I am currently enrolled in Penn Foster Career School's Medical Coding and Billing online program.
The course helps you in-developing skills in medical billing, coding, records management and the general structure of health care system.
They have lessons built into the course in different settings which gives you the chance to see how a position would be if working in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, physician offices and immediate care centers.
The material is easy to read and being able work at your own pace is the best part of the program.
After completing the program, the next step is to take the American Health Information Management Association and the American Academy of Professional Coders credentialing exam to become a Certified Coding Specialist or Certified Professional Coder.
I could not be happier with Penn Foster and the Medical Coding and Billing program!
Very Pleased with Penn Foster
I actually really love Penn Foster College and I am very grateful for it. I work 2 jobs, 60 hours a week and it is next to impossible for me to go to classes constantly. If I went to a brick-and-mortar school I would never get finished have to take one class at a time. I have not had any problems with this school. The work seems appropriate for college level, the reading material is interesting and I have really enjoyed it. I have noticed most of the complaints about the school come from accounting issues when people have tried to drop out of their program. I do not know if this is true or not as I have my payments drafted out, but an issue with the accounting department does not make Penn Foster a "terrible school". The other complaints stem from people saying other colleges won't take their credits. In everything I have seen or read about Penn Foster before I signed up it was made very clear that they are Nationally Accredited and that they do not guarantee that every school will accept their credits. There is also a list that is easily accessible of some colleges that have accepted their credits. There has NEVER been any misleading on the part of Penn Foster about their credits. It is repeatedly made clear on their site that they do not promise credits will transfer. Those of us who do online programs know that it is a gamble when it comes to transfering credits and employment. I chose to do it anyway because my work hours and children make brick and mortar impossible. I feel like I am learning and I am really loving the program. I have no complaints.
Here's a positive review...
Penn Foster is not for everyone, but fortunately...it's the school for me.
I'm enrolled in the Vet Tech program and love it! It's an online school, an online program, but it's not easy; it's still college.
My top advice I can give to any perspective students is to do your research BEFORE enrolling. Doesn't matter what program it is, always make sure you know Penn Foster's policies, program-related requirements, your state requirements, and any further information that applies to your career.
I see several students drop out of their program because they didn't realize what was required of them. For example, Externships and Practicums...some programs have them, some do not. In the Vet Tech program, the Externship is mandatory or else you will not graduate. It's the responsibility of the student, not Penn Foster, to find their own site location where they will perform their externship.
Students that did not research before enrolling are usually the ones angry and leaving negative reviews because they didn't know they had to complete an externship, find a proctor or site location on their own, unable to find an externship site that has all the necessary equipment (i.e. film-based radiographs), and etc.
On the primary Penn Foster website where you view all the programs to enroll in, you can read an overview of your program of interest. I highly recommend requesting info by mail; I love looking through the brochure and forms. Most questions can be answered there. If one wants to hear from current students, join the Student Community and post to the corresponding program space to get more attention and responses.
I love Penn Foster oh so very much. The school has helped me grow. I get all my emails, questions, and concerns answered in a fair amount of time. I have never had issues with Student CARE/Services. There are many frequently asked questions to read from that can resolve issues without having to contact Student CARE.
One of my favorite features is the Live Chat. It can be found in the Student Portal's Help Center. If you have a question for Student CARE, besides calling and emailing, you can immediately get it answered through Chat. You just have to access it during business hours.
Penn Foster is always in the works of creating something new for their students. They came out with a Study Planner which is available on your student account and can be downloaded as an app on mobile devices. You can create a plan for yourself to keep you on track throughout your studies, plan your graduation date or date to complete your semester. They created meet-ups so that students can get together and express their thoughts about the school and get to know the staff better.
Penn Foster rules! Penn Foster Pride!
What are your educational needs?
I started the Vet Tech program with Penn Foster a couple of years ago and didn't make it very far. Mostly because I was working and not motivated. When I decided it was time for me to go back to school, I came back to Penn Foster. I'm now enrolled in the bachelors business management degree. Why did I choose to come back to Penn Foster? It meets my personal needs. Penn Foster is nationally accredited, unlike your local community college or your state university which are most likely regionally accredited. It usually goes like this; regionally accredited school courses will transfer to nationally accredited schools but not all nationally accredited school courses will transfer to regionally accredited schools. Why? Because the regional accreditation requires a strict and rigorous course catalog, among other things. Schools like Penn Foster are usually career schools. The advantage is that they are able to change their courses as the real world changes and this keeps their students current. It would take a considerable amount of time and red tape to change the courses. If they had to go through all of the processes by the time they got approval for the change, there would be new information to add. So with that said, Penn Foster does have some courses that have been evaluated and are recommended for transfer by the ACE College Credit Recommendation Service. So if you plan on trying to transfer to a regionally accredited institution, keep in mind that only certain classes and credits will transfer. Also, If you plan to continue your education like I do, plan carefully. I want to get my masters and maybe even my doctorate someday. Not all Institutions will take my Penn Foster degree.
Two more things that I like about this program...The tuition and the delivery system. Oh, and the self pace... sorry, three.
