FTC sues DeVry University over job placement claims

A large for-profit college is being sued by the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly misleading consumers about students’ job and earnings prospects.

In their complaint, the FTC said DeVry University stretched the truth by claiming 90% of their graduates who were actively seeking employment landed new jobs in their field of study within six months of graduation. However, the government agency said DeVry’s numbers do not back up this claim.

So how did the school reach those numbers?

According to the FTC, the company counted graduates who had been working at their jobs for more than a year before graduating or even before enrolling at DeVry.

Second, it counted graduates who were not working in their field of study. For example, it would count a graduate who in health services management working as a server at a restaurant.

Lastly, it under-counted those “actively seeking employment” by considering only those graduates who were regularly using DeVry’s career services department.

Additionally, the school claimed that one year after graduation, the median or average earnings of DeVry graduates with bachelor degrees were 15% higher than the earnings of graduates from all other colleges and universities. The Federal Trade Commission is seeking a court order to stop DeVry University from making the advertising claims, via TV, radio, social media and elsewhere.

DeVry said they will  “vigorously contest” the complaint.