the course.

When I did submit a manuscript for the second time, it was failed and editied by an unknown person who they refused to disclose to me on who, where, or what cradentials this person had as an editor. They stated "We send the Exams out, I cannot tell you who grades them, and you don't want to talk to that person anyways."

That manuscript was full of degrading and unethical remarks. I did file a complanit with the english department who gave a passing grade, did point out the true errors but failed to respond to the unprofessional editotor or even apalogize for the remarks that were offensive.

I have two more exam or manuscripts that I am waiting to be returned, I do not know what the editor wrote, but one barely passed as the grades are posted before your exam comes back.

I would very much like to hear from anyone who enrolled and had problems with thier course, I am doing my own investgation into the ethical practices of these institutions.

If there is a forum avable to studnets I would to know about it.

Thank You for your time.

Rachel
Williamson, New York
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/28/2006 07:31 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Penn-Foster-Career-Schools/Scranton-Pennsylvania-18515/Penn-Foster-Career-Schools-Highly-questionable-practices-Misleading-Course-Titles-Ripoff-193640. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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0Author 31Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Saddened by slanderous allegations

AUTHOR: Jim - ()

I am currently enrolled in Penn Foster. I am working on a Career Diploma as an Electronic Technician. I work for an company that designs, manufactures, sells, and provides service to customers of innovative electronic devices based lasers.

Before Penn Foster, I attended a "traditional" university, completing a Bachelor of Science in Biology and also another Bachelor of Arts in the Humanities. I did years years of graduate level work and reasearch in Chemistry.

As they say, life is what happens while you're planning for the future. Even though I am not working in my major after acquiring my BS and BA, I am still happy and enjoy my job and work. Working within a manufacturing schedule can seriously put a damper on the time you have to work on improving yourself and situation. let alone handle all the other responsibilities on has.

I have taken over 160 credits of undergraduate courses for 2 majors at a large research University. I was ten credits and an unfinished thesis away from getting my Master's degree in Chemistry.  I have listened to thousands of lectures given by top professors in their fields. I have taken hundreds of exams and dozens of laboratory courses. Frankly, I know what "college" is like. I can spot effective pedagogy, like well-written exam questions and articulate, concise presentation of complex subjects in plain language that is easy to understand. 

I've had excellent professors in the past. I have also had my share of learning that not all people are quite good yet at doing the job, the career they chose. I have had professors who, being "old school," still believe that attending college means getting a job, as preparation for the 'rat race.'  They tend to emphasize rigid deadlines, repetitive work on a regular schedule, basically preparing people for industry. 

Because I work all day, I can't go to some campus and all the rigmarole of college again. My employer offers a tuition reimbursement plan that repays us for sucessfully completed training or continuing education. That is, I pay for the tuition and books myself, upfront, then they pay me back when I complete my coursework. If not for Penn Foster's low tuition and payment plan financing, I would not be able to get this career diploma. Because I have the time to work at my own pace, if 'things' come up. 

Frankly, Penn Foster is like a blessing to me. Penn Foster was, after doing a great deal of research, the best option for me. First, they are nationally accredited which is the most important part of school selection.  I believe, Penn Foster is the oldest distance learning institution, founded on ethical principles, to help people obtain a job, or to do their job better, finish high school, even earn an advanced, nationally accredited degree. All while maintaining a normal work schedule.

Their financial aid/tuition system was designed to allow you to finish your objective (Associate's, Career Diploma, Certification) debt free. They have a payment plan unlike any you can find at any college, even state community colleges.

The course materials (the actual content) is excellent and to the point. The test questions demonstrate the depth of understanding required to do well. The text materials are superb and written effectively, without the esoteric details of a 10 lb. text book. I had earilier scoured the internet searching for learning resources to learn the same electronics material. But shortly after I began taking the exams after studying each section sufficiently well, I realized that a collection of the same subject material from Penn Foster, containing all the principles, fundamentals that one must know, with just enough reasoning to support and illustrate the concept; well, that collection you can't find in any bookstore. 

I purchased additional textbooks to support my learning, like Schaum's Outlines. When I first opened those books, I realized there was a good deal I did not learn about electronics in a year of college physics. A lot of it seemed like another language and symbology and the study problems in those books, I admit seemed sort of intimidating. After completing about 70% of my course work, I review those texts and others I've acquired and I am surprised by how I am able to use what I have learned to solve the problems. I laugh now that I was ever intimidated by schematic diagrams or questions requiring formulae I simply had not learned yet.

