(Adds DeVry denies wrongdoing, share price)
WASHINGTON Dec 15 DeVry University has
agreed to pay $100 million to settle a U.S. Federal Trade
Commission lawsuit accusing the for-profit school of misleading
potential students with ads promoting job and salary success for
graduates, the agency said on Thursday.
DeVry, offering courses online and at various locations
around the country, is one of a series of for-profit schools
that have been scrutinized by federal officials over deceptive
Under the settlement, DeVry will forgive $50.6 million in
debt owed by students for tuition and fees as well as pay $49.4
million to students harmed by the deceptive ads, the FTC said.
DeVry had been accused of falsely claiming that 90 percent
of graduates found jobs in their field within six months of
graduating and that they on average earned 15 percent more a
year after graduating with a bachelor's degree than similar
graduates of other schools.
DeVry, run by parent company DeVry Education Group Inc, did
not acknowledge any wrongdoing in the settlement and said it was
pleased the agreement had been reached.
DeVry's share price was up 3.4 percent on Thursday, trading
The entire for-profit school sector has struggled since a
2010 U.S. government crackdown prompted by high student debt
loads and default rates and low graduation rates.
ITT Educational Services imploded this year after the
government banned it from enrolling students who receive federal
aid. Corinthian Colleges abruptly closed last year amid federal
and state investigations.
The settlement also requires DeVry to take steps to ensure
that its advertising is accurate regarding the likelihood that
its graduates would find work related to their schooling or
future salaries, the FTC said.
DeVry has locations in Arizona, California, Colorado,
Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New
Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania,
Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Will Dunham)