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DeVry University
Official logo of DeVry University
Type Private for-profit university
Established 1931; 93 years ago (1931) (as DeForest Training School)
Founder Herman A. DeVry
Parent institution
Cogswell Education
President Thomas L. Monahan III
Provost Shantanu Bose
Academic staff
57 full-time and 1,132 part-time
Students 27,867
Location , ,
United States

41°48′00″N 88°07′35″W / 41.800010°N 88.126330°W / 41.800010; -88.126330
Campus Multiple: 18 states in the U.S. and online

DeVry University (/dəˈvr/) is a privately owned for-profit university with its headquarters in Naperville, Illinois. It was founded in 1931 by Herman A. DeVry and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. DeVry is predominantly an online educator but does have campuses in the United States.


Early history (1931–1970)

DeVry was founded in 1931 as the De Forest Training School in Chicago, Illinois. School founder Herman A. DeVry, who had previously invented a motion picture projector and produced educational and training films, named the school after his friend Lee de Forest. De Forest Training School originally taught projector and radio repair, but later expanded to include other electronic equipment such as televisions. After its founder's death in March 1941, the school was renamed DeVry Technical Institute in 1953 and gained accreditation to confer associate degrees in electronics in 1957.

Bell & Howell completed its acquisition of DeVry Technical Institute in 1967. A year later, the company acquired the Ohio Institute of Technology and DeVry was renamed DeVry Institute of Technology, which was accredited to confer bachelor's degrees in electronics in 1969.

Keller Graduate School of Management (1970–1990)

Dennis Keller and Ronald Taylor met one another in the early 1970s when the two were teachers at DeVry. Keller and Taylor learned the economics of for-profit education while at DeVry and, in 1973, the two founded the Keller Graduate School of Management with $150,000 in loans from friends and family. The school was originally conceived as a day school that granted certificates. In 1976, the Keller School became an evening program offering MBAs, focused on working adults. The school was fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1977, becoming the first for-profit school to be accredited by the body.

DeVry first received full accreditation in 1981. The Keller Graduate School of Management acquired DeVry from Bell & Howell in 1987. The leveraged buyout was worth $147.4 million. The two schools were combined as DeVry Inc., with Keller acting as chairman and CEO and Taylor as president and COO.

DeVry Education Group (1990–2018)

DeVry Inc. successfully completed its initial public offering on June 21, 1991. In 1992, DeVry lost the highest scoring basketball game in history to Troy State University (now Troy University), 258 to 141.

In 1995, its stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

In 1996, DeVry acquired Becker CPA Review—a firm that prepared students for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination—for an undisclosed amount of cash, the tentative purchase price of which was US$18.685 million (about equivalent to US$35,000,000 in 2022). In 2003, DeVry acquired Ross University, a medical and veterinary school based in the Caribbean, for a price variously reported at US$310 million (about US$493 million in 2022) and US$329 million (US$523 million in 2022). DeVry moved into the nursing field in March 2005 with the acquisition of Deaconess College of Nursing, a St. Louis-based nursing college that conferred both associate's and bachelor's degrees in nursing, at a price variously reported at about US$5.3 million (US$7.94 million in 2022) and US$5.4 million (US$8.09 million in 2022). Deaconess College of Nursing was later renamed Chamberlain College of Nursing.

DeVry Inc. entered Brazil with its 2009 acquisition of Faculdade Nordeste (FANOR), Ruy Barbosa and ÁREA 1, which are universities located in the Northeast of Brazil.

In 2010, DeVry University had nearly 90 campus learning sites in 26 states and more than 7,000 employees. The parent company had more than 12,000 employees. DeVry University's undergraduate enrollment reached 68,290 students by the summer of 2010.

In 2012, the university acquired Faculdade Boa Viagem and Faculdade do Vale do Ipojuca. DeVry acquired a sixth Brazilian university, Faculdade Differencial Integral, in 2013. DeVry Inc. was renamed DeVry Education Group later that year. DeVry Education Group changed its name to Adtalem Global Education in May 2017, and announced in December 2017 that they would hand off DeVry University and Keller Graduate School to Cogswell Education (a division of Palm Ventures) for no upfront cost, pending regulatory and accreditor approval.

In December 2018, the parent company Adtalem finalized the handover of both DeVry University and Keller Graduate School of Management to Cogswell Education.

Cogswell Education (2018–present)

DeVry University's parent company is Cogswell Education, LLC. Cogswell purchased DeVry at no original cost from Adtalem Education. However, Cogswell could pay up to US$20 million. Cogswell Education is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. The principal investor is Bradley Palmer of Palm Ventures. Mr. Palmer has been involved in flipping Heald College, UEI College, and American Education Center.

In December 2018, in a report titled VA's Oversight of State Approving Agency Program Monitoring for Post-9/11 GI Bill Students, the Department of Veterans Office of Inspector General mentioned DeVry's use of false claims. However the Veterans Affairs office did not indicate that any action would be forthcoming.

In 2020, Tom Monahan III became President and CEO of DeVry.

In 2022, the US government discharged more than $71 million in student loan debt for 1,800 former students of DeVry University, asserting that the university deceived students in the enrollment process.

In 2023, Elise Awwad became the first female President and CEO of DeVry.

