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Why Devry University is Bad: A Comprehensive Detail

DeVry University has been a subject of controversy and skepticism in the realm of higher education. This article delves into the various reasons why DeVry University has faced criticism and is often perceived unfavorably. 

From allegations of misleading claims about employment outcomes to concerns about high tuition fees, accreditation issues, and the quality of education, DeVry’s reputation has been marred by a range of issues. 

In this comprehensive examination, we explore the reasons behind the negative perception and shed light on the challenges that students and graduates encounter when dealing with this for-profit institution.

Questionable Employment Outcomes:

DeVry University has been embroiled in controversy due to allegations about misleading claims concerning the employment success of its graduates. Notably, the institution faced a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2016, which claimed DeVry had falsely advertised that 90% of its graduates found employment in their field within six months of graduation. 

This statistic, widely promoted in DeVry’s marketing materials, was a significant factor in attracting new students. However, the FTC’s investigation revealed that the actual employment rate was significantly lower, leading to a settlement in which DeVry agreed to pay $100 million for consumer redress, including refunds and debt forgiveness for students.

This legal action casts a shadow over the credibility of DeVry’s claims and suggests that the university’s reported employment outcomes may not accurately reflect the reality faced by its graduates. 

Consequently, prospective students relying on these statistics to make informed decisions about their education and future career prospects might have been misled, potentially impacting their employment opportunities and financial investments.

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High Tuition Costs:

DeVry University, as a for-profit institution, is known for its relatively high tuition costs, which can pose a significant financial burden for students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average annual cost of attending a for-profit institution like DeVry was approximately $17,000 for the 2018-2019 academic year. 

This figure contrasts sharply with the average annual cost at public institutions, which was around $8,000 for in-state students at public colleges.

Such a disparity in costs can lead to substantial student debt. Data from The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) shows that graduates from for-profit colleges typically have higher debt levels compared to their counterparts from public or non-profit institutions. 

Specifically, around 83% of graduates from for-profit colleges have student loans, with an average debt of about $39,900, which is almost $15,000 more than the average debt for graduates from public and non-profit schools.

Accreditation and Recognition Concerns:

Despite DeVry University holding accreditation, it faces a lingering stigma common to for-profit educational institutions. This stigma often translates into skepticism among employers regarding the quality of education provided by these schools. 

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A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) revealed that only about 52% of employers feel that graduates from for-profit colleges are well-prepared for their jobs, compared to 88% for those from non-profit institutions. This perception gap can significantly impact the employability of DeVry graduates.

Such skepticism from employers can result in limited job opportunities for graduates of for-profit universities. 

A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that applicants with a business degree from a large for-profit online university were about 22% less likely to receive a callback from employers compared to applicants with a similar degree from a non-selective public institution. 

This data highlights the potential challenges DeVry graduates may face in the job market due to the prevailing attitudes towards for-profit education.

Legal and Ethical Controversies:

DeVry University’s reputation has been significantly impacted by its legal entanglements, most notably the settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2016. 

This high-profile case centered around DeVry’s deceptive advertising practices, where the FTC alleged that the university falsely claimed 90% of its graduates found employment in their field within six months of graduation. 

The settlement resulted in DeVry agreeing to pay $100 million, which included $49.4 million in restitution to students and $50.6 million in debt relief.

This legal issue is one among several that have raised questions about the ethical standards and educational quality of DeVry University. Such controversies can have long-lasting effects on an institution’s image. 

According to a survey by Pew Research Center, around 19% of Americans believe that for-profit institutions like DeVry offer low-quality education. These perceptions, coupled with legal disputes, contribute to the skepticism about the value of a degree from DeVry University.

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Educational Experience and Quality:

DeVry University has faced a range of student reviews, and opinions about the educational experience are mixed. Some students have expressed dissatisfaction with the academic rigor and the quality of instruction they received. 

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), DeVry’s graduation rate is around 19%, which suggests that a significant portion of students may not complete their programs. This could be attributed, in part, to concerns about the educational experience.

Moreover, DeVry’s emphasis on online and hybrid learning formats may not be suitable for all students. A survey conducted by Educause Review found that while online learning offers flexibility, it can be challenging for some students to stay motivated and engaged, potentially impacting their overall educational effectiveness.