I will be finishing my Career Diploma in two months, making it a year long program. My job-specific training will include a verifiable document for my training record at work, from a nationally accredited institution that I have found to be an incredible value for the quality of education, that is convenient enough to let me work and also thrive at my job. 

Today I was enrolling for my next goal, an Associate's Degree, from Penn Foster.  There are other AS programs online, most are exorbitantly costly. There's no such thing as being "better accredited" or "worse accredited" based on whether or not you attended a physical campus or did the work independently. Frankly a great deal of tuition is wasted, especially at private institutions, on what is simply poor teaching, poor organization, long waits to get exams returned, ambiguous, seemingly arbitrary grading of assignments, and worst of all, ending up required to take a course from someone disenchanted with their work. 

I did a google search of Penn Foster, seeking information for my enrollment. I was at first surprised that a search result that slanders Penn Foster exists at all, but that it was almost at the top of the search.  

I read the complaints and rebuttals only to find most grievances to be petty, frivilous claims.  The first section of my Penn Foster learning was about study habits, making the most of the time available, and how to integrate this into a lifestyle/schedule that will basically ensure success. That document is also one of the best resources I've found on how to study.

Some people take longer to realize that no one is going to spoon-feed them or perform some Vulcan thought-tranfer to install the information into their minds. I would not be writing this rebuttal at all if I thought the tests were so easy as to make the program a "joke." If that were so, then I would be the one complaining that it is too easy to the point that it is not useful to me, just some go-through-the-motions game to earn a shingle to frame, something to give "meaning" for the sake of appearances, while the actual learning and understanding behind that symbol of accomplishment might be inadequate, fleeting bits and pieces, and posturing. 

If I were interested in writing novels, fiction, Creative Writing would be my first course choice. Freelance writing is something entirely different. It was hard to get past the first complaint. The next complaint seems to be a failed manuscript, based on the content, but then it seems like a desperate last attempt to add "degrading and unethical" remarks as a red herring, a distraction (please offer examples). Maybe that person has enough experience to spot a paper that has not been edited suffiently or even proofread. Maybe being upset about the grade has colored things in way that added insult to injury? 

The amount of learning you do and the effort or 'sweat equity' that you put in, or anyone else, the amount of learning you retain over time, the ability to apply that learning (effectively), is all up to the individual at all times. Unless that person is developmentally disabled or challenged and may need specific assistance to overcome, but still, even then, whether they learn or not is up to them.  

The first rule of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

Be proactive.

You are the only one ultimately responsible for whether you learn or not. You are responsible for whether or not you complete a program with the least amount of work possible to eek by. Even if you didn't finish according to the soft schedule for program completion, they would work with you on an extension to finish (although that may cost more tuition which is not unreasonable) because they are eager to help. Contact information and resources are dense on their website, to the point of over-doing it. 

Do you think there are no people at schools all over the country, who excitedly left for college only to find out they were not prepared or not even doing the work, leading to academic dismissal. Is it not emotionally crushing to them too? Of course. But how many of those will sincerely place all blame on the institution with a physical campus for whatever happened.  Just because Penn Foster is online does not merit the the claim of "doing my own investgation into the ethical practices of these institutions." 

What is meant by "these institutions?" What are you saying exactly besides generalizing your feelings? You seem to be grouping a quality institution with the growing business sector of "diploma mills," promising "college degrees" for a lot of money, some charge as much as private college tuition, when they are not even accredited!!!

ITT technical school, College America, Everest, (you know "those institutions" who recruit students through TV commercials with vague promises of "success" and "great future" when they are not even accredited, and many out there have no idea what accreditation is: the very minimum standard an academic institution should meet in order for their students to not be laughted out of the interview. But it's all in fine print with such businesses that they are NOT accredited, and so not worth the money or time there when it's all said and done. 

Penn Foster is a quality institution based on ethical standards and their pedagogical methods, from my personal experience are sound. I am grateful that they do what they do. They provide an opportunity not otherwise available, is relatively inexpensive, and they are dedicated to student success.  Slander of their reputation is undeserved and harmful for people you will never meet who were inspired to do more, be more, but could have been discouraged by seemingly worthwhile grievances, that turns out to be the same old ubiquitous complaining by freshman students who "did well in HS" but are now shocked and insulted by what must be an arrogant person. They learn that HS in general does not, or no longer does, prepare people adequately for college, which makes sense considering HS can be completely by simply showing up.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Just a thought...

