August 17, By Jason Cohen
Hundreds of students who attended DeVry College will be receiving restitution stemming from the state attorney general’s $2.25 million settlement with the institution for allegedly misrepresenting to attendees their employment and salary prospects.
The settlement was reached in January with DeVry, which has 55 locations throughout the country, including three in New York state. One of those locations is in Rego Park at 99-21 Queens Blvd
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that 809 New York-based students will receive on average about $2,800 in compensation. The Better Business Bureau, which is administering the settlement, is expected to begin sending out checks to the students later this month.
The students who attended DeVry’s New York locations and graduated with associate or bachelor degrees between July 2008 and September 2015 will be receiving compensation. Additionally, New York residents who graduated from a DeVry online program with an associate or bachelor degree between July 2008 and September 2015 will be compensated.
The investigation found that the school made misleading claims in its advertising. Much of it centered on the school’s bogus claim that 90 percent of its graduates found jobs in their respective field of study within six months of graduation.
For example, the school counted graduates of its technical management program as “employed in field,” when the graduates were employed as retail salespersons, receptionists, bank tellers and data entry workers. In some cases, graduates were counted as employed in their field of study despite holding positions that did not require a college degree.
Furthermore, the investigation revealed that a substantial number of the graduates who were factored in to the statistic had jobs in their field before they even enrolled.
“DeVry exploited students who were simply trying to further their education,” Schneiderman said. “We will not allow hardworking New Yorkers to be ripped off by greedy companies – which is why DeVry is now paying millions in restitution to hundreds of students. My office will not back down from policing unscrupulous for-profit colleges in New York State.”
DeVry also mischaracterized certain unsuccessful job-seekers as “inactive,” despite evidence that the graduates had carried out an active, though unsuccessful, job search, according to Schneiderman’s office.
DeVry also made inadequately substantiated claims in its advertisements concerning its graduates’ salary outcomes.
For example, some ads said DeVry bachelor degree graduates earned 15 percent more—one year after graduation–than all graduates with bachelor’s degrees from all other colleges and universities.