Statement by DeVry University on Complaint Filed Against the Department of Education
DeVry University remains steadfast in our commitment to transparency and accountability, endeavoring to do what is best for students, partners, alumni, and communities. Our unique legacy is rooted in innovation. For over 90 years, through innovative programs, relevant partnerships and exceptional care we have relentlessly helped ambitious learners to thrive academically and reach their full career potential.
We are proud of our role and contributions to our nation’s higher education system, and even prouder of the achievements and impact our current and future students have on our economy and their communities. And we know that accountability and transparency are critical to our success. That said, we believe that accountability in postsecondary education requires regulatory clarity and consistency, adherence to due process, fairness, and respect for the rule of law.
With that in mind, as the next step in a decade-old regulatory disagreement, DeVry University has filed a complaint in the Federal District Court in Chicago/Northern District of Illinois relating to the Recoupment Notice DeVry received from the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) on August 15, 2022. We take this action reluctantly, but it is necessary given the Department’s failure to follow clear statutory and regulatory requirements, denying DeVry University due process to which we are entitled under the law.
The Department’s attempt to recoup funds from a currently operating institution, and extra-regulatory approach in doing so, will set a dangerous precedent that could profoundly impact every institution that participates in the Federal Student Aid programs. Such a precedent may also severely disrupt American postsecondary education and create perverse incentives that will ultimately harm the more than 10 million students who rely on Federal Student Aid to attend college each year.
The Recoupment Action covered by DeVry’s complaint was announced by the Department of Education on August 15 and was anticipated following the February 2022 announcement that it was forgiving the student loans in question and intended to seek recoupment from the university. In the February news release, the Department indicated it was forgiving loans based on claims relating to DeVry’s past advertising of graduate outcomes. Our position has always been that any allegation or conclusion that DeVry misled students at any time is wrong, and we strongly believe the Department has mischaracterized DeVry’s calculations and disclosure of graduate outcomes from past advertising. It is worth emphasizing that these student claims date back to advertising that was used between 2008 and 2015, predating DeVry’s establishment as an independent institution with a new Board and leadership.
DeVry University serves and empowers learners who want to succeed, particularly those who lack the options to do so within the traditional higher education system, and we are intensely focused on student success and our mission of preparing learners to thrive in careers shaped by continuous technological change. We are proud our learners have been successful in meeting critical workforce needs that are frequently ignored by traditional educators. And our alumni get significant value from their degrees and work at some of the most respected businesses and organizations in the nation.