AUTHOR: NCmom - ()

 After reading your complaint/post, I had several thoughts.  My first thought being that you just may have chosen the wrong program.  You're spelling and sentence structure are at best atrocious.  What you wrote in your papers is not as important as your ability to convey your thoughts in a constructive and coherent manner....that includes proper word usage, spelling etc.  Secondly, if you would have read the program outline, you would have seen what the course offered....and what wasn't offered.  This course seems to be involved more with teaching students the essentials (of English) in order to be successful as a writer.

I am not a student with Penn Foster, but my daughter is.  She is currently in the High School w/ Early College degree program.  I've looked through all of her books, and found them to be as good or better than what the school district here offers their students.  I have no doubts or worries that my daughter is getting an excellent education with Penn Foster.  Some books are thin (some aren't) but the wealth of information found in each are of the best quality.  My daughter feels more confident as a student with Penn Foster than she did in public school....and is learning much more.  I don't regret my decison to enroll my daughter with Penn Foster.

 

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#3 General Comment

Yeah right.

AUTHOR: Kimmi - (United States of America)

I don't even go to this school, nor have I heard about it until recently. Here is my big problem with your 800 complaints about this school: You can't even spell simple words correctly and you wonder why you were getting back failed papers.

If I had to grade your complaints you would get a fail for those too. It seems you're just angry that you were told you stink and this is you being vindictive about it. Good grades are earned, they don't just hand them out, especially when you take it to a website like this and throw a hissy fit. 

It honestly appears as if the fault here is your own. You might want to think of a different career. 
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#4 General Comment

Update

AUTHOR: Thisschoolsucks - (United States of America)

Hello, i just wanted to put in my experience with this stupid school. 

I just want to warn everyone to STAY AWAY from PennFoster. This school has given me nothing but headaches. You don't get up-to-date information for your class. You get old school hand me downs about 6+ years old. At first when i started contacting a professor it seemed like they wanted to help but as time went on it seemed like a chore to the and that they really didn't want to help at all. I even sent in one project and their "5 year old system" corrupted my file and they only got part of it. Then they argue with me for over a month and say its my fault and that i had to re-do it. I did re-do it 3 times and still nothing. Their email would only receive my messages part of the time and they wouldn't do anything. They kept saying its not our fault. Give us your money and suck one. So i will make sure everyone knows what kind of school this is and save you the headache and pain that i went through.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Pennfoster is trouble!

AUTHOR: Harley - (United States of America)

I went through Pennfoster's online highschool program and they caused nothing but trouble. The classes were easy, yes. However, the "teachers" are no help what so ever. The customer service people are very rude and they take a while to respond to you. If you are speeding through your work, they will fail you; which is NOT right. They claim that it is "work at your own pace," but they control how fast you can get the courses.

We have paid over $500 to Pennfoster for no reason. When we set everything up, they claimed that they were accredited and accepted by all colleges. When I asked if the college I was going to attend accepted their diploma, they lied to me and said they had just sent a students transcripts to the college I was going to attend. About 2 weeks ago, the college called me and asked if I had my GED. When I told them I didnt, they responded that they do not accept Pennfoster because they are not actually accredited and their "courses" are out of date. Luckily, I found one college that is willing to accept the diploma, as long as I take "refesher" courses also.

No, Pennfoster may not be a TOTAL scam. However, do not trust them. Their courses such as Photography, Interior Design, and other classes are okay to take. The only reason I say that is because you will have a license to do whatever it is you complete.. If you are in highschool and plan on going to college (not through them), DO NOT GO THROUGH PENNFOSTER!! You will regret it.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Don't mislead individuals about the United States Armed Service(s)

AUTHOR: Rock - (United States of America)

Mentioning of the United States Armed Services not accepting you if Penn Foster were to be a rip-off is unfounded. The United States Armed Service will Accept any person whom can do 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and run(jog)a very short distance. Even a felon can join with a waiver.You need not to have further course studies in order to enter the armed forces.

I am presently a student at Penn Foster. I will post a review after my first year. My concern here in Pennsylvania is that I have found not a 4 year university to accept any credits from Penn Foster nor a community college. I have paid for the program and will finish, just as I read and pay for a newspaper. 

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#7 Consumer Comment

Don't mislead individuals about the United States Armed Service(s)

AUTHOR: Rock - (United States of America)

Mentioning of the United States Armed Services not accepting you if Penn Foster were to be a rip-off is unfounded. The United States Armed Service will Accept any person whom can do 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and run(jog)a very short distance. Even a felon can join with a waiver.You need not to have further course studies in order to enter the armed forces.

I am presently a student at Penn Foster. I will post a review after my first year. My concern here in Pennsylvania is that I have found not a 4 year university to accept any credits from Penn Foster nor a community college. I have paid for the program and will finish, just as I read and pay for a newspaper. 

