Is Penn Foster College For Real?
Are you someone who is considering earning an online degree through Penn Foster College? If so, continue reading for a review of the school's history and accreditation.
Penn Foster College has a very long and established history. You may be surprised to learn that it has been around since 1890. The school was originally founded as the International Correspondence School (ICS) but later changed names to the name we are all now familiar with. Penn Foster's offices are located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The most important thing to evaluate when considering a college or university is its accreditation. And in the United States the best form of accreditation a school can have is usually referred to as “regional accreditation.” Penn Foster College, however, does not hold regional accreditation. It is accredited by an agency known as the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). DETC accreditation is a valid form of accreditation and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Nevertheless, it is not considered to be as good as regional accreditation.
Some people may think there's a Penn Foster scam because the school holds DETC accreditation instead of regional accreditation. You don't have to worry; there is no scam. DETC accreditation is legitimate and it is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. DETC accreditation does have some limitations though, primarily in transferring credits to other schools. For the most part, colleges that hold regional accreditation do not accept DETC credit in transfer. There are a few that do, but they are rare.
Aside from the issue of credit transfers, another important thing to consider is being accepted into grad school with a DETC accredited degree. For the most part, most grad schools with regional accreditation do not accept DETC undergrad degrees. Don't make the mistake of spending thousands on a DETC degree if you intend to pursue graduate studies. The competition for admissions at the schools is very strong and all of the competition with regionally accredited undergraduate degrees will move ahead of your DETC degree.
Is Penn Foster a scam? When you consider the fact that the school has legitimate accreditation and a history that spans more than 100 years, it's easy to conclude that Penn Foster is legitimate. Before you enroll in any Penn Foster degree program, however, just be sure you are aware of the limitations of DETC accreditation.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cy is an accountant who enjoys reviewing various online colleges and degree programs.