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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Penn Foster! Let's help you get started.

Please see below for answers to the many different types of questions you may have when beginning your journey with Penn Foster. For any program-specific questions you can't find the answer to below, please contact us by clicking the "Help and Support" tab in your Penn Foster student portal.

Starting Your Program

When do I start?

You can review your start date by checking your Guild application approval email and/or by logging into your Guild Student Home.

How do I start?

You will receive a Penn Foster enrollment welcome email with a student number and directions on how to create your account. Please wait until you receive this email from to create your Penn Foster account. 

Note: You will receive this email by the end of the day on your specified enrollment date. 

What is included in the Penn Foster start date email?

You will receive an email from that will include your student number and directions on how to create your account. You will also be provided with information pertaining to your program If you do not see your Penn Foster email by the end of the day on your start date, please reach out to

When do I get my ID number?

Your student ID number will be provided to you in your enrollment welcome email. You will receive this email by end of day on your specified enrollment date. 

Where do I log in?

This information will be provided to you in your Penn Foster enrollment welcome email. You will receive this email by end of day on your specified enrollment date.

What requirements do I need to meet to maintain & confirm my enrollment after my start date?

Within 10 days of your enrollment (including the enrollment date), you will need to complete a specified requirement. Please see your Penn Foster welcome email for specific information on the specified requirement you will need to complete. 

As long as you complete this requirement within those 10 days (including the enrollment date) you will stay enrolled for the six-month term.

To maintain your enrollment after 6 months, you will need to confirm your intent to re-enroll via your Guild Student Home at

Who can I go to if I have questions before my Penn Foster start date?

If you have questions prior to your first day, please reach out to Guild Education at 800.985.4027

Program Materials & Technology

Do I need to get any extra books or materials?

If your program requires physical textbooks, they will be mailed to you as you progress through your program. You should always update your address for this reason. You can update your address by calling 800.840.0457, emailing, or editing your Account Preferences in the upper right corner of your student portal. If your program does not require physical textbooks, all of your materials will be available within your student portal.  

Can I opt for physical textbooks instead of online textbooks?

If your program uses an eBook, you can purchase the physical textbooks on your own if you would prefer. 

What if I don’t have a tablet, laptop, or computer?

The majority of Penn Foster content can be accessed through your phone. In the event certain modules or activities require a larger screen you can login through the Penn Foster portal on any public access computer or tablet.

For Pharmacy Technician Professional Students: This program requires students have access to a Microsoft Windows-based computer running an operating system of Windows 7 or later. In course 11 of the program, students will need to download Pharmacy Management software that is only compatible with a Microsoft Windows computer. A workaround, if you don't have a computer running Windows 7 or later, is to download a 30-day free trial or use Google Office.

For Optician Students: This program requires students to have access to Microsoft Office 2016 or newer software. Microsoft Office is needed to complete Computer Applications, which is course #9 in the program. A workaround, if you don't have a computer running Microsoft Office 2016 or newer, is to download a 30-day free trial or use Google Office.

Note: Penn Foster does not supply a computer or laptop for your online program 


Am I able to complete schoolwork if I’m not always using the same device?

Yes! You can login using the Username and Password you create at registration on any computer to pick up where you left off. 

Can I have access to my course content if I’m not logged into my student account?

Some Penn Foster learning materials and readings are available for download but activities and exams are largely required to be completed online. 

What happens if I lose internet during a lesson or exam?  Do I have to start over?

In the event you lose internet access your last submitted answer will be where you resume when internet access is restored.

Time Management

How long will this program take?

The length of your program is dependent on the program in which you are enrolled.

Please keep in mind that you have access to Penn Foster via Guild for a 6-month period. After 6 months, you will have the option to renew your access as long as you are still eligible for your benefit with their employer.

For eligibility questions, please reach out to Guild Education at 800.985.4027

Are there deadlines I must follow?

Penn Foster's programs are self-paced, meaning there are no set deadlines to complete your work or exams.

Please keep in mind that you have access to Penn Foster via Guild for a 6-month period. After 6 months, you will have the option to renew your access as long as you are still eligible for your benefit with their employer.

For eligibility questions, please reach out to Guild Education at 800.985.4027

Can I complete work whenever or do I need to attend class at a certain time?

Your program is available to you 24/7.

Once I finish my last class, what do I do?

Once you complete your program, you will receive your graduation documents in the mail. Please allow 7-10 business days for these to arrive. Please also ensure your address on file at Penn Foster is up to date. To update your address, please reach out to Penn Foster at 800.840.0457 or 

What happens if I get fired or leave my employer while I’m enrolled in the program?

In this case, please reach out to Guild Education at 800.985.4027 for next steps.

You can also view your eligibility status by logging into the Guild Student Home.

Academic Support

If I need help, who do I call?
You can reach out to the Penn Foster Team for academic or program support at 800.840.0457 or
What if I need help before/after standard hours?