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#8 Consumer Comment

Just because you didn't have a bad experince doesn't mean everyone has good experince so who cares if you disagree

AUTHOR: Charles - (USA)

Let me point this out just because you didn't have anything bad happen.  This doesn't apply to the poster.  You can disagree all you feel like.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Penn Foster is a great school

AUTHOR: Msdavi - (United States of America)

I disagree with what this person has to say. Penn Foster is a GREAT school to attend. They are cheap in price, have awesome teachers who help out if you need it, and have challenging exams. I have taken two courses with this school... The Administrative Assistant Career Diploma and the Criminal Justice Associates Degree, and I am highly PLEASED with the school work of this school. BOTH courses hit every aspect of the class and does it in depth. 
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#10 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Too Funny

AUTHOR: Judy - (United States of America)

I could not stop laughing as I read these rebuttals on the college.  I appreciate the time each of you took to write about their experiences but I cannot read anymore and cannot figure out whether to trust these comments or not.  It's just too funny.  Sorry but think about it.  
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#11 General Comment

UMMMMM

AUTHOR: Lisa - (U.S.A.)

Well, first off, I think you should have taken a english Class first. Your spelling is worse then a fifth grader. uuughhh Horrible!! And please dont write a book.
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

Research Before You Buy & Use Spell Check

AUTHOR: mcshawnboy - (United States of America)

I became interested in Penn Foster Jewelry Repair course via a sponsored add from Facebook while researching jewelry supplies. The Ripoff Report's the first place I look for consumer info, but it didn't show up in my first search.

I did find a site that reviews online schools & feedback from students, both good and bad comments.http://www.onlinedegreereviews.org/college/penn-foster-reviews/

If your interests are in writing it'd be beneficial to use Spell Check, especially when writing a complaint letter.



 

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#13 Consumer Comment

Penn Foster Career School

AUTHOR: Solitude2008 - (U.S.A.)

First, I have to say that the reason you probably failed your Freelance Writer's Course may have something to do with the fact that you are a terrible speller and make numerous mistakes. I can only imagine all of the aspirin the "editor" had to pop to read anything you may have submitted for grading. One thing anyone should take into consideration before reading what you have written and automatically assuming you must be right is the fact that you do not seem to be learning much from the Penn Foster program and what you've written here may very well be proof that you need far more "editors" similar to the one you had from the start.

Secondly, it's very easy these days to get online and check a company's reputation through the BBB. Were anyone to do so, they'd see for themselves that the school is indeed not a rip-off. To be honest, you have made no valid points in saying that Penn Foster is a rip-off or a scam. The way you succeed in the program for the most part is on your shoulders, and I suspect that you are not putting much effort in, which may be why you are not getting the results you are apparently whining for and yet unwilling to study for.

I'm enlisting in the Navy and my backup plan is to be a Veterinary Technician, and if this school were indeed a rip-off than I highly doubt that the Armed Forces would be interested in recruiting me, don't you? With that said, this report in itself is a rip-off, and to the poster, I say this:

Before you badmouth a company to the public, have your facts in order. Make valid points and be ready to back up what you say with straightforward proof/evidence. Penn Foster is actually a great program with many rewards for those willing to put in their fair share of work and effort. It would be a shame for someone that is perhaps a little naive to read your report and reconsider being a part of Penn Foster all because you cannot complete your assignments correctly.
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#14 General Comment

People Who Can't Spell telling People Who Can't Spell that they Cant Spell ha

AUTHOR: Kara - (Canada)

The people who are saying learn to spell, spelled multiple words wrong, shouldn't say anything if you can't spell either. 
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#15 Consumer Comment

penn foster ex student

AUTHOR: victoria - (USA)

I know they are crooks,from reading the other comment below i am really scared now because they have my bank info . i will take care of that first thing in the morning,

I didn't have a good experience with them accused of plagerism and they have hidden fees, now they say I owe something I don't have to show anythng for, I have news for them, I am not paying 600.00 for a course they decided they wanted me to fail so they can get more money, it's like they suck you dry until you quit. they know they will not get anymore from me, as far as the threats they said they are not true either about if i dont pay up , i will never go to another college they can hold it against me, well let them try i am waiting

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#16 Consumer Comment

Freelance Writer?

AUTHOR: Candacerb - (U.S.A.)

