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DeVry University

Coordinates: 41°48′00″N 88°07′35″W / 41.800010°N 88.126330°W / 41.800010; -88.126330
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DeVry University
Official logo of DeVry University
TypePrivate for-profit university
Established1931; 93 years ago (1931) (as DeForest Training School)
FounderHerman A. DeVry
Parent institution
Cogswell Education
PresidentElise Awwad
ProvostShantanu Bose
Academic staff
57 full-time and 1,132 part-time[1]
Location, ,
United States

41°48′00″N 88°07′35″W / 41.800010°N 88.126330°W / 41.800010; -88.126330
CampusMultiple: 11 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.[2] 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.[2] De Forest Training School originally taught projector and radio repair, but later expanded to include other electronic equipment such as televisions.[2] 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.[2]

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,[2][3] which was accredited to confer bachelor's degrees in electronics in 1969.[2]

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.[2] 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.[4] The school was originally conceived as a day school that granted certificates.[4] In 1976, the Keller School became an evening program offering MBAs, focused on working adults.[4] 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.[4] The Keller Graduate School of Management acquired DeVry from Bell & Howell in 1987.[5] The leveraged buyout was worth $147.4 million.[4][5] The two schools were combined as DeVry Inc., with Keller acting as chairman and CEO and Taylor as president and COO.[2]

DeVry Education Group (1990–2018)


DeVry Inc. successfully completed its initial public offering on June 21, 1991.[6][better source needed] 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.[7]

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,[8] the tentative purchase price of which was US$18.685 million (about equivalent to US$36,000,000 in 2023).[9] 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$513 million in 2023)[10] and US$329 million (US$545 million in 2023).[11] 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,[2] at a price variously reported at about US$5.3 million (US$8.27 million in 2023)[12] and US$5.4 million (US$8.42 million in 2023).[11] Deaconess College of Nursing was later renamed Chamberlain College of Nursing.[2]

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.[13]

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.[14]

In 2012, the university acquired Faculdade Boa Viagem and Faculdade do Vale do Ipojuca.[13] DeVry acquired a sixth Brazilian university, Faculdade Differencial Integral, in 2013.[13] DeVry Inc. was renamed DeVry Education Group later that year.[15] DeVry Education Group changed its name to Adtalem Global Education in May 2017,[16] 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.[17]

In December 2018, the parent company Adtalem finalized the handover of both DeVry University and Keller Graduate School of Management to Cogswell Education.[18]

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.[19] Cogswell Education is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.[20][21] The principal investor is Bradley Palmer of Palm Ventures.[20][21] Mr. Palmer has been involved in flipping Heald College, UEI College, and American Education Center.[22]

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.[23]

In 2020, Tom Monahan III became president and CEO of DeVry.[24]

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.[25]

In 2023, Elise Awwad became the first female President and CEO of DeVry. The main campus and headquarters were moved to Lisle, Illinois.[26]

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.[27]

Locations and campus closures


Between 2020 and 2022, all DeVry campuses were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[28] DeVry University has a presence at one military installation at Twentynine Palms, California.[29] List of DeVry campuses and learning centers, as of 2024:[30]

Arizona (73 students)

  • Phoenix Campus

California (1,677 students)

  • Folsom 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)

  • 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.[31] 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.[32] In fiscal year 2018, DeVry closed eight additional campuses.[33] According to the US Department of Education, DeVry closed five more campuses between 2019 and 2020.[34] In 2021, Raleigh (NC), Merrillville (IN), Paramus (NJ) and Cleveland (OH) sites were closed. In 2022, at least 15 additional campuses closed.[35]



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.[36]

DeVry operates on a uniform academic calendar for both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.[13] The university's academic calendar consists of six eight-week sessions.[13] 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.[37] DeVry has offered graduate classes online since 1998 and undergraduate classes since 2001.[13]



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.[38]



DeVry is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.[39] 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.[40] 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%.[41] 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.[42] For the 2018–19 academic year, the amount that all undergraduate students received in federal student loans was $69.42 million.[1] Median salary after attending ranges from $23,000 to $62,000 depending on the field of study and location.

