A DeVry Accounting Degree Comes With Large Strings Attached

Is a DeVry accounting degree worth the investment of your time and money? DeVry University spends thousands of dollars on advertising.  Admissions officials are dedicated to recruiting students, highlighting the flexibility and convenience of an online education.  The tuition is steep, but the promises of financial aid are plentiful.  

We checked into the DeVry accounting degree program with one question on our minds.  Is it worth the large price tag?  Here’s what we found.

Accounting at DeVry University

DeVry University is part of a for-profit educational network that includes Becker CPA Review as well as several technical schools and certificate programs.  While DeVry does offer diploma and certificate programs in accounting, the accounting program has a much advertised CPA path.

Students are encouraged to enroll in the Keller Graduate School of Management’s Master of Accounting program immediately after completing their Bachelor in Accounting at DeVry.  On this path, students can receive credit toward their graduate degree by attending Becker CPA Review courses.  Of course, Becker CPA Review fees are higher for Keller students than other attendees due to the college credit earned. 

While this path may save time, it doesn’t save money.  When compared to other online schools that partner with CPA review courses – most notably Yaeger and Kaplan – the extra fees are rather surprising.

Is the accounting curriculum at DeVry comprehensive?  We have our doubts.   

While the University’s website speaks of the quality education offered, student results tell a different story.  In Texas DeVry’s CPA Exam Pass Percentage for 2011 was 8%.  Only one graduate in 13 passed, even with access to Becker CPA Review materials.. It has to make you question the value of the DeVry accounting program.

DeVry does not report CPA Exam pass percentages on their website or in their marketing materials.  They do, however, list post graduate placement rates at 95% consistently.  No data is given to support these claims, and a survey of student online reviews calls the rate into question.

Perhaps this is why U.S. News places DeVry at #61 in its 2013 listing of The Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.  This same listing places Post University at #19 and the University of Phoenix at #79.  Check out our reviews of these schools to learn more.

The Student Experience at DeVry

What do students say about the DeVry accounting degree program?  The reviews are general and don't tend to be specifically about a particular course. However, the overwhelming online response is not positive. 

  • Reputation - Listing a degree from DeVry or Keller on a resume is actually a negative, according to many student reviews.  This university has a poor reputation with many hiring managers, causing graduates to remove the name of the university from their employment applications where possible.
  • Financial Aid –A large percentage of student online reviews claim the financial aid offices at DeVry misrepresented facts, withheld refunds, and failed to process paperwork properly when administering benefits for military veterans.  Students report they were forced to drop out when their student loans reached the federal cap prior to graduation – without any notification or assistance from the financial aid office.
  • Quality Education – DeVry graduates report feeling improperly prepared for work in their chosen field.  Accounting students comment on the lack of accounting knowledge demonstrated by faculty and the difficulty they experienced when seeking academic assistance.

Legal Issues and Accusations of Impropriety

Like other for-profit academic institutions, DeVry is involved in controversy.   In 2007 the State of New York settled a class action suit with DeVry and two other institutions.  The suit alleged questionable student loan and financial aid practices.  DeVry refunded over $80,000 to students as a part of that settlement.

The Huffington Post reported on January 29, 2013 on the filing of another lawsuit.  This suit alleges that officials of DeVry bribed students in exchange for positive performance reviews.  Other allegations include a bonus structure for admissions counselors who exceed enrollment quotas – a practice which is prohibited by federal law – and harassment of employees who complained about these practices.  The suit is still pending in court.

These recent issues are not the first to plague DeVry.  In the 1990’s the school faced legal issues with the Canadian government over financial aid improprieties and accreditation issues.

This problematic history is a cause for concern.   

A DeVry Accounting Degree and Keller Graduate School – Our Opinion

It’s hard to be fully positive about the DeVry accounting degree program and Keller Graduate School being worth the large investment.  Tuition is expensive, often more than a comparable program at a regional or public university.  The degree is not well respected, and is actually a negative with many hiring managers. The bottom line is this.  Don’t pay more for less.