Is DeVry the next Corinthian?

For-profit university to close support office in Chicago

DeVry Education Group plans to close a Chicago office this fall, laying off 90 employees and returning $100,000 in tax increment financing to the city.

The remaining 160 employees will transfer to other locations in the region as part of a cost-cutting effort. Enrollments have been falling at the education company's schools, particularly at DeVry University, amid federal and media investigations into for-profit schools.

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The announcement comes just two months after fellow for-profit Corinthian Colleges shuttered all of its campuses following a $29.7 million fine from the Department of Education for allegedly inflating graduate job placement statistics.

DeVry Education Group has not escaped regulatory investigations itself. The company owns a nursing school, a career-training college, two medical schools in the Caribbean, schools in Brazil, and the eponymous university, which offers programs in management, technology, health care, and business. 

Authorities in New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois are looking into DeVry Education Group's business practices. And in April, federal prosecutors in Ohio requested documents regarding a health information technology program.

While DeVry Education Group's overall March enrollment numbers were up—thanks to operations in Brazil and the nursing school—the university's numbers dropped 15% from 2014.

To address falling enrollment numbers, the group has been closing DeVry campuses since mid-2013. As of March 2015, the university had 82 campuses—but in April the group announced it would close 14 (Sachdev, Chicago Tribune, 7/14).

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