Tuition is affordable and all study materials are included. They also have an online tutoring center. They offer affordable payment plans. I pay 60 a month right now, I think the lowest you can go is 49. The delivery system, all courses you can complete online, except. Except except except you may have proctored exams. But honestly that's not too big a deal. Go to your local library, the librarians are usually more than happy to help out. I also hear that in the vet tech program you can now be proctored through your webcam. Online, Affordable, SELF PACED. That's really the thing that gets me. Sometimes I get lazy, I don't want to be bothered with reading 80 pages by friday so I can attend class. I work, like the rest of the real world. I need time to tune out, pretend I don't exist. Then there are weeks where all I want to do is sit down and knock out three lessons. Those are things I can do with self paced courses.
So, if you are considering Penn Foster make sure it meets your needs. As for faculty and staff, I've had nothing but good experiences with them so far. My questions are answered in a timely manner and they are always kind. But remember, they people not machines. people make mistakes, people get frustrated, people have bad days. No matter if its an online school, on campus, nationally or regionally accredited. They are trying to take care of a lot of people and if you can express your problems in a polite way they are going to try and help you.
In conclusion you need to find out if Penn Foster meets your educational needs... It is your education, your life. Make an informed choice.
A great option for self paced career training
I took Penn Foster's wedding planning course and found that it was a thorough and cover many aspects of the wedding planning business. The course was self paced so I was able to complete the course on my schedule. Not only did I learn skills needed to be a wedding planner, but my tuition also included membership in a professional organization, Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC). Through the ABC membership I was able to network with other wedding professionals and attended many meetings where I was able to find new contacts and business partners.
There is a good selection of courses to choose from. It doesn't matter if you are looking to brush up on skills in your current career or looking to try a new field, Penn Foster offers many great options.
Penn-Foster doesn't offer financial aid per se, but you can use there affordable payment plan to break the tuition in to reasonable monthly payments.
Veterinary Technician Degree
I signed up to Penn Foster for their online Veterinary Technician Degree. I really thought it would help me advance in this field. I was so wrong about this college. They are not forthcoming and truthful at enrollment time. I was told that we had to have proctored exams. But when it came time for that who you could use was very limited. They suggested I use a librarian at my city library. I live in a large city and that just is not possible. They also wanted me to do an internship at a competitors place of business. I was already working at a vet clinic and did not want to quit.
I think the College overall has an excellent choice of classes. Easy enrollment and easy work at your own pace.
No interaction with instructors except through online chat. I found those times to be a waste. Instructor spent more time informing everyone on how to act in chat room than anything.
Not really financial aid, but they have a low monthly payment plan.
When I signed up I was not told that my class wasn't accreditted yet.
I would not recommend Penn Foster to anyone. They advertise being nationally accredited but they aren't regionally accredited. Because of this most states will not accept their degree as valid. Yes, it's cheap but it's still a waste. I don't blame states for not accepting the degrees given that you can retake the same exact test over again for any class after it has shown you what you missed. I got refunded but I'd advise anyone else to stay away from the beginning and save themselves the hassle.
Online training at your own pace
I completed a certificate in web page design. The instructional materials were mailed to me in the form of books called "modules." Each module contained 2-4 lessons covering topics such as learning strategies (for online learning), essential web publishing skills, and HTML fundamentals. At the end of each lesson was a multiple choice open book exam. A minimum grade of 70% was required to move to the next module. In addition to the modules I received a student edition of Dreamweaver software which included an instructional manual with easy to follow screenshots. The manual gave multiple hands on lessons creating websites. The final project was to create a website and post it. I felt the lessons were easy to follow and gave me a great background on HTML, Dreamweaver, and how to perform Internet research. Best of all I studied at my own pace and on my own time. When I had questions instructors were available to answer my questions. I would recommend online learning for anyone seeking an alternative to onsite classroom instruction.
I was a class of one
The instructors were available to answer questions.
I didn't receive any financial aid but I thought the certificate was a great value.
I began my online career easily with Penn Foster College
It almost seemed too good to be true. I was interested in working from home due to health reasons. After alot of research and customer service calls, I decided to go with Penn Foster. They were extremely helpful and got me started in no time. I decided to go with medical coding, they sent me the books and equipment for my computer. I got to work at my own pace, and within seven months I was a certified coding associate. They have great learning aides, online support and phone support. You can even chat with other students. The best part about it is low monthly payments and zero interest, so I didn't go broke while getting certified. No need in worrying what to wear, or spending money on gas, I stayed right in my living room! Now I can get up in the morning, drink my coffee while I work, get done and have the rest of the day to myself and I owe it all to Penn Foster College! Check into it!
Low monthly payments with zero interest!
love this school!
I have enrolled in two programs with Penn foster. The first one was for medical office assisting. I paid for it in full and decided that wasn't what I really wanted to do with my life. However, I had a very good experience with them, so I decided to go with them a second time. I am now doing catering and I absolutely love it! I make payments of $39 a month and I couldn't be happier with that! They don't accept any kind of financial aid, but they are very affordable, so you don't really need it. All of your books and study materials are included in the price. They send the books a few at a time and I receive mine rather quickly. They have many online tools to help you as well. You can chat with other students and teachers and that's a big help. Since all of it's online, you don't get to do anything hands on, so it's probably not a good choice for a person that can't learn by reading and doing things by themselves. For some of the certificates, it might be hard to find a job just because the employer might rather you have a degree, but it's still a great place to start! You get to work at your own pace and they give you plenty of time to complete your classes, but you can get 2 extensions for I think $75 each if you need them. I am very happy with this school!