If you need to reach Penn Foster outside of standard hours (9AM ET - 6PM ET, Monday-Friday), you can email us by clicking on the "Help and Support" link located on the left side of your student portal. 

What do I do if I don’t receive an email on the first day?

If you do not receive an email on the day you are supposed to begin enrollment, please reach out to Penn Foster at 800.840.0457 or They will assist you by providing your student number and guiding you through the process of creating your account.


High School Only


How do I send my transcripts?

The Transcript Request Form provides all the information needed for your former school to send your transcript to Penn Foster. Just fill out the form and submit it to your former school.

How long does it take for my transcript to be applied to my program?

Once enrolled, you will receive an email when your official transcript arrives at Penn Foster. You will then receive a second email with the evaluation results once your official transcript has been evaluated. Please allow 7-10 business days (from the date of your enrollment) for your transcript to be processed.

If your official transcript was sent to Penn Foster and you have not received an email within two weeks of being enrolled, please reach out to Penn Foster at 800.840.0457 or

What is the difference between Unofficial and Official transcripts?

Unofficial transcripts arrive from the student or from a source other than your previous high school. Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted for evaluation of potential transfer credit.

Official transcripts need to be in a sealed envelope sent directly from the high school, through an electronic service or emailed directly from the school's email address.

Will my transcript have any impact on my GPA with Penn Foster?

Your transcript will not have any impact on your GPA with Penn Foster. When you receive transfer credits, they are applied as a ‘TR’. This means that whatever score you previously received will not be counted in your Penn Foster GPA.

Why did I only receive a few credits? Or no credits at all?

Penn Foster works to award as much credit as possible. We compare course names and content from your transcript to see what can be applied as a transfer credit.

There are a variety of reasons that you may have only received a few credits, or no credits at all. The most common reasons are:

  • Penn Foster cannot accept partial credits. Partial credits may appear if you passed the first semester of a class but not the second.
  • Penn Foster cannot accept failing grades or grades below 60%.
  • Penn Foster cannot accept courses if the curriculum has been modified.
  • Penn Foster cannot accept transcripts if the school does not have the necessary accreditation.
  • Penn Foster may have a different credit ratio than your previous high school.

Even if you didn’t receive all of the credit you were expecting or hoping for, the credits that have been applied put you well on your way to achieving your goal of earning a High School diploma.

Do I need to submit anything else in addition to my transcript?

In most cases, no. Our teams will evaluate your transcript and reach out if they have any questions. If they need something else from you, they will be in touch.

Will Penn Foster accept homeschool transcripts? What is needed?

Yes, Penn Foster accepts homeschool transcripts. If you don’t have a transcript typed up, you can find a template online. The transcript must show the courses taken along with the grades and credits earned for each course. Lastly, the transcript must be signed by the parent/guardian who was administering the curriculum.

Additionally, you will need to send in a nationally recognized timed test score taken at the 9th grade level or above. The California Achievement Test is recommended because you can take it right at home and get the results immediately. Other options include the SAT, ACT, Terra Nova, and Iowa.

Should I wait until my transcript is evaluated before I start my courses?

Don’t wait to get started! We recommend you begin your coursework as soon as you are enrolled; your first few courses are not transferable, so you aren’t impacting anything that may transfer by starting now.

Is there a date in which I need to submit my transcript by?

Transcripts can be submitted at any point! We find that most learners prefer to submit their transcripts earlier rather than later to ensure they are awarded as many transfer credits as possible.

What happens if the name on my transcript is different than my current name?

If the last name on your transcript is different, Penn Foster will confirm your transcript belongs to you using your first name and date of birth. If your first name or full name is different, we will reach out to request name change documents.

Why did I not receive credit even though I submitted my IEP?

One reason may be that your IEP stated the curriculum you had was modified. Since the curriculum was modified, we are unable to accept any core or academic courses. We are only able to accept non-academic courses.


Pharmacy Technician Only


What is an externship?

An externship, sometimes called an internship, is part of your training program and it provides you an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a real practice setting, such as a pharmacy. It is often a requirement of the training program and is the last course in your program.

Is it paid?

The externship is an unpaid experience. Exceptions may be made for students who are currently working in the field of their study and with approval from their employer.

Will I complete my externship in the store I work at or in a different location?

Your employer will manage placement of extern students and will place you in either your home store or a nearby store based on availability.

How long is the externship?

Students in the Pharmacy Technician program must complete a 160-hour externship.

When and how do I start my externship?

The externship is the last course in your training program. Throughout your program, you will be receiving emails about the externship. Several weeks before the start of your externship, you will be contacted by your externship coordinator, who will help you prepare for your externship.

You can also reach out to your externship coordinator at any time throughout your program with any questions. The externship coordinator is listed below:


Pharmacy Technician Professional

Monique Reed


Phone: 800.840.0457

Chat: via the student portal (Help and Support tab)

Link to Appointment Scheduler

Have more questions for us?