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The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday it was bringing a lawsuit against DeVry University for misleading students about their likelihood of landing a job after graduation and how much money they could expect to make with a DeVry degree, the agency said Wednesday.
“Educational institutions like DeVry owe prospective students the truth,” FTC chair Edith Ramirez said. According to the FTC’s enforcement action, they didn’t get the truth: The FTC said DeVry told students that 90% of them would get jobs in their fields within six months after graduation, but this wasn’t true. Also not true: DeVry’s claim that its graduates would earn 15% more than their peers with diplomas from other schools.
These weren’t one-time slip-ups on DeVry’s part, either, the FTC noted. “The 90 percent claim was central to their marketing efforts since at least 2008 and the income superiority claim began in 2013,” the Commission said. Other for-profit colleges like DeVry have come under fire lately, the most notable being Corinthian Colleges, which left students in the lurch after it abruptly shuttered.
The FTC also claims that DeVry played fast and loose with defining jobs as being in graduates’ fields: The FTC complaint listed several examples, like a business administration grad working as a restaurant server, a management grad who worked as a mail carrier, and several for whom the school listed volunteer gigs as their employment.
In conjunction with the FTC’s enforcement, the U.S. Department of Education also has ordered DeVry to change its marketing to omit the misleading and deceptive information.