DeVry University sued for 'deception'

DeVry University Fort Washington

Another for-profit college is in trouble with the government for allegedly misleading students about their chances of getting a job and increasing their income after graduation.

DeVry University was sued by the Federal Trade Commission Wednesday for ads that it said deceived students.

At issue is a statistic the college started using in ads in 2008: that 90% of grads since 1975 found jobs in their fields of study within six months of graduation.

The FTC found this to be "deceptive," and the college is now required to notify current and prospective students about the unsubstantiated claim.

The school used another allegedly false stat in some ads, claiming that grads had 15% higher incomes one year after graduating than those of all other colleges and universities.

In a statement, DeVry said it "intends to vigorously contest" the complaint, which it says is "without a valid legal basis."

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The FTC alleges that DeVry counted one graduate who majored in business and later worked as a server in a restaurant as someone working in their field. It also included grads who were working in jobs they held prior to enrolling at DeVry in its stats.

In a statement, DeVry said these examples "exaggerate the allegations but do not prove them."

"DeVry University measures the employment and earnings results of its graduates on a sound, rational and transparent basis, and has published these results in a consistent manner over the years to provide students meaningful information," it said.

Related: For-profit college must give $103 million back

Shares of the college's parent company, DeVry Education Group (DV), fell 15% on the news.

It hasn't been a stellar year in the for-profit college world. Enrollment is down and the government is making efforts to crack down on what is sees as deceptive practices. Corinthian Colleges closed its doors last year after facing lawsuits from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and several state attorneys general. It was also fined $30 million by the Department of Education for overstating job placement rates.

The University of Phoenix is also facing a probe from the FTC regarding deceptive marketing tactics, although no lawsuit has been filed. In October, the school was temporarily banned from recruiting on military campuses after being criticized for aggressively recruiting veterans. The ban was lifted on January 15.

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