Durbin Statement on VA Action Against For-Profit DeVry University

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has suspended DeVry University’s status as a “Principles of Excellence” school.  DeVry University is a for-profit college whose students cumulatively hold $8.3 billion in student debt – the fourth highest debt volume of any higher education institution in America – and have a 2009 five-year cohort student loan default rate of 43%. 


“I’m pleased that the Department of Veterans Affairs is now responding to actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission against DeVry,” said Durbin.  “I hope this signals a new willingness by the VA to aggressively protect veterans when federal or state agencies find evidence of misconduct by schools that receive GI Bill funding.”  


In January, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit against DeVry University for knowingly misleading potential students.  At the time, Durbin said: “The FTC’s charges of deception against DeVry University are the latest chapter in the shameful story of so many for-profit colleges…There is a critical story behind the story for DeVry University’s deception.  The real losers here are both the students who are overcharged for questionable diplomas and the taxpayers who subsidize the for-profit college industry – an industry made up of the most heavily subsidized ‘private sector’ companies in America.”


Durbin has worked for more than five years to shine a light on the practices of the for-profit college industry which delivers student outcomes that are questionable and end in much higher rates of student loan defaults than other sectors of higher education.  For-profit colleges account for 40% of student loan defaults though they only enroll 10% of all college students.