I am a student of this program in the "Physical Therapy" courses from Penn Foster. I have learned a tremendous amount of medical information. I job shadow at the same time and I can see how it is elevating my learning abilities. My courses are very important to the work I do outside the computer. First of all, I think they are very organized and resourceful to the information they provide. It is definately a "You get what you put into it" situation. Online courses are a great future for students that are unable to do so otherwise; location, schedule, etc. The price for a course of this size is great and you don't sit in a classroom listening to a teacher talk about religion or politics while you pay for for example an English class. Speaking of english class, it scares me to think they are putting people through their online classes and receiving career diplomas for people as Miss Rachel. I am sure she is trying but her english is horrible and she needs to step back a few steps and take other courses before she professes to be a writer. Stay possitive Rachel and think about things before you say them or better yet before you spell them. Get back in and recheck yourself. Your effort is never wasted.
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#17 Consumer Comment

Penn Foster is not a rip-off

AUTHOR: Lizzy - (U.S.A.)

Penn foster is not a rip-off. I did a Interior Decorating program from Penn Foster and i am now a Certified Interior Decorater. I just register my company and hope to do better this year. When i needed help with my assignment i call student services and someone is always their to assist me. Their fees are reasonable and affordable to pay monthly. I think you have a problem with how you express yourself and it shows in your writing. Your spelling is not good. I saw a lot of misspelled words. If you want to get a good impresson in your writing and get the right meaning to the person who is grading your assignment its important to spell correctly. Penn Foster is not an elementary school. The person who is grading your assignment is not going to try to think what word you are trying to spell. I am so glad that i could do my program online and Penn Foster helped me to achieve my goal that i so long wanted to do in the comfort of my home. Penn Foster has maintained a tradition of excellence for more than 100 years. For me its a lifetime dream that i was able to fulfill.
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#18 Consumer Suggestion

Let's call it like it is please...

AUTHOR: Alcoatari - (U.S.A.)

How about you go and earn an English degree from a real school, or even a Liberal Arts Degree. Hell, even an associate's degree would do you well. Your spelling is uncommonly terrible and I am guessing you are or were an ESL student. You can thank the poor education system of America and useless teachers for reinforcing your bad spelling and bad grammatical habits.

But alas, my point is this: Given your bad grammar and spelling, and faulty typing, it is very possible that your manuscripts were not readable. That's not to say your stories were bad, just that no one could see the story underneath all of the errors.

I am going to venture a guess that some of my comments here resemble those given to you by the contractors who performed your reviews.

Brush up on your English Language skills and I don't think you will have any problems.

Getting published, on the other hand, will be even more difficult than what this school put you through. Often times, the agents or editors won't even send you feedback; they will simply throw your material into the trash.

This is especially true if your cover letter is sprinkled with the telltale signs of someone with a very poor grasp of basic English.

Also, to Amy: here is a little taste of your own medicine.

In your post you used the improper form of there when you should have used the form their second paragraph, second line. Also you've misspelled accredited twice.

If you're going to call someone out on their English skills, you may want to double check your own.
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#19 Consumer Suggestion

If you wish to be taken more seriously...

AUTHOR: Chiliheadwizard - (U.S.A.)

Do not take this the wrong way. I understand you are upset at how you were treated and especially your fear of identity theft.

One glaring problem I have with this, however, concerns your writing skills in the first place. You express an interest in a writing course, but your spelling has been atrocious in multiple posts. We are all human and I would expect the occasional typo, but your spelling is consistently horrible. I said to myself, "This person wants to be taken seriously as a writer?"

I am not sure exactly what the editor said about your work, but I remember my English composition professor in college. Some of her students were convinced she was a direct descendent of the Marquis de Sade due to her harsh comments on our essays. Teachers are there to teach, and oftentimes they have to be the proverbial Simon (from "American Idol") or Piers (from "America's Got Talent") in order to whip their students into ship shape if they care at all. My chemistry professors were nice guys but often they, too, would chew the class out if the class in general did a poor job on an exam.

If my reading of many reviews are any indication, professional critics can be the meanest. Whether or not I like a performer, a book, an author, a movie, or the like, I sit there at times and wonder who leaked in their Cheerios. Perhaps the editors and teachers at this school, as the proverbial Simon and Piers, are giving you a taste of what it means to be writer? If and when you go out into the real world and have to deal with them, you may wish you had these people back on your case.
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#20 Consumer Comment

PennFoster-not a rip-off

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

First of all-if people who are taking courses or have taken courses with any type of college should at least us a spell check or learn how to spell properly!

I have a friend who works for the Maryland Department of Rehabilitation and PennFoster is an acredited school that the state of Maryland uses to re-educate there clients who are no longer able to continue the work that they were previously doing due to medical issues.

