FTC Sues DeVry University, Claims It Misled Students

FTC chair says some grads end up working as delivery drivers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 28, 2016 12:04 AM CST
This Nov. 24, 2009, file photo, shows the entrance to DeVry University in Miramar, Fla.   (J Pat Carter)

(Newser) Another large for-profit college is under government scrutiny—this time, it's DeVry University. The FTC on Wednesday sued DeVry, alleging that it misled consumers about students' job and earnings prospects. Illinois-based DeVry has more than 55 campuses across the country and offers online or on-campus degree programs in business, technology, and health care technology. In its complaint, the commission alleged that DeVry deceived students in its advertising and marketing by claiming that 90% of its graduates actively seeking employment landed jobs in their fields within six months of graduation, and by claiming its graduates had 15% higher incomes one year after graduation on average than graduates of all other colleges or universities.

Both representations, the commission said, were false and unsubstantiated. Instead of landing jobs in their field of study, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said, some graduates found themselves working as delivery drivers or restaurant servers. She said anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 students may have been affected by the alleged deceptive advertising. DeVry said the allegations are "without a valid legal basis" and that it will "vigorously contest" the complaint. The commission is seeking a court order to stop DeVry from making the advertising claims, via TV, radio, social media, and elsewhere. Ramirez said she hopes to seek monetary relief for students. DeVry shares ended the day 15% down on the news. (Read more for-profit colleges stories.)

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