Penn Foster College

Penn Foster College is a private, for-profit online college headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.[1] It was founded in 1890 as International Correspondence Schools[2][3] and presently offers bachelor's and associate degree programs in 22 certified programs, as well as academic certificates.[1][4]

Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College (Logo).png
TypePrivate for-profit online college
AccreditationDistance Education Accrediting Commission[1]
PresidentFrank Britt
Location, ,
United States
ColorsBlue, white Edit this at Wikidata


In 1890, Thomas J. Foster, a newspaper editor, founded the school to provide coal miners with education needed to advance in their careers and improve worker safety.[5] 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 U.S. had taken an ICS course. It was the first distance learning institution in the United States.[5] In 1904, Foster expanded his school to the United Kingdom; this is now a separate distance education school called ICS Learn.

ICS was renamed Penn Foster in 2005, with Penn Foster High School and Penn Foster Career School being separated into separate institutions.[6] Wicks Group, a private equity firm, purchased the school from Thomson Corporation in 2007.[7] In December 2009, Penn Foster College was purchased by test preparation and educational support company The Princeton Review, and in 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.[8] In 2013, Education Holdings 1 filed for bankruptcy; it exited two months later.[9][10]

In December 2015, Penn Foster acquired a competency-based learning platform built by UniversityNow.[11] Bain Capital purchased the Penn Foster schools in 2018.[12]


Penn Foster College offers associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, and undergraduate certificates through asynchronous online courses and instruction. The college does not participate in any federal or state aid programs, claiming that its education is affordable.[13]

The college is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).[14] Penn Foster College's Veterinary Technician Associate Degree and Veterinary Technology Bachelor of Applied Science Degree are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) through their Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). The college is also licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, authorizing Penn Foster College to award Associate of Science degrees, Bachelor of Science degrees, and undergraduate certificates.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Trish Sammer. "Penn Foster Online College Review". Nitro College. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  2. ^ "Penn Foster Mission and History". Penn Foster. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  3. ^ "About Penn Foster". Penn Foster. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  4. ^ "Associate & Bachelor's College Programs & Certificates | Penn Foster College". Penn Foster Career School.
  5. ^ a b SINGLETON, DAVID. "150 People Who Made Scranton Great - Thomas J. Foster". Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  6. ^ Anonymous (2007-08-07). "After 117 Years, One of the World's Largest Distance Education Institutions Finds a New Name, a New Mission and a New Owner: Renamed as Penn Foster, this one-time correspondence school giant, has evolved into a global online education provider.; Today one out of every 1,410 Americans is actively enrolled in a Penn Foster program - and there are plans for more". PR Newswire; New York. New York, United States, New York. ProQuest 447136623.
  7. ^ Falchek, David (2007-04-11). "Thomson Education Direct sold". The Times - Tribune; Scranton, Pa. Scranton, Pa., United States, Scranton, Pa. pp. –1. ISSN 1062-5844. ProQuest 275796478.
  8. ^ "Princeton Review to sell test prep business name". Associated Press. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  9. ^ Penn Foster parent seeks bankruptcy protection
  10. ^ Ex-Princeton Review Owner Wins OK For Ch. 11 Exit Plan
  11. ^ "Nonprofit University Buys For-Profit College's Tech Platform - EdSurge News". 9 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Bain Capital to Buy Penn Foster, a Workforce-Skills Provider That Dates Back to Late 1800s"
  13. ^ "Financial Assistance for Penn Foster students | Penn Foster". Penn Foster Career School.
  14. ^ "Penn Foster College | Council for Higher Education Accreditation".

External linksEdit