As with any school (internet or not) you should research the course or program that you are interested in and find an appropriate school that is acredited. You should compare schools and prices---as the old saying goes "You get what you pay for."

I am currently considering a online program but before I make my choice I will research my options and make some phone calls and compare the online schools with local colleges in my area. I want to be sure I am getting what I pay for and to be sure that the local employers in my area will accept the degree from the school I choose. I also want to make sure that the information I have learned is enough for me to be able to take the exams needed to be board certified by the state that I choose to work in.
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#21 Consumer Comment

Penn Foster is a legit School ... September 2007

AUTHOR: Ken P - (U.S.A.)

I am taking the Desktop Publishing course with Penn Foster Career School.

Other than the study material concerning Windows Software being a few years outdated, the lessons are very good. I thought I knew a little something about DTP until I started this course, however I was very wrong.

As far as materials are concerned, it would have cost me more money to purchase the materials I have received from Penn Foster than I have paid for the course. The course was $699, and the Adobe InDesign software they sent is that much alone if you buy it retail. Not to mention the $50 Classroom in a Book textbook, the Penn Foster textbooks, the shipping charges they paid, as well as the other supplements and materials they have sent.

The staff at Penn Foster has been very quick to respond to the couple of emails I have sent regarding the course, and resolved my problems to my satisfaction. There is no delay in receiving courses, as they are ahead of me consistantly, even though I proceeded through the first half of the course very quickly.

In short, if you use common sense and pick your courses carefully, You should have a good experience. I agree that some courses should not be offered by mail or online, such as the TV Repair course, or something else that requires hands-on training (like cooking), but if you are willing to take the course anyway, you get what you pay for.

I know I am getting what I paid for.

Ken
North Carolina
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#22 Consumer Suggestion

I am a Current Student Also Took Classes In 2004 Also

AUTHOR: Margaret - (U.S.A.)

I am currently enrolled with Penn Foster taking the travel agent certificate, and I completed the Administrative Assistant certificate program in 2003-2004. I have never had problems with them. I mainly took the Admin course because I was confined to my bed during cancer treatments and needed something to keep myself busy and to further my knowledge in a few areas I did not feel was not strong in. (I was on a medical leave from my job as an office manager).

I feel that the courses they offer and the type of material is a value and think of it like this: If one thinks they are interested in a possible career and they take a $600-800 certificate program and they end up not being interested, they have gained additional education/knowledge but have not wasted a lot of money. I don't know about the other courses aside from what I am currently taken and what I have taken, but if a person was interested in working in an office as an admin, etc. The Admin course program is excellent and definately gives one enough training for an entry level position.
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#23 Author of original report

Update

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

As suspected the BBB is a waste of time and effort. They have "lost" four seperate complaints that I have filed and "conviently" responded to one complaint that did NOT ask for a resolution. The BBB is PROTECTING this scam becuase Penn Foster pays thousands of dollars to them for fees.
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#24 Author of original report

It appears to me that the BBB of PA doesn't seem to intrested in following up or even coming to a real conclusion. They just want to close the case.

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

I filed three reports with the BBB and only had the BBB reply to the first report which had the least amount of damage to the company in it.

The 2 and 3rd reports deal with security issues of my personal infor that was sent off campus to a private residence without my permission and about the eployee breaking thier own policies.

I have looked on the BBB od scranton PA for the total number of complaints filed with them against this co. 237 reports that they had listed. I don't know how far back those reports go, could be months or weeks.

Out of the 237 reports only 53 people accepted the BBB suggestion.

The first report filed with the BBB was blantly refused as even an issue with the co. I rebutted the co descicion and suddenly the report was closed with no further investigation.

It appears to me that the BBB of PA doesn't seem to intrested in following up or even coming to a real conclusion. They just want to close the case.

The last two reports deal with identity security--they just ignored them completely.
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#25 Author of original report

Update

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

I finished the course after much interaction between the DETC and the BBB. The BBB did nothing in the least for me, as a matter of fact they lost my second complaint.

I finally recieved my 'diploma' after the so called 'professional editor' returned my final undgraded because she didn't like what I wrote for a short story.

I recieved the most negative letter from Carol Sprock, head of the english departmant stating that the editor graded my work in her private home but could not tell me HOW MY PRIVATE INFORMATION that was attached to the work was secured.

She also deamed my work 'unmarketable' because she didn't like my basic story. Thus is was failed.

I reported the returned MS to the DETC and they closed the case and got my diploma.

BEWARE, THE WRITER'S COURSE DOES NOT WORK ON ACTUAL WRITING. IT IS SUPPOSED TO TEACH YOU HOW TO SUBMIT A MS FOR PUBLICATION ACORDING TO THE SCHOOL.

