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Congresswoman Waters Applauds Department of Education Action against DeVry University

October 14, 2016
Press Release

Washington D.C.,- Today, Congresswoman Waters applauded the Department of Education’s action against DeVry University, resolving the Department’s claim that the institution used unsubstantiated job placement claims in its recruitment and marketing materials.

“I commend the Department of Education’s efforts to hold DeVry University accountable and its ongoing work to protect students and taxpayer dollars. Today’s settlement agreement, which is similar to the actions taken by the Department to hold both Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech accountable for its fraudulent behavior, exposes one of the common predatory practices employed by the for profit college industry. It is simply unlawful for a for profit college to use unsubstantiated placement rates in its recruitment materials. I encourage the Department to continue its oversight over private, post-secondary institutions and pursue any additional measures needed to ensure that students are receiving accurate information prior to their investment of significant time and resources.”

Since 1975, DeVry University has claimed that 90% of its graduates were employed in their field of study within 6 months of graduation. DeVry has published this placement rate in its recruitment materials and has received over $5 billion in federal tuition assistance to enroll prospective students.  In August 2015, the Department of Education, requested that DeVry substantiate its publicized job placement rate, as is required under federal law. After reviewing DeVry’s information, the Department concluded that the University did not provide sufficient evidence to substantiate the 90% job placement rate claim. 

On any given year, the for-profit college industry enrolls between 10-13% of college students, yet collects 25% of all federal tuition assistance.  Furthermore, a staggering 35% of students who attend schools like DeVry default on their student loans, costing taxpayers billions of dollars each year.

“Too many for-profit colleges are not living up to their promise of an affordable, yet high quality education. Fraudulent for-profit colleges drain taxpayers, students and their families and I look forward to continuing to work with the Department to root out any additional unlawful behavior.” said Rep. Waters.

Since her time as a California Assemblywoman, Congresswoman Waters has fought to hold predatory for-profit colleges accountable to students and taxpayers, most notably when she introduced the Maxine Waters School Reform and Student Protection Act which set a threshold for minimum job placement and graduation rates.   Since that time, Congresswoman Waters has introduced several piece of legislation to prevent the next Corinthian including: the CLASS Act, the Students Before Profits Act, and the Ensuring Quality Education for Veterans Act.  She also was the first member of Congress to endorse the Corinthian 100, a group of former Corinthian students who initiated a debt strike in opposition to Corinthian Colleges’ fraudulent practices.