Penn Foster College

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Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College (Logo).png
925 Oak St.
Scranton, Pennsylvania, 18515
United States
Type Private college, Distance education
Established 1890
Status Open
Grades College
Enrollment Approx. 24,000
School colour(s) Blue, white
Accreditation Distance Education and Training Council

Penn Foster College is a U.S. for-profit, nationally accredited[1] distance education private college. The school was founded in 1890, and was known as International Correspondence Schools, or ICS. It is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. Students of Penn Foster can study online at their own pace. Penn Foster College offers both Bachelor and Associate degree programs.


Penn Foster College meets the standards set by the Distance Education and Training Council, and is licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, authorizing Penn Foster College to award Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science Degrees.

The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service has recommended college credit for many Penn Foster College courses. Penn Foster College’s Veterinary Technician Associate Degree is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, while the Medical Assistant Associate Degree is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Services.

All Penn Foster College programs are affiliated with DANTES, which qualifies US military personnel for tuition reimbursement.

Penn Foster College is accredited as a business by the Better Business Bureau, and has a BBB Rating of A.[2]


In 1890, a newspaper editor named Thomas J. Foster founded the school to provide coal miners with the education they needed to advance in their careers and increase worker safety. At the turn of the century, the school was officially known as the International Correspondence Schools (ICS), and one out of every 27 adults in the US had taken an ICS course. In December 2009, Penn Foster college was purchased by test preparation and educational support company The Princeton Review from its previous owner, the Wicks Group, a private equity firm that had bought the school from Thomson Corporation in 2007. On May 18, 2012, the Princeton Review brand name and operations were bought for $33 million by Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private-equity firm. The parent company was renamed Education Holdings 1, Inc.[3] In 2013, Education Holdings 1 filed for bankruptcy; it exited two months later.[4][5]


Penn Foster College provides students with the opportunity to earn Bachelor’s degrees, Associate degrees, and undergraduate certificates through online courses and instruction, as well as printed materials delivered to their homes. All Penn Foster programs are non-synchronous, meaning they can be started at any time. Students can choose from programs in Business, Criminal Justice, Graphic Design, Early Childhood Education, Engineering, Health Services, Paralegal Studies, Technology, and Veterinary Technician areas. Students can also enroll in individual courses.

Penn Foster College the world's largest and leading distance education institution, on the basis of its instructional support services and diversified academics.[citation needed] The college also grants students access to Career Cruising career services, as well as a Student Community for students to interact with faculty, staff, and other students.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "DETC 2014-2015 DIRECTORY OF ACCREDITED INSTITUTIONS". Distance Education and Training Council. p. 20. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "BBB Business Review: Penn Foster Career School". BBB serving Metro Washington DC & Eastern Pennsylvania. Better Business Bureau. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Princeton Review to sell test prep business name". Associated Press. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Penn Foster parent seeks bankruptcy protection
  5. ^ Ex-Princeton Review Owner Wins OK For Ch. 11 Exit Plan

External links[edit]