I never even got an apology form those jerks, instead I was further insulted by thier own full time employee.

The couse is actually worth about a third of what they ask for it. I figured out just how much the books cost and factored in the standard 50% of that cost for over head. The course should be no more than 200 dollars. Do not buy anything from these people. They do not support you and they cover up hidden facts like personal information security.
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#26 Author of original report

Update

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

I finished the course after much interaction between the DETC and the BBB. The BBB did nothing in the least for me, as a matter of fact they lost my second complaint.

I finally recieved my 'diploma' after the so called 'professional editor' returned my final undgraded because she didn't like what I wrote for a short story.

I recieved the most negative letter from Carol Sprock, head of the english departmant stating that the editor graded my work in her private home but could not tell me HOW MY PRIVATE INFORMATION that was attached to the work was secured.

She also deamed my work 'unmarketable' because she didn't like my basic story. Thus is was failed.

I reported the returned MS to the DETC and they closed the case and got my diploma.

BEWARE, THE WRITER'S COURSE DOES NOT WORK ON ACTUAL WRITING. IT IS SUPPOSED TO TEACH YOU HOW TO SUBMIT A MS FOR PUBLICATION ACORDING TO THE SCHOOL.

I never even got an apology form those jerks, instead I was further insulted by thier own full time employee.

The couse is actually worth about a third of what they ask for it. I figured out just how much the books cost and factored in the standard 50% of that cost for over head. The course should be no more than 200 dollars. Do not buy anything from these people. They do not support you and they cover up hidden facts like personal information security.
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#27 Author of original report

Update

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

I finished the course after much interaction between the DETC and the BBB. The BBB did nothing in the least for me, as a matter of fact they lost my second complaint.

I finally recieved my 'diploma' after the so called 'professional editor' returned my final undgraded because she didn't like what I wrote for a short story.

I recieved the most negative letter from Carol Sprock, head of the english departmant stating that the editor graded my work in her private home but could not tell me HOW MY PRIVATE INFORMATION that was attached to the work was secured.

She also deamed my work 'unmarketable' because she didn't like my basic story. Thus is was failed.

I reported the returned MS to the DETC and they closed the case and got my diploma.

BEWARE, THE WRITER'S COURSE DOES NOT WORK ON ACTUAL WRITING. IT IS SUPPOSED TO TEACH YOU HOW TO SUBMIT A MS FOR PUBLICATION ACORDING TO THE SCHOOL.

I never even got an apology form those jerks, instead I was further insulted by thier own full time employee.

The couse is actually worth about a third of what they ask for it. I figured out just how much the books cost and factored in the standard 50% of that cost for over head. The course should be no more than 200 dollars. Do not buy anything from these people. They do not support you and they cover up hidden facts like personal information security.
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#28 Author of original report

Update

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

I finished the course after much interaction between the DETC and the BBB. The BBB did nothing in the least for me, as a matter of fact they lost my second complaint.

I finally recieved my 'diploma' after the so called 'professional editor' returned my final undgraded because she didn't like what I wrote for a short story.

I recieved the most negative letter from Carol Sprock, head of the english departmant stating that the editor graded my work in her private home but could not tell me HOW MY PRIVATE INFORMATION that was attached to the work was secured.

She also deamed my work 'unmarketable' because she didn't like my basic story. Thus is was failed.

I reported the returned MS to the DETC and they closed the case and got my diploma.

BEWARE, THE WRITER'S COURSE DOES NOT WORK ON ACTUAL WRITING. IT IS SUPPOSED TO TEACH YOU HOW TO SUBMIT A MS FOR PUBLICATION ACORDING TO THE SCHOOL.

I never even got an apology form those jerks, instead I was further insulted by thier own full time employee.

The couse is actually worth about a third of what they ask for it. I figured out just how much the books cost and factored in the standard 50% of that cost for over head. The course should be no more than 200 dollars. Do not buy anything from these people. They do not support you and they cover up hidden facts like personal information security.
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#29 Author of original report

update

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

Here is something that school does not want you to know. They not only send manuscripts and written work out, off campus to contract people. They send your work out, with you personal information to the contractor's personal residence.

They send your name, address, phone, email and STUDNET ID NUMBER off campus to someone's house and they won't tell you where it goes. To who it goes and they won't assure it's a Professional who grades it.

If they also hold the right to faial your written work if they don't like what you written, not based on a real grading system.

I had to have my work Professioanly edited to see what the real problems were. I even went through the DETC, which did nothing to assure my information was safe.

