The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a $100 million settlement that includes $49.4 million in payments to students and $50.6 million in loan forgiveness.
DeVry students qualify if they took classes between January 1, 2008 and September 30, 2015. There is no need to sign up — DeVry will send a notice in the mail within 30 days.
The refund amount will depend on how much the student paid, and it may not be the full amount of their loss. The payouts will be sent in 2017.
DeVry will automatically forgive the full balance — $30.35 million — of all unpaid student loans issued between September 2008 and September 2015. DeVry will also forgive $20.25 million in student debt for things like tuition, books, and lab fees.
DeVry will notify students who qualify, inform credit bureaus and collection agencies, and release transcripts and diplomas it withheld over unpaid debt.
In January 2015, the FTC filed a lawsuit against DeVry for falsely advertising that 90% of graduates landed a job in their field within six months. The FTC said many of those graduates were actually waiting tables, selling cars, or doing jobs unrelated to their degree.
DeVry also claimed graduates made 15% more money one year after graduation than all other colleges and universities, and stood by the claim even after its own internal data showed no difference in salary, according to the FTC.
The settlement requires DeVry to specifically prove any future advertising claims regarding graduation outcomes and educational benefits. DeVry agreed to stop making the 90% claim as part of a separate settlement with the U.S. Department of Education in October.
The company said it chose to settle the lawsuits after “denying all allegations of wrongdoing” and said “at no time has the academic quality of a DeVry University education been questioned.”