DeVry University has agreed to pay $100 million to settle charges that it falsely advertised its graduates’ job prospects.
DeVry Education Group Inc. misrepresented, through advertisements on its website, Twitter account and YouTube channel, that 90 percent of graduates actively seeking employment landed jobs within six months of graduation, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The company had counted a substantial number of graduates who were already employed prior to enrolling in DeVry University, the FTC alleged in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Former DeVry students had filed two separate lawsuits against DeVry Education Group on similar claims, but those cases had settled.
DeVry Education Group had asked the California court to dismiss the FTC’s claims on the grounds that the agency didn’t substantiate its allegations. The court rejected that request.
The proposed court order requires DeVry Education Group to pay $49.4 million in cash, which will be distributed to students harmed by the deceptive ads. The order requires the company to forgive $30.4 million in unpaid private student loans and $20.2 million in student debts.
The order also bans DeVry Education Group from misrepresenting the extent to which graduates have obtained jobs in their field of study and the compensation graduates have received.
“The FTC has secured compensation for the many students who were harmed, and I am pleased that DeVry is changing its practices,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement.
DeVry Education Group said in an e-mailed statement that it “chose to settle this action after filing an answer denying all allegations of wrongdoing,” and that it is pleased the matter is being resolved.
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