FTC Goes After DeVry, Former Students Follow Suit

Graduate caps

DeVry University has been hit with a number of accusations—and lawsuits—that it falsely advertised its graduates’ job prospects.

The Federal Trade Commission alleged Jan. 27 that DeVry Education Group Inc. made false and unsubstantiated claims on its website, YouTube channel and Twitter account that 90 percent of DeVry graduates actively seeking employment landed new jobs within six months of graduation.

Two former DeVry University students in California followed suit, filing similar claims against the company two days later on behalf of themselves and a nationwide class of former on-campus and online students.

It appears that those lawsuits weren’t enough for a third California resident, who brought his own claims March 4 against DeVry Education Group.  Plaintiff Phet Chanthavy alleged that he hasn’t obtained employment in his field of study since his December 2014 graduation, despite the advertised 90-percent employment rate.  Chanthavy identified his case as related to the FTC’s.

DeVry Education Group has, so far, contested the FTC’s allegations. The language of the advertisements makes clear that it isn’t representing that 90 percent of graduates obtained new jobs in their field of study, but simply that they “had careers in their field,” the company argued March 10.

"[W]e feel we have a very strong case,” DeVry Education Group told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail, referring to the FTC case. It declined comment on the other two cases.

We’ll keep watch for any responses from the school to their former students’ allegations—or for any news that the students have landed jobs in the meantime.