Penn Foster College is a for-profit school whose former students indicate is committing fraud. Deceptive advertising and misrepresentation of the facts on the school’s website state that the school is properly accredited and that the credits will transfer to other schools should they decide to continue their education. Unfortunately, this turns out to be nothing but smoke and mirrors as students are ending up left with thousands of dollars in debt, few job prospects, and unable to transfer their credits to continue elsewhere.
The school’s statements make it appear as if they are a reputable for profit school that can easily transfer to other programs but when the students contacted non-profit institutions they were told that the school lacked the accreditation necessary to complete the credit transfers and they could not be accepted as coming from a reputable school. Another point of conflict is in regards to statements associated with the fees and costs of Penn Foster’s programs. Students discovered the hard way that testing and exams came with a fee and that their diploma had to be purchased or they would not receive it even though they’d graduated.
The school also offers a general education diploma program for completion of high school and many students have stated that they experienced extreme difficulty in getting their transcripts and diploma before their scheduled state exams to obtain recognition of high school completion. Many students were forced to delay their exams for extended periods which also prevented them from attending college or university or gaining employment with a GED as a prerequisite.
Students of the online small engine repair program were deeply troubled to discover that the equipment and tools they had paid for only consisted of a carburetor. Considering they were supposed to be working on small engines, and the carburetor was worth less than $10, they soon found that their program was useless. Another person who was studying pharmacy technology via their online found out suddenly at the end of the program that an externship would be required. To further complicate issues, the school only permitted externships to be done at locations of their choice…far from where their online students resided. Students were then forced to travel extensively to complete the 30 hours of externship, pay for bloodwork, insurance, a physical, drop tests, and apply for the externship. As the school didn’t have many extern sites, many waited for their acceptance to participate for quite some time.
Course equipment in classrooms was also subpar and students stated that they had to work with severely outdated equipment no longer used in the workforce. Course materials were also very outdated and didn’t prepare students for working in their chosen field of study.
In the end, many students felt that they’d entered the twilight zone as the programs, materials, equipment, instruction, and fees were in no way similar to those advertised by Penn foster. These students are left unable to obtain work in their fields of study or even further their education without beginning their programs over again with reputable schools.
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