DeVry University, and its parent company DeVry Education Group, have agreed to pay $100 million settlement following a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) crackdown on for-profit schools.
As one of the nation’s largest for-profit schools, DeVry was targeted and sued by the FTC in January over claims that it used deceiving ads to recruit prospective students and increase profits. In its complaint against DeVry, the FTC accused the college of lying to students about the percentage of graduates that landed jobs in their field. DeVry had been advertising that 90 percent of graduates found a job in their field within six months of graduation. The claim was patently false.
Federal investigators found that the school was counting students who landed jobs outside of their field, in addition to some that already had jobs before they enrolled. In one example shown in the lawsuit, a graduate who majored in business administration with specialization in health services management was working as a server at a restaurant, but DeVry counted this as a success story.
DeVry also claimed that graduates made 15 percent higher incomes within one year after graduation. The lawsuit shows how the school used a shaky report from a third-party company that did “not provide a reasonable basis to substantiate [the school’s] higher-income claim.” In other words, DeVry was straight up lying to its prospective students.