Good afternoon. My name is Paola Santiago and I’m a veteran of the U.S. Army. I am here today because DeVry’s false advertising led me to waste my time and hard-earned benefits at a school that didn’t deliver the education and jobs they promised. 

DeVry recruiters said I would get a job as a cop within 6 months of graduating from the criminal justice program. I felt strong-armed to sign up immediately, and recruiters had me pose for photos in a cap and gown as if I already graduated. They made it sound like graduating and getting a job was guaranteed.

I soon realized this wasn’t true. When I looked at the school’s job board, none of the jobs had anything to do with my degree. I never heard from anyone in the career office. Someone did help with my resume, but they gave such bad advice that I had to look for assistance outside the school. 

The education was also low quality and the professors were clearly just there to collect a paycheck. In one in-person class, the instructor just watched us while we completed assignments online. In another, the instructor told us to complete our homework assignments during class instead of teaching us.

I realized I was wasting my benefits at DeVry. My disabilities had gotten worse, and I wasn’t confident that DeVry would help me to find a career path that suited my interests and physical abilities. So I decided to transfer to a local public university. DeVry said all my credits would transfer, but they didn’t. My public school wouldn’t accept DeVry credits for standard classes like introductory statistics. I had to use up more of my GI Bill to retake them.

DeVry had told me their programs were better suited to the needs of veterans and working adults. But the public university turned out to be much more welcoming to non-traditional students. Scheduling my classes was more convenient, I could use all my VA benefits, and the quality of education was much better. At DeVry, I never had a school counselor, but the public university assigned me a great counselor who I could bounce ideas off of to figure out an academic plan that worked for me. If I had known how much better a public university would be, I never would have wasted my time at DeVry. 

I finished my degree at the public university with a double major in Criminal Justice and International Affairs with a minor in African American History. I currently have a civilian job in the Air Force while pursuing my master’s degree. Things worked out for me, but DeVry was a huge waste of time and money. The Department of Education must make sure that schools like DeVry stop misleading veterans into worthless programs. Thank you.

Paola Santiago March 2022 NegReg Statement