In January 2016, following a joint investigation with the Department of Education, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a Federal lawsuit in Ventura County against DeVry University. In the lawsuit, the FTC alleged that DeVry engaged in deceptive advertising when it repeatedly claimed that 90% of its graduates found jobs within six months of graduation and that a degree from DeVry earned its graduates 15% more income than degrees from other colleges.
The lawsuit came to an end in December 2016, when DeVry and the FTC settled the claims for $100 Million. Under the terms of the agreement, DeVry will pay $49.5 million to qualifying students who were harmed by the ads. The remaining $50.6 million will go toward student debt relief: $30.35 million to all unpaid private loans issued to undergraduate students between September 2008 and September 2015, and the remaining $20.25 million to tuition and book fees. It is estimated that this settlement will provide some relief to tens of thousands of DeVry students harmed by the college’s actions.
Former FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez stated: “When people are making important decisions about their education and their future, they should not be misled by deceptive employment and earnings claims. The FTC has secured compensation for the many students who were harmed, and I am pleased that DeVry is changing its practices.”
The proposed order also stipulates that this student debt shall be automatically forgiven and cancelled, and that students and credit bureaus be informed of this forgiveness. In addition, DeVry will be prohibited from withholding diplomas and transcripts from students who have outstanding debt. Significantly, although DeVry denied wrongdoing, the agreed order prohibits DeVry from future advertisement that misrepresents: (1) “the success that students or graduates have realized or are likely to realize in starting or obtaining careers, jobs or employment”; and (2) “the compensation or compensation range that students or graduates of DeVry have received, or can be expected to receive”, including comparisons to students with degrees from other colleges.
It is a difficult position for DeVry to maintain that they “neither admit nor deny any of the allegations” in the FTC’s lawsuit when they agree that they should be “permanently restrained and enjoined from” engaging that exact conduct.
If you have been a student at DeVry in the last five years, you may be entitled to relief. Significantly, even if you received relief through the FTC lawsuit, you may still be entitled to additional damages from DeVry. The experienced team at Moss Bollinger wants to help you through this process. Our attorneys are very familiar with these claims against DeVry and will fight to get you the maximum amount of damages you may be owed. Call us today at (866) 535-2994 for a free consultation or reach us online.