The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against DeVry University, alleging that its advertisements deceived applicants about the likelihood that students would find jobs in their fields of study and be offered superior salaries post-graduation.
In response, the Department of Veterans Affairs has suspended DeVry University’s status as a Principles of Excellence institution following its own review of the lawsuit’s details.
This Principles of Excellence status is acquired by educational institutions that agree to parameters like providing students with a personalized form covering the total cost of an education program, ending fraudulent and aggressive recruiting techniques and misrepresentations, accommodating service members and reservists absent due to service requirements, and ensuring accreditation of all new programs prior to enrolling students.
As a result of the lawsuit, a flag has been posted on all DeVry University campus pages in the VA’s G.I. Bill Comparison Tool.
“The FTC is alleging that DeVry University used deceptive marketing tactics to attract students and the Department of Education notified DeVry of its intent to impose limitations on the university based on related conclusions,” according to a statement from the VA. “VA is also conducting compliance reviews at all DeVry campuses to measure compliance with federal regulations.”
The suit, which was filed in January of this year, alleges that DeVry was not forthcoming in its marketing and recruiting to prospective students, and it will require the institution to cease using certain materials and information when advertising the post-graduation employment outcomes of its alumni.
“Millions of Americans look to higher education for training that will lead to meaningful employment and good pay,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a press statement. “Educational institutions like DeVry owe prospective students the truth about their graduates’ success finding employment in their field of study and the income they can earn.”
Task & Purpose reached out to DeVry University for a comment.
DeVry spokesperson Ernest Gibble replied, “DeVry Group is extremely disappointed by the VA’s action taken today. The FTC’s allegations that the VA cites are just that – allegations – and we believe are without merit. In fact, we filed a motion to dismiss the FTC complaint on March 10.
He suggested that decision was made prematurely, adding, “The VA should withhold judgement on these matters while we seek resolution.”