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Ashford University is an online for-profit university headquartered in San Diego, California. It is the primary educational holding of Bridgepoint Education. The university offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in more than 50 degree programs online. The university consists of four colleges: the Forbes School of Business, the College of Education, the College of Health, Human Services, and Science, and the College of Liberal Arts. Ashford University has been in a long series of lawsuits dating all the way back to 2006.

The for-profit industry is spiraling downward, which is great news for former students. Programs have now opened allowing students to find relief from their student loans obtained at these dishonest for-profit institutions. If you attended Ashford University, call (877) 515-0185 to see if you qualify for student loan forgiveness. We can also assist you with your private student loans.

Devry's Long History of Lawsuits, Investigations, and Settlements


Conflict Of Interest

In March 1995, DeVry’s ability to grant U.S. degrees through its Calgary facilities was discussed during a session of the Alberta Legislative Assembly. Therein, Grant Mitchell—then the Leader of the Opposition for the Alberta Liberal Party—accused the Premier of Alberta, Ralph Klein, of maintaining a conflict of interest with DeVry through his relationship with John Ballheim, who was at the time an executive at DeVry serving as both the president of DeVry’s Calgary campus and as a member of the Klein’s special advisory council on postsecondary education. Klein denied any conflict of interest. In 1995, DeVry was also suspended from the Ontario Student Assistance Program after a large number of its students misreported their income. DeVry was reinstated after paying fines of CA$1.7 million (equivalent to CA$2.53 million in 2017) to Ontario and putting up a letter of credit totalling CA$2 million (CA$2.98 million in 2017).


Students Unhappy

In 1996, students of DeVry’s Toronto campus filed a class-action suit of CA$400,000 (CA$586,727 in 2017) claiming poor educational quality and job preparation; the suit was dismissed on technical grounds.


Legal Action Brought Forth

In November 2000, Afshin Zarinebaf, Ali Mousavi, and another graduate of one of DeVry University’s Chicago-area campuses filed a class-action lawsuit accusing DeVry of widespread deception, unlawful business practices, and false advertising and alleging that students were not being prepared for high-tech jobs. The lawsuit contributed to a 20 percent slide in the company’s stock. The suit was not certified and the case was resolved for less than US$25,000 (US$30,348 in 2017) in June 2006.


Opposition Rises

In 2001, DeVry became the first for-profit school to obtain permission from the Alberta government to grant degrees, on recommendation by the Private Colleges Accreditation Board. This decision was opposed by the Alberta New Democrats (sitting in opposition), the University of Calgary Faculty Association, the Canadian Federation of Students, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers.


Legal Issues Stacking Up

In January 2002, Royal Gardner, a graduate of one of DeVry University’s Los Angeles–area campuses, filed a class-action complaint against DeVry Inc. and DeVry University, Inc. on behalf of students in the post-baccalaureate degree program in Information Technology. The suit alleged that the nature of the program was misrepresented by the advertising. The lawsuit was dismissed and refiled. During the first quarter of 2004, a new complaint was filed in the same court by Gavino Teanio with the same general allegations. This action was stayed pending the outcome of the Gardner lawsuit. The lawsuits were being settled in late 2006.


States Have Enough

In April 2007, the states of New York, Illinois, and Missouri settled with three schools that were participating in questionable student-loan practices. DeVry, Career Education Corporation, and Washington University in St. Louis were involved with the settlement. DeVry agreed to refund US$88,122 (US$104,004 in 2017) it received in revenue sharing from Citibank to students.


Behavior Comes Under Fire Again

In 2008, DeVry was accused of filing false claims and statements about recruitment pay and performance to the government of the United States.


Another Day Another Lawsuit

In January 2013, a lawsuit was filed by a former manager at DeVry which alleged that the college bribed students for positive performance reviews and worked around federal regulations on for-profit colleges. In April 2013, the attorneys general of Illinois and Massachusetts issued subpoenas to DeVry to investigate for violations of federal law and filing false information about loans, grants, and guarantees. In July 2014, DeVry stated that the office of the New York Attorney General was investigating whether the company’s marketing violated laws against false advertising.


Veterans Upset

In March 2016, the Veterans Administration reprimanded DeVry over allegations of deceptive marketing practices made by the Federal Trade Commission and suspended DeVry University from its “Principles of Excellence” status under the G.I. Bill. On 15 December 2016, the Federal Trade Commission settled a US$100 million suit against DeVry, which alleged that DeVry’s advertisements deceived consumers about the likelihood that students would find jobs in their fields of study, and would earn more than those graduating with bachelor’s degrees from other colleges or universities. Students who enrolled in a bachelor’s or associate degree program at DeVry University between 1 January 2008 and 1 October 2015; paid at least US$5,000 with cash, loans, or military benefits; did not get debt or loan forgiveness as part of this settlement; and completed at least one class credit were eligible for a refund.


More Students Fight Back

Separately, on 16 June 2016, two former DeVry students filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association. DeVry responded by suing the students, claiming the dispute belongs in court and not in arbitration.


Another Investigation

In May 2017, the Higher Learning Commission designated DeVry “under governmental investigation” as a result of a Massachusetts Attorney General investigation alleging “fraudulent or deceptive practices”. In September 2017, the Higher Learning Commission removed this designation after DeVry negotiated a settlement.


AP Reports

In August 2018, the Associated Press reported that according to United States Department of Education documents, DeVry received more than 3,600 (over 15%) of the 24,000 federal fraud complaints lodged against for-profit colleges between 20 January 2017 and 30 April 2018. This is in conjunction with a “nearly 20 percent” decrease in enrollment in the last year.

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