FTC cracks down on colleges, DeVry University to pay more than $49 million

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As part of its settlement with DeVry University, starting on July 5, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will mail 173,000 refund checks worth more than $49 million to some students who attended the school between 2008 and 2015. Checks will expire 60 days after they are mailed.

The FTC used DeVry’s records to identify the people who were eligible for refunds. To get a refund, a person must meet all four of these eligibility criteria:

  • enrolled for the first time in a bachelor’s or associate’s degree program at DeVry University between January 1, 2008 and October 1, 2015;
  • paid at least $5,000 with cash, loans or military benefits;
  • did not get debt or loan forgiveness as part of this settlement; and
  • completed at least one class credit.

The FTC complaint stated that DeVry misled students by stating that 90 percent of graduates landed jobs in their field within six months of graduation. DeVry told students that they would earn a salary 15 percent above the average salary if they obtained a Bachelors degree. The FTC said students were enticed to attend the college under false pretenses and that, majority of students were unable to obtain employment with a degree from DeVry.

According to the FTC, the cost of attending the college was far greater than the salaries that would be earned by students.

“When people are making important decisions about their education and their future, they should not be misled by deceptive employment and earnings claims,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “The FTC has secured compensation for the many students who were harmed, and I am pleased that DeVry is changing its practices.”

In 2016, ITT Tech was also investigated for misleading students with false wage earnings and job placement guarantees. The institution was also receiving federal financial aid funds to enroll students. As with DeVry, the U.S Department of Education said that the debt incurred by students outweighed the benefits of the institution. On September 6, 2016, ITT Tech closed 130 campuses without so much as a warning to the students.

According to officials, there are currently dozens of college campuses under investigation in Florida that are participating in similar practices.  Officials said that students could see multiple campus closures in the years to come. Many of the schools under investigation are located in Orlando, Florida.

In January of 2017, the U.S Department of Education released a list of schools that failed their Student Debt to Student Earnings Analysis.

You can view that list here.

As for DeVry, the refund checks will come from Analytics Consulting, LLC. The FTC never requires you to pay a fee or give financial information to cash a refund check. If anyone tells you they’re from the FTC and asks for money, it’s a scam. If you are eligible for a refund and have questions about the refund process, contact Analytics Consulting, LLC at 844-578-2645.