While nowhere near the near criminal brazeness of the Donald Trump University scam, DeVry University got into serious hot water for misleading ads, which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged deceived students about their likelihood of finding jobs in their field of study and the income level they could achieve upon graduation.
The FTC is mailing 173,000 refund checks totaling more than $49 million to students in compensation for DeVry University’s allegedly misleading ads.
As part of the FTC’s $100 million settlement, the school agreed to pay $49.4 million to the FTC for partial refunds to some students and $50.6 million in debt relief. The debt forgiven included the full balance owed—$30.35 million—on all private unpaid student loans that DeVry issued to undergraduates between September 2008 and September 2015, and $20.25 million in student debts for items such as tuition, books and lab fees.
Students included in the $49 million cash settlement are those who:
• enrolled for the first time in a bachelor’s or associate’s degree program at DeVry University between January 1, 2008 and October 1, 2015;
• paid at least $5,000 with cash, loans or military benefits;
• did not get debt or loan forgiveness as part of this settlement; and
• completed at least one class credit.
Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days.
If you have questions about the case, contact the FTC’s refund administrator at 1-844-578-2645. To learn more about the FTC’s refund program, visit www.ftc.gov/refunds.
According to the FTC, DeVry deceptively claimed that 90% of its graduates actively seeking employment landed jobs in their field within six months of graduation and that graduates had 15% higher incomes one year after graduation on average than the graduates of all other colleges or universities.
Faced with an impending deposition and an inevitable loss in court, Donald Trump settled his Trump University fraud for $25 million for victims in California and New York. Reportedly, the Trump University scam totally took in $40 million.
The New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman said more than 5,000 people across the country paid Donald Trump more than $40 million to teach them his hard-sell tactics got a hard lesson in bait-and-switch.
Schneiderman further stated Mr. Trump used his celebrity status and personally appeared in commercials making false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford for lessons they never got.