Former students of DeVry University have sued its parent corporation, Adtalem Global Education, Inc., and the university for violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA) and fraud.
The case against the university alleges that the for-profit giant engaged in deceptive marketing practices to lure prospective students by severely inflating the success rate of job placements and earnings of graduates through an aggressive marketing scheme grounded on ‘deceptive’ data and ‘flawed’ methodologies.
Luis Rangel, who is lead plaintiff and a graduate of DeVry University said that he chose to enroll after the college’s advertising made him believe that obtaining a degree from the college would enhance his skills and career marketability, but he is unable to secure employment within his field of study within six months of graduation at a top starting salary, as advertised.
“Like thousands of others, Rangel relied on the misrepresentations in DeVry’s widespread marketing and recruiting tactics, which conveyed the message that DeVry graduates enjoyed enviably high employment rates and top starting salaries,” Attorney John Fabry of The Carlson Law Firm who has filed the lawsuit on behalf of students said in a press release.
Fabry further alleges that the university specifically targeted students from low income and minority communities, launching an aggressive campaign to lure students from the Latino community.
“Misrepresentations were aggressively disseminated to induce prospective students to enroll at DeVry, through various media outlets, including television ads, websites, YouTube videos, marketing brochures, print advertisements, radio ads and in person by DeVry recruiters and admissions counselors,” he added.
The firm says that a similar lawsuit on behalf of former DeVry students in California will be filed in the coming weeks.
In 2016, the FTC filed a lawsuit against DeVry after a two-year investigation into its deceptive marketing scheme. According to the FTC, DeVry falsified the numbers underlying its “90 percent employment within six months” claims, by counting students already employed prior to enrolling at DeVry, as well as students underemployed outside their field of study and later settled the suit in 2017 for a reported $100 million.