Investigations, lawsuits, and settlements


DeVry University has been the subject of numerous investigations and lawsuits alleging a variety of false or deceptive practices. Some of the cases led to multi-million dollar settlements, though DeVry continued to deny the allegations.[43][44][45] In 2014, accumulated student loan debt from DeVry University and Keller, its graduate school, was about $12.1 billion.[46]



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.[47] Klein denied any conflict of interest.[47] 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$3.05 million in 2023) to Ontario and putting up a letter of credit totalling CA$2 million (CA$3.59 million in 2023).[48]

In 1996, students of DeVry's Toronto campus filed a class-action suit of CA$400,000 (CA$706,862 in 2023) claiming poor educational quality and job preparation;[49] the suit was dismissed on technical grounds.[50][51]



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, alleging that students were not being prepared for high-tech jobs.[52] The lawsuit contributed to a 20% slide in the company's stock.[53] The suit was not certified and the case was resolved for less than US$25,000 (US$37,785 in 2023) in June 2006.[54]

In 2001, DeVry became the first for-profit college or university to obtain permission from the Alberta Canada provincial government to grant degrees, on recommendation by the Private Colleges Accreditation Board.[55][circular reporting?] This decision was opposed by the Alberta New Democrats (sitting in opposition),[56][57] the University of Calgary Faculty Association, the Canadian Federation of Students, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers.[57]

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.[54]

In April 2007, the states of New York, Illinois, and Missouri settled with three institutions 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$129,489 in 2023) it received in revenue sharing from Citibank to students.[58]

In 2008, DeVry was accused of filing false claims and statements about recruitment pay and performance to the government of the United States.[59]



DeVry was one of the universities highlighted in the 2018 documentary Fail State, which followed several stories of students who struggled with student loan debt after attending for-profit colleges. Murray Hastie, an Iraq War veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, told his story about how he ended up with $50,000 in student loan debt after his experience at DeVry.[60]

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.[61] 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.[62][63] 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.[64]

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.[65][66] On December 15, 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.[67] Students were eligible for a refund who: enrolled in a bachelor's or associate degree program at DeVry University between January 1, 2008, and October 1, 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.[68]

Separately, on June 16, 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.[69]

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".[70] In September 2017, the Higher Learning Commission removed this designation after DeVry negotiated a settlement.[71]

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 January 20, 2017, and April 30, 2018. This is in conjunction with a "nearly 20 percent" decrease in enrollment in the last year.[72]

In March 2019, former DeVry student Eric Luongo was invited to testify before the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies about his experience at the university. Luongo, a disabled veteran, said he thought he would attend DeVry for free by using his GI Bill benefits. Luongo alleged that he was coerced into filling out federal loan paperwork and signing promissory notes. The result was that the veteran was left with over $100,000 in debt and a degree in graphic design that couldn't get him gainful employment.[73]



In 2022, DeVry University was one of 153 institutions included in student loan cancellation due to alleged fraud. The class action was brought by a group of more than 200,000 student borrowers, assisted by the Project on Predatory Student Lending, part of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. A settlement was approved in August 2022, stating that the schools on the list included "substantial misconduct by the listed schools, whether credibly alleged or in some instances proven."[74][75] In April 2023, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the settlement and allowed to proceed the debt cancellation due to alleged fraud.[76]



Notable DeVry University alumni include:

Keller Graduate School of Management alumni:

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.[5] 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.[82]

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.[83]

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.[84]

The peak year for DeVry's lobbying in Congress was 2011, when it spent more than $720,000.[85] The largest amount went to Thompson Coburn LLP. Democratic lobbyist Heather Podesta was a major lobbyist for DeVry University from 2010 to 2015.[86][87][88]

