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FTC lawsuit alleges DeVry University used deceptive practices

By Amy R. Connolly
FTC lawsuit alleges DeVry University used deceptive practices
The Federal Trade Commission sued DeVry University, one of the largest for-profit college systems in the nation, alleging the school misled students about employment and earning potential. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The Federal Trade Commission sued DeVry University, one of the largest for-profit college systems in the nation, alleging the school misled students about future employment and earning potential.

The FTC, in its lawsuit, said the school made deceptive claims, including that 90 percent of its graduates actively seeking employment land jobs within six months of graduation and its graduates had 15 percent higher incomes one year after graduation on average than the graduates of all other colleges or universities.

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"Millions of Americans look to higher education for training that will lead to meaningful employment and good pay," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said. "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."

The U.S. Department of Education has demanded DeVry stop advertisements with statistics the school can't substantiate.

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"Moreover, for a period of five years following the effective date of this action, DeVry must subject all such representations to review by an independent auditor prior to the utterance (i.e., oral, written, or otherwise) of such representations," the DOE said.

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DeVry said it will "vigorously contest" the FTC lawsuit and "collaborate closely" with the DOE to resolve the complaint.

"DeVry University measures the employment and earnings results of its graduates on a sound, rational and transparent basis and has published these results in a consistent manner over the years to provide students meaningful information," the school said. "There is no national standard for calculating employment statistics among higher education institutions, and the measures and standards used by DeVry University to support its statistics are appropriate."

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DeVry is one of several for-profit higher learning institutions that have come under fire in recent months after the collapse of Corinthian Colleges.

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