Anyone could get my info, anyone could get my student ID number and if that person knew anything about computers, get my credit card number. Get my records...anything.


This is not a secure school. They hold highly questionable practices. They are a huge institute that made 8 billion dollars in 2004. They are owned by Tomson Learning. They give crap books with little support and then require submissions based on little information. This school thinks we are morons and basically have a low opinon of the people who take courses there.

In my complaint review the head of the English department stated "That most readers do not know American history,at all." This person also explained why I had to keep history up to date in an alternate reality.

The letter and recomendations are counterdicting.

She also made this comment, "The prelude you included was a freewrite band-aid...put together in response to the editors comments." This was false, it explained another mythology that affected the plot.

stay away from this school...it's a huge rip off.
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#30 Author of original report

update

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

Here is something that school does not want you to know. They not only send manuscripts and written work out, off campus to contract people. They send your work out, with you personal information to the contractor's personal residence.

They send your name, address, phone, email and STUDNET ID NUMBER off campus to someone's house and they won't tell you where it goes. To who it goes and they won't assure it's a Professional who grades it.

If they also hold the right to faial your written work if they don't like what you written, not based on a real grading system.

I had to have my work Professioanly edited to see what the real problems were. I even went through the DETC, which did nothing to assure my information was safe.

Anyone could get my info, anyone could get my student ID number and if that person knew anything about computers, get my credit card number. Get my records...anything.


This is not a secure school. They hold highly questionable practices. They are a huge institute that made 8 billion dollars in 2004. They are owned by Tomson Learning. They give crap books with little support and then require submissions based on little information. This school thinks we are morons and basically have a low opinon of the people who take courses there.

In my complaint review the head of the English department stated "That most readers do not know American history,at all." This person also explained why I had to keep history up to date in an alternate reality.

The letter and recomendations are counterdicting.

She also made this comment, "The prelude you included was a freewrite band-aid...put together in response to the editors comments." This was false, it explained another mythology that affected the plot.

stay away from this school...it's a huge rip off.
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#31 Author of original report

update

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

Here is something that school does not want you to know. They not only send manuscripts and written work out, off campus to contract people. They send your work out, with you personal information to the contractor's personal residence.

They send your name, address, phone, email and STUDNET ID NUMBER off campus to someone's house and they won't tell you where it goes. To who it goes and they won't assure it's a Professional who grades it.

If they also hold the right to faial your written work if they don't like what you written, not based on a real grading system.

I had to have my work Professioanly edited to see what the real problems were. I even went through the DETC, which did nothing to assure my information was safe.

Anyone could get my info, anyone could get my student ID number and if that person knew anything about computers, get my credit card number. Get my records...anything.


This is not a secure school. They hold highly questionable practices. They are a huge institute that made 8 billion dollars in 2004. They are owned by Tomson Learning. They give crap books with little support and then require submissions based on little information. This school thinks we are morons and basically have a low opinon of the people who take courses there.

In my complaint review the head of the English department stated "That most readers do not know American history,at all." This person also explained why I had to keep history up to date in an alternate reality.

The letter and recomendations are counterdicting.

She also made this comment, "The prelude you included was a freewrite band-aid...put together in response to the editors comments." This was false, it explained another mythology that affected the plot.

stay away from this school...it's a huge rip off.
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#32 Author of original report

update

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

Here is something that school does not want you to know. They not only send manuscripts and written work out, off campus to contract people. They send your work out, with you personal information to the contractor's personal residence.

They send your name, address, phone, email and STUDNET ID NUMBER off campus to someone's house and they won't tell you where it goes. To who it goes and they won't assure it's a Professional who grades it.

If they also hold the right to faial your written work if they don't like what you written, not based on a real grading system.

I had to have my work Professioanly edited to see what the real problems were. I even went through the DETC, which did nothing to assure my information was safe.

Anyone could get my info, anyone could get my student ID number and if that person knew anything about computers, get my credit card number. Get my records...anything.


This is not a secure school. They hold highly questionable practices. They are a huge institute that made 8 billion dollars in 2004. They are owned by Tomson Learning. They give crap books with little support and then require submissions based on little information. This school thinks we are morons and basically have a low opinon of the people who take courses there.

In my complaint review the head of the English department stated "That most readers do not know American history,at all." This person also explained why I had to keep history up to date in an alternate reality.

The letter and recomendations are counterdicting.

She also made this comment, "The prelude you included was a freewrite band-aid...put together in response to the editors comments." This was false, it explained another mythology that affected the plot.

stay away from this school...it's a huge rip off.
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