Introducing: Penn Foster’s Online High School Diploma Program

While PCDI is no longer accepting enrollments in our High School Diploma Program, we’re excited to introduce you to our partner school, Penn Foster.

PCDI Canada and Penn Foster Logos

Earn your diploma on your time and around your schedule with an affordable online high school program. Whether you’re an adult learner, a current high school student, or you want to pursue different career pathways, Penn Foster has a high school diploma program to fit your needs.


High School Designed to Fit Your Life

Penn Foster High School is an accredited, fully online high school that you can access from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Learn at your own pace from wherever you are in the world and in life.

Why Penn Foster?

Penn Foster has been on a mission to help people like you obtain skills and achieve their career goals for more than 130 years. We provide students with a quality education that fits their busy lifestyle and budget, offering over 100 self-paced, career-relevant programs across our College, Career School, and High School. Every course is designed to work with your schedule, anytime, anywhere you want to study. With a focus on relevant skills and career prep for the job you’re after, Penn Foster can help you graduate with confidence and help provide a guide towards your career goals.

What You'll Learn at Penn Foster High School:

  • How to use critical thinking and reasoning skills to complete learning tasks in English Language Arts courses.
  • How to use critical thinking and reasoning skills to complete learning tasks in science courses.
  • How to use declarative knowledge and demonstrate understanding to complete learning tasks in math courses.
  • How to utilize writing skills to complete writing assessments.

Penn Foster High School Curriculum

Your online high school diploma program consists of 17 core and 5 elective classes, ranging from academic electives like American literature and algebra to career pathway electives, like healthcare courses, childcare professional, or vet assistant. The core curriculum is made up of English, math, social studies, science, arts and humanities, and health and physical education classes.

See Full Curriculum  

Learn More About the Penn Foster Experience

At Penn Foster, we think online learning can make a big difference in people's lives, and it should be available to everyone. That's why we've made our programs affordable and tailored to fit your needs. You can learn and improve your skills for the job you want, all at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Online High School Diploma FAQs

Is Penn Foster High School accredited? 

Yes, it is! Penn Foster High School is nationally accredited by both the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and Cognia. In addition to our national accreditation, we are regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (CSS-MSA). You can find more details about each of our accreditations on the Penn Foster Accreditations page.

How much does online high school cost? 

Several factors influence the cost to get your high school diploma online at Penn Foster, including monthly offers, whether you’re transferring credits into the program, and the payment plan you choose. We pride ourselves on making our high school program as affordable as possible, giving you the option to choose the payment plan that works best for your budget. Visit our online high school tuition page for more information about costs and payment plan options.

Does Penn Foster online High School accept transfer credits from other schools? 

To successfully transfer credits into Penn Foster High School, you’ll need an official, sealed transcript sent from your previous school for evaluation. Your credits will likely transfer if the courses are equivalent to our curriculum and are from a regionally accredited high school. Visit our high school credit transfer page for more details.

Can adults enroll in online high school with Penn Foster? 

Penn Foster welcomes students of all ages, including adult learners. Enrolling in our high school program is open to anyone 13 years or older who has completed the 8th grade. We know how challenging it can be to earn your diploma as an adult learner so we do our best to make it as easy as possible for you with our online and self-paced learning platform.

What is Penn Foster's online high school curriculum like? 

To get your high school diploma from Penn Foster, you will need to complete 16 core credits and 5 elective credits. Each student chooses their 5 elective requirements from courses ranging from music appreciation and psychology to vocational courses, such as small business management and veterinary assistant.

Our core curriculum includes English, math, social science, science, arts, and humanities, as well as health and physical education courses. If you are transferring credits, your coursework may vary.

Are online high schools accredited? 

Not every online high school has achieved accreditation. One credential to look for is from the Distance Education Accreditation Commission, or DEAC. The DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

What is a high school diploma, and what types of diplomas are there? 

There are several different types of high school diplomas, including:

  • General high school diploma. This is the most common type, awarded by most institutions.
  • Occupational diploma. This is for students who choose to focus studies on a specific career path in addition to taking their general education requirements, including math, science, and English.
  • Honors diploma. Honors diplomas are given to students who have excelled in their studies, maintaining a specific GPA while taking more advanced courses.
How do you get your high school diploma online? 

Each state has different options for online high school programs, some even through the public school districts. Most have set scheduling for study time as well as for taking exams. Penn Foster offers flexibly paced scheduling, meaning you study when it’s best for you and complete your tests once you feel you are well-prepared. As a traditional-aged learner, you can have your parent or guardian enroll you online. You’ll need to have an official copy of your transcript sent to us if you’ve already started high school to help you pick up right where you left off.

How do you get a high school diploma after 21? 

A lot of online schools across the country do not offer online high school diplomas to those over the age of 21. However, Penn Foster accepts students starting at age 13 with no age limit on reaching your goal of completing high school.

Is a high school diploma important or necessary? 

A high school diploma is necessary to enroll in college, but it can also be a crucial part of getting hired for a job. Many employers look for a minimum of a GED, so obtaining your high school diploma can give you more opportunities. On average, people with high school diplomas earn more.

What is a diploma mill? 

Diploma mills are schools that issue diplomas without proper credentials. Meaning, even though you paid for your education, your diploma has little value because employers and institutions of higher education don’t recognize it as legitimate. Penn Foster is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, meaning we have met rigorous standards of education set forth by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This recognition means your diploma should be accepted by employers and most colleges and universities.

The Penn Foster High School Diploma is a proprietary program. You are solely responsible for ensuring that the program and program award satisfy the education requirements of potential employers, desired postsecondary institutions, and all other relevant agencies. Neither job placement nor postsecondary admission are guaranteed to graduates upon program completion. Students who attend and complete the program as an adult, age 18 years or older, who wish to further verify their earned award may request a Certificate of Preliminary Education according to the process outlined in the student catalog. The program name on file with the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed schools is High School 9-12.

To ensure that we are compliant with all of the regulations in your state, there is a minimum age requirement of 18 for our Career programs for Texas residents.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. "Education Pays" Career Outlook Handbook. Accessed October 4, 2023.

Statements found in the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are not a guarantee of any post-graduation salary, in part because the data used to create the Occupational Outlook Handbook includes workers from differing educational backgrounds, levels of experience, and geographic areas of the country.

What is Penn Foster?

PCDI is part of the Penn Foster Network. Penn Foster, PCDI’s partner school, has been a leading provider of distance education and online, career-focused training programs for over 130 years. Like PCDI, Penn Foster’s programs are affordable, fully online, and self-paced, allowing you to build skills and prepare for the job you want on your terms.