Associate Degree Programs at Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Cheapest Associate’s in Graphic Design Degrees Online.
Penn Foster College offers an alternative for students who want to go to college but don’t think they have the time or the money to do so. Its programs are all available online and allow students to pay their total costs when they first enroll or to sign up for a payment plan. These plans divide the total cost of the program into equal payments that students can make over time. The college now offers 22 associate degree programs that can prepare students for working in some demanding fields.
One option for students is the college’s retail management program. Designed for those who want to work in both online and offline retail positions, it features four semesters of courses. Students learn how to manage and maintain retail operations, the basics of working with a sales team and the best ways of deciding what customers need. Retail management majors will take courses such as Merchandising, Planning and Buying, Internet Marketing and E-Commerce and Business and Technical Writing. The human resource management and business management programs include similar courses but focus more on labor relations, business ethics, and other issues. The Graphic Design Associate’s Degree prepares artistic-minded graduates for careers in corporate communications, advertising, publishing, and more.
Early childhood education majors can develop the skills needed to work with children in preschools and similar settings. The college works with both the Learning Care Group and Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Students have the chance to work in one of the learning centers operated by either company while they’re in school, but they can also find full-time work for those companies after they graduate. Penn Foster College allows students to create a list of goals when they first award and track the progress they make towards those goals later. Students take Orientation to Early Childhood Education, Play in the Lives of Young Children and Working with Children with Special Needs among other classes.
Also available is a paralegal studies associate degree program. This program prepares students to work as assistants to attorneys working in all areas of the law. It features courses such as Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Legal Terminology, and Legal Research and Writing. Students learn how to assist practicing lawyers and how to manage the operations of a legal firm. Penn Foster College offers 17 other programs for those who want to earn an associate degree. Students can study fields that range from health care management and fashion merchandising to veterinary tech and graphic design.
About Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College is a private school that specializes in online and distance education. Founded in 1890 by a local newspaper editor named Thomas J. Foster, it opened with one school in Pennsylvania. This school provided training for local mine workers, which Foster believed would keep workers safe and allow them to work their way up the company ladder. Students typically completed their work through correspondence courses, which led to the school using Pennsylvania as its headquarters and moving all its classes to a correspondence format. The Princeton Review later purchased the school, which was then Penn Foster College. Another company later acquired the review and sold the school to Education Holdings 1, Incorporated.
Now called Penn Foster and PFC, the college operates Penn Foster High School, which allows students to finish their high school diplomas online. Students can also enroll in Penn Foster Career School to complete a vocational training program. The college only offers online classes and has both bachelor and associate programs available. A small number of certificate programs are also available. PFC has online resources that allow students to talk with other students and get tips on studying and completing their assignments. Across all its programs, the college has an enrollment of more than 50,000 students.
Penn Foster College Accreditation Details
All three branches of Penn Foster have accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Its business and vet tech programs have accreditation from accrediting agencies in those fields too. Both the career school and high school have the approval to offer programs for students also.
Penn Foster College Application Requirements
Penn Foster does not have any application requirements because it allows students to enroll and start whenever they want. The only rule it has is that those enrolling in its high school have at least an eighth-grade education and that those enrolling in a college program have a high school diploma or a GED. It does recommend that prospective students contact its admissions board though and that they speak with an admissions specialist. This specialist can make sure that students understand their payment options and how they can enroll.
The college gives students three ways in which they can enroll: over the phone, online or via mail. Those who choose the phone option can talk to an admissions specialist, discuss the programs that interest them, sign up for classes and make their first payments. Students who pick the online option can create an account with the Penn Foster website. The college will send them their account IDs and let them choose their own usernames and passwords. They will then use the site to enroll in courses and make their payment arrangements.
Tuition and Financial Aid
PFC does not offer pricing information online for prospective students, but it does let them know how much they will pay each month while in school. Students typically make payments of between $39 and $49 a month, though some programs may charge a little more. The college occasionally runs specials that allow students to put down a $1 deposit when they first enroll and get a reduced tuition rate. A similar program requires a small down payment and monthly payments of $39.
Financial aid is not available from the college. As it has national and not regional accreditation, it cannot use federal student aid such as loans or grants. The college gives students the chance to pay in full. Those who pay the entire cost of the program at the beginning of the year receive a 20% discount on the total cost. Students can also sign up for payment plans and make payments via money orders, credit cards, PayPal or checks. The college can also automatically withdraw funds from a student’s bank account. Penn Foster College allows students enrolled in any of its associate degree programs to sign up for a payment plan that does not charge any interest.