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The US Department of Education will repay $415 million in student loans to nearly 16,000 borrowers who attended DeVry University and other for-profit schools accused of defrauding or misleading students.
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The agency announced the news on Wednesday, Feb. 16, following an investigation into DeVry, Westwood College, the ITT Technical Institute’s nursing program and the Minnesota School of Business’ criminal justice program/Globe University.
The survey found that from 2008 to 2015, DeVry “repeatedly misled prospective students across the country by claiming that 90% of DeVry graduates who are actively seeking employment have obtained employment in their field of study. studies within six months of graduation,” the Department of Education said in a statement. Press release.
DeVry’s actual placement rate was about 58%, according to the survey. More than half of the jobs included in the claimed 90% job placement rate were filled by students who got the jobs long before they graduated from DeVry and often before they even enrolled.
“The Department remains committed to granting discharges to borrowers when evidence shows their college has violated the law and standards,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “Students rely on their colleges to tell the truth. Unfortunately, today’s findings show too many cases of students being misled by loans from institutions or programs that failed to deliver on their promises.
DeVry University spokeswoman Donna Shaults told CNBC that the school’s board and leadership have changed since the government first made the allegations.
“Nevertheless, we believe the Department of Education is misrepresenting DeVry’s calculation and disclosure of graduate results in some advertisements, and we disagree with the conclusions they have reached,” Shaults said.
Westwood College has been accused of similar wrongdoing. The Department of Education found that between 2002 and 2015, Westwood made false claims about its placement rates and the salaries of those who graduated, according to the news release.
Other findings from the Ministry of Education include:
- The ITT Technical Institute incorrectly told students that its nursing program would gain programmatic accreditation. The school has repeatedly failed to meet accreditation standards.
- The Minnesota School of Business and/or Globe University tricked criminal justice students by telling them they could become Minnesota police officers or parole/probation officers after graduation. The school does not have the appropriate accreditation or certifications for its students to step into such roles.
Additionally, the Department of Education approved $284.5 million in waivers for more than 11,900 students who attended institutions such as Corinthian Colleges and Marinello Schools of Beauty and whose applications were considered after earlier relief announcements.
Since President Joe Biden took office, more than 100,000 students who were allegedly defrauded by their schools have received loan forgiveness totaling about $2 billion, CNBC noted.
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