Attorney General James Urges Former Students Deceived by DeVry University to Apply for Federal Loan Discharge
New York Students Who Attended and Were Deceived by
DeVry May be Eligible for Federal Loan Discharge From U.S. DOE
AG James Continues Efforts to Help Students Weighed Down by National Student Debt Crisis
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today sent letters to thousands of former students who attended DeVry University or DeVry/New York, Inc. (DeVry) to encourage them to apply for a federal loan discharge if they believe they were deceived by the university when they applied. State and federal investigations into DeVry found that the university inflated its job placement statistics and salaries in marketing materials to lure students. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently started to review and approve federal loan discharge claims made by former DeVry students. Former students are eligible for the federal loan discharge even if they received restitution from prior settlements with DeVry.
“DeVry defrauded thousands of students by selling them on false promises and lies,” said Attorney General James. “Thousands of students attended DeVry with high hopes about post-grad job prospects only to learn that they were deceived. This federal student loan forgiveness for DeVry students will help lift a burden off defrauded students and address the national student debt crisis. I urge former students who attended DeVry in New York to apply for federal loan forgiveness if they believe they were deceived.”
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) began sending letters to 2,200 former students who attended DeVry in New York between 2008 and 2015 who were eligible for relief under a prior settlement between the OAG and DeVry. Those students potentially qualify for federal loan forgiveness and are encouraged to apply. In 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a $100 million settlement with DeVry after a federal investigation revealed that the university inflated its job placement statistics in marketing materials to cajole students into attending the university. Recently, DOE has approved $71 million in federal loan discharges for roughly 1,800 former DeVry students, meaning that the students are no longer required to pay the loan. New York students are also eligible to apply for this discharge even if they received restitution under the prior OAG and FTC settlements.
The OAG reached an agreement with DeVry in 2017 after an investigation revealed that the university made exaggerated statements in ads about graduates’ success in finding employment after graduation and inadequately substantiated claims about graduates’ salary success. As a result of the agreement, DeVry paid $2.25 million in restitution to students and $500,000 in penalties, fees, and costs. New York DeVry graduates may have received restitution under both the OAG and FTC settlements.
Today’s announcement continues Attorney General James’ efforts to help students weighed down by the national student debt crisis. In January, Attorney General James secured more than $110 million in debt relief for thousands of New York students deceived by student loan servicer, Navient. In March 2021, Attorney General James sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education calling for reforms to help student borrowers. In addition, Attorney General James suspended collection of some student debt owed to the state amidst the pandemic to provide relief to students.
Attorney General James encourages former DeVry students to apply for federal loan forgiveness if they believed that DeVry’s job or salary claims influenced their decision to attend DeVry. To apply, claims must be submitted to DOE in a process known as borrower defense to repayment. Students can start that process on DOE’s website. Students should mention that they received restitution from OAG or FTC settlements when completing the form, if that is the case.
For students who have already applied to have their DeVry federal loan discharged, they can check the status on DOE’s website under “Manage My Applications.”