Limited Academic Rigor and Support:

Concerns have been raised about the academic rigor at DeVry University, with reports suggesting that it may not be on par with traditional non-profit universities. This is a significant concern, especially in fields that demand a deep and comprehensive understanding of complex subjects. 

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Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicates that the average class size at DeVry is relatively large, which could impact the quality of individualized instruction and academic depth.

Furthermore, some students have reported a lack of adequate academic support and resources. 

According to NCES data, the student-to-faculty ratio at DeVry is higher than the national average, potentially affecting the level of personal attention and support students receive. These factors emphasize the importance of considering the academic quality and support available when evaluating DeVry University as an educational choice.

Predatory Recruitment Practices:

For-profit universities like DeVry have come under scrutiny for their predatory recruitment practices. There have been documented cases where these institutions are accused of specifically targeting vulnerable populations, such as low-income individuals and military veterans, through aggressive marketing tactics. 

According to a report by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, for-profit colleges spent a significant portion of their budgets on marketing and recruiting, often disproportionately more than they allocated to instruction.

These practices not only raise ethical concerns but also cast doubt on the university’s commitment to the genuine educational development of its students. It’s essential to consider these recruitment tactics when evaluating the integrity and mission of DeVry University.

Transferability of Credits:

One of the significant challenges students encounter at DeVry University is the difficulty of transferring credits to non-profit institutions. 

This issue can be particularly burdensome for students who have aspirations to continue their education elsewhere or decide to change their educational paths. 

According to data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, the credit transfer rate from for-profit institutions like DeVry to non-profit colleges and universities tends to be lower compared to transfers between non-profit institutions. 

This lack of credit transferability can result in a substantial loss of both time and financial resources for students, further emphasizing the obstacles they face when seeking educational opportunities beyond DeVry.

Over-reliance on Online Learning Platforms:

DeVry University’s heavy emphasis on online education has its advantages in terms of flexibility, but it’s not without drawbacks. While online learning is suitable for some students, it may not cater to everyone’s needs. This reliance on virtual platforms can potentially hinder the development of crucial skills. 

For instance, in fields where teamwork, public speaking, and hands-on practical skills are vital, the absence of traditional classroom experiences can pose challenges. These challenges extend to both the acquisition of essential skills and the overall educational experience. It’s essential to consider these factors when evaluating the suitability of DeVry University for one’s educational goals.

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Financial Instability and Future Uncertainty:

The financial stability of for-profit institutions, such as DeVry University, has raised significant concerns within the academic community. 

These universities often operate in a challenging environment characterized by changing regulatory landscapes, legal battles, and fluctuations in enrollments. The implications of such instability are far-reaching. Current students may worry about the long-term viability of their chosen institution, while prospective students may question the value of their potential degrees. 

This uncertainty underscores the importance of thorough research and due diligence when considering enrollment in a for-profit university like DeVry, as the financial health of the institution can directly impact the quality and continuity of academic programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are DeVry degrees respected?

DeVry degrees may not always receive the same level of respect as degrees from traditional non-profit universities. The for-profit status of DeVry and similar institutions has led to some skepticism among employers and the public. However, the perception of DeVry degrees can vary by field of study and employer preferences.

What is the controversy with DeVry University?

DeVry University has faced various controversies over the years. These include allegations of misleading claims about employment outcomes, high tuition fees, issues with credit transferability, legal actions by regulatory bodies, and concerns about academic rigor. These controversies have raised questions about the university’s practices and quality of education.

Do employers respect DeVry University?

Employer perceptions of DeVry University can vary. Some employers may be open to hiring DeVry graduates, especially in fields where specific skills and certifications are valued. However, as mentioned earlier, the for-profit status and controversies surrounding DeVry may lead to mixed opinions among employers.

Is DeVry University any good?

The quality of education at DeVry University can vary by program and individual experiences. Some students may have positive experiences and find value in DeVry’s programs, while others may encounter challenges. It’s essential for prospective students to research specific programs, consider their career goals, and weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks before enrolling.


Choosing a university is a significant decision that impacts one’s career trajectory and personal growth. While DeVry University offers certain advantages, such as program variety and flexible learning options, the concerns around job outcomes, costs, accreditation perception, legal issues, and educational quality are substantial. 

Prospective students should thoroughly research, weigh these factors, and consider their long-term career goals and financial situation before deciding. Alternative institutions, especially public and non-profit colleges, might offer more favorable outcomes in terms of cost, reputation, and educational quality, making them worthy of consideration.

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