DeVry reaches $100M settlement with former students
- The New York Times reports on a settlement agreement between DeVry University and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pay former students more than $100 million to cover student loans and tuition paid to the school.
- DeVry officials did not plead guilty to fraudulent marketing of the institution's job placement rates for graduates as the federal lawsuit alleged, but will cover more than $51 million in outstanding student loan balances, money spent on books and learning resources, and to students who proved they were misled by the school's marketing products.
- The settlement also provides prohibitions on DeVry's marketing details in future campaigns, a supplemental sanction to the U.S. Department of Education's settlement with the school.
It seems that predatory marketing and communications with students has been the recurring trend within the scrutiny and collapse of the for-profit industry. For decades, these schools made guarantees about job placements and skills that employers in competitive fields were seeking from online students, but the decline of the economy helped to expose the data behind their profit and lack of productivity.
This exposure should be a warning to nonprofit schools, which may not be guaranteeing a job after graduation, but should be wary of students' potential for suing if they are unable to find work or to prove that a degree is not a helpful resource in finding work.