Devry has a case pending in Illinois challenging borrower defense to repayment (fraud) claims against the school. More than 30,000 fraud claims have been filed against DeVry.

Locations and campus closures

Between 2020 and 2022, all DeVry campuses were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. DeVry University has a presence at one military installation at Twentynine Palms, California. List of DeVry campuses and learning centers, as of 2024:

Arizona (73 students)

  • Phoenix Campus

California (1,677 students)

  • Folsom Campus
  • Long Beach Campus
  • Newark Campus
  • Ontario Campus
  • San Diego Campus
  • San Jose Center
  • Sherman Oaks Campus
  • Twentynine Palms Military Base Extension

Florida (294 students)

  • Orlando Campus

Georgia (532 students)

  • Decatur Campus

Illinois (26,384 students, includes online)

  • Addison Campus
  • Chicago Campus
  • Chicago Loop Campus
  • Naperville Center

Nevada (10 students)

  • Henderson Campus

New Jersey (95 students)

  • Iselin Campus

New York (586 students)

  • Midtown Manhattan Campus

Ohio (226 students)

  • Columbus Campus

Texas (108 students)

  • Austin Campus
  • Irving Campus
  • San Antonio Campus

Virginia (76 students)

  • Arlington Campus

Campus closures

In April 2015, DeVry University announced the closing of 14 campuses around the United States by 2016. The closures occurred in Kansas City; Memphis; Houston; St. Louis; Tampa; Greenwood Village, Colorado; Edina, Minnesota; Milwaukee; and Maryland Heights, Missouri. Students affected by the campus closings were eligible for discounted tuition to attend online or other campus locations for the remainder of their degree program. In fiscal year 2018, DeVry closed eight additional campuses. According to the US Department of Education, DeVry closed five more campuses between 2019 and 2020. In 2021, Raleigh (NC), Merrillville (IN), Paramus (NJ) and Cleveland (OH) sites were closed. In 2022, at least 15 additional campuses closed.


DeVry University offers undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online within its six areas of study: Accounting, Business, Healthcare, Technology, Liberal Arts, and Media Arts & Technology.

DeVry operates on a uniform academic calendar for both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university's academic calendar consists of six eight-week sessions. Most degree programs are offered at both the associate's and bachelor's level. In addition, the institution offers various certificate programs in specific subfields such as information technology.

Courses and programs are also offered online. DeVry has offered graduate classes online since 1998 and undergraduate classes since 2001.


The US Department of Education's College Navigator reports 61 full-time faculty and 765 part-time instructors for 26,384 students at DeVry-Illinois.


DeVry is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Engineering technology programs are accredited campus-by-campus.

Student outcomes

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, DeVry University-Illinois has a six-year graduation rate of 28%, for first-time full-time students who began their studies in 2013. While the university's 3-year student loan default rate is 11.2%, a Brookings Institution report found that DeVry's 5-year default rate was 43%. The College Scorecard reports of a graduation rate of 18% for DeVry University-Illinois. Of those students in repayment, 31% were in forbearance, 29% were not making progress, 10% were in deferment, 10% defaulted, 10% were making progress, 6% were delinquent, 3% were paid in full, and 1% were discharged. For the 2018-19 academic year, the amount that all undergraduate students received in federal student loans was $69.42 million. Median salary after attending ranges from $23,000 to $62,000 depending on the field of study and location.


Notable DeVry University alumni include:

  • Dave Bennett, Class of 1985, software engineer and CTO
  • Steve Cartwright, Class of 1977, video game designer
  • David Crane, Class of 1975, founder and CTO of Appstar Games
  • Wendell Gilliard, politician, attended Bell and Howell School of Technology
  • Adeline Gray, three-time world champion wrestler
  • George Weah, President of Liberia and retired soccer player, attended DeVry in Miami
  • Sean Wiley, Class of 1993, Pennsylvania state senator

Keller Graduate School of Management alumni:

  • Catherine Afeku, Ghanaian politician and Cabinet Minister
  • J. D. Mesnard, politician, MPA from Keller Graduate School of Management
  • Gabriela Mosquera, New Jersey General Assemblywoman
  • Xavier Serbiá, Puerto Rican financial advisor, former singer and actor, member of boy band Menudo from 1980 to 1983.

Past partnerships and political interests

In 2011, DeVry University partnered with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to become an official education provider for the United States' Olympic teams. In April 2016, the USOC announced an extension of its partnership with DeVry through 2020. According to the USOC, more than 125 Team USA student athletes were enrolled in DeVry programs.

In April 2014, DeVry University was named the "official education provider" for NFL Pro Legends, a group supporting players, coaches and other professionals who worked for NFL teams.

DeVry University was the official education and career development partner of Minor League Baseball. DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management will provide higher education opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels for players, their spouses, umpires and National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL) employees and alumni through 2017.

The peak year for DeVry's lobbying in Congress was 2011, when it spent more than $720,000. The largest amount went to Thompson Coburn LLP. Democratic lobbyist Heather Podesta was a major lobbyist for DeVry University from 2010 to 2015.

Adtalem's stock price rebounded after the inauguration of Donald Trump. This has been attributed to deregulation by the U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos, which contrasted with the more prosecutorial approach of the Obama administration.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Universidad DeVry para niños

  • For-profit higher education in the United States
  • ITT Technical Institute
  • List of colleges and universities in metropolitan Atlanta
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