A settlement between Downers Grove-based DeVry University and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will help some former students at the school over deceptive advertising. As part of its settlement with the for-profit college, the FTC began mailing 173,166 refund checks worth a total of $49.4 million to some students who attended the school between 2008 and 2015. Besides the more than $49 million in refunds, DeVry also has agreed to provide $50.6 million in debt relief.
The FTC alleged in a 2016 lawsuit that DeVry misled students about their post-graduation job prospects and earning potential. The lawsuit alleged DeVry deceptively claimed that 90 percent of its graduates actively seeking jobs landed positions in their fields within six months of graduation and on average its graduates had 15 percent higher incomes one year after graduation than other universities’ graduates. Such claims are “false and unsubstantiated,” the FTC said. To qualify for one of the 173,000 refund checks going out Wednesday, students must meet four requirements:
• They must have enrolled for the first time in a bachelor’s or associate degree program between Jan. 1, 2008, and Oct. 1, 2015;
• Must have completed at least one class credit;
• Must have paid at least $5,000 with cash, loans or military benefits; and
• Cannot have received debt or loan forgiveness as part of the settlement.
The FTC says on its website that accepting the refund payment doesn’t prevent former students “from seeking other relief that may be available under federal or state law.” The debt forgiveness part of the settlement has been completed, FTC spokeswoman Nicole Jones said. The refund checks, delivered from Analytics Consulting, will expire after 60 days.
In May, DeVry Education Group, the company that owns DeVry University, changed its name to Adtalem Global Education. The company also faced an investigation in New York into misleading advertising. It agreed to settle in January. Analytics Consulting can be reached at 844-578-2645.
Source: Becky Yerak, Chicago Tribune
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