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DeVry University Duped Thousands of Students. Now It Owes Them $100 Million
Update: Eligible DeVry students can expect their refunds this summer, according to an FTC blog post dated May 1.
The FTC “plans to mail checks before the end of the summer” to students who enrolled in DeVry University degree programs between January 2008 and October 2015, paid at least $5,000 with cash, loans, or military benefits, and completed at least one class credit.
Students who received debt or loan forgiveness already as part of the settlement will not receive a refund.
“The amount of each refund will depend on how much a person paid to DeVry,” Bridget Small of the FTC explained in the post. “The refunds will not be the full amount of money people paid.”
If you attended DeVry University between 2008 and 2015, the for-profit college could owe you money.
DeVry and its parent company agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission, which alleged the school misled prospective students. The FTC says the $100 million settlement will provide financial relief to tens of thousands of students impacted.
According to the FTC, DeVry’s advertisements falsely claimed that 90% of students were hired in their fields within six months of graduating.
DeVry also claimed its graduates earned 15% more on average one year after graduation than those with bachelor’s degrees from other colleges and universities, the complaint states.
How DeVry Will Divvy Up $100 Million
So, who gets the $100 million?
A judge still has to approve the settlement, but DeVry has agreed to pay $49.4 million in cash to qualifying students who were duped by the ads.
Meanwhile, DeVry will pay $50.6 million to forgive student debt.
That debt relief is split into two parts: $30.35 million will be applied to the full balance on private student loans DeVry issued to undergrads between September 2008 and September 2015.
Another $20.25 million will go toward student debts for tuition, books and lab fees, the FTC explained.
Does this settlement affect you? DeVry will notify you in early 2017. If the school forgives your student debt, it will notify your student loan administrators and all credit bureaus.
DeVry will also provide transcripts and diplomas to students who previously could not obtain them due to outstanding debt to the school.
The FTC explained, “If you’re eligible, the refund amount will depend on how much you paid, and it may not be the full amount of your loss.”
In addition to compensating affected students, DeVry will have to change its advertising methods. The settlement prohibits the school from misrepresenting its graduates’ job placement rates and compensation.
Your Turn: Did you attend DeVry University? Do you think you’ll get a refund or debt forgiveness?
Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.