Adtalem's stock price rebounded after the inauguration of Donald Trump.[89] 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.[89]

See also



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  3. ^ John F. Ohles; Shirley M. Ohles (December 29, 1982). Private Colleges and Universities. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313233234. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
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  5. ^ a b c Jesse McKinley (January 28, 2014). "DeVry Becomes an Unlikely Olympic Powerhouse". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  6. ^ Young, David (March 12, 1993). "Devry's Trade School Image Is On The Way Out". Business. Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018. Wall Street has caught a certain amount of that optimism. The price of DeVry stock climbed to $24 at the close of the market Thursday from $10 in the initial public offering June 21, 1991.
  7. ^ "Our Innovative History & Heritage – DeVry University". Devry.edu. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  8. ^ "Devry Education Group Inc. – '8-K' for 6/19/96 – EX-99 (Press Release)". Securities Information & Business Intelligence. Fran Finnegan & Company. July 3, 1996. p. 1. Archived from the original on May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018. DeVry Inc. [...], a national system of career-oriented, higher-education institutes, has acquired the Becker CPA Review business for cash.
    Ziemba, Stanley (June 20, 1996). "Devry Acquires Cpa Training Firm". Business (Thursday Ticker). Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  9. ^ "Devry Education Group Inc. – '8-K' for 6/19/96 – EX-2 (Purchase Agreements)". Securities Information & Business Intelligence. Fran Finnegan & Company. July 3, 1996. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018. [§ 1.1.4 Determination of Tentative Purchase Price.] [...] The 'Tentative Purchase Price' payable at Closing shall be $18,685,000 minus the Book Value Adjustment Amount on Schedule 1.4.
  10. ^ Blumenstyk, Goldie (March 21, 2003). "DeVry Buys Offshore Medical and Veterinary School for $310-Million". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018. DeVry Inc. announced late Wednesday that it will pay $310-million in cash to buy Ross University, which operates a medical school and a veterinary school in the Caribbean.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
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  17. ^ Marotti, Ally (December 5, 2017). "DeVry parent hands ownership of school to California company". Business. Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018. DeVry University, one of the nation's largest remaining for-profit college chains, is getting a new owner. The university's parent company, Downers Grove–based Adtalem Global Education, plans to transfer ownership of DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management to Silicon Valley–based Cogswell Education, according to a news release. The deal, which still needs regulatory and accreditor approval, is expected to close in 2018.
    Smith, Ashley A. (December 6, 2017). "Handing Off DeVry". News. Inside Higher Ed. OCLC 721351944. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018. Now DeVry's parent company—Adtalem Global Education Inc.—is transferring ownership of the institution, along with Keller Graduate School of Management, to Cogswell Education LLC. DeVry and Keller together enroll nearly 30,000 students. Cogswell is the owner of Cogswell College, a California-based private for-profit institution of about 600 students, that specializes in art, game design, music and software engineering. [...] One condition calls for a minimum enrollment of 22,059 in May 2018. Cogswell can cancel the agreement if enrollments fall 1,500 students short of that target. DeVry's enrollment has fallen 21.4 percent year over year, to 19,287 as of September. Keller enrolls nearly 8,000 students.
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  47. ^ a b Grant MitchellLeader of the Opposition (March 8, 1995). "Oral Question Period: DeVry Institute of Technology" (PDF). Alberta Hansard. Alberta: 23rd Alberta Legislative Assembly (3rd Session). pp. 434–435. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  48. ^ Kuitenbrouwer, Peter (April 3, 1997). "A harsh lesson in student loans". Eye Weekly. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2018. In 1995 the province suspended another private school, Chicago-based DeVry Inc. (see eye, June 6 and 13, 1996) from OSAP after 282 of its students claimed zero income. DeVry paid Ontario $1.7 million and put up a $2 million letter of credit to win reinstatement.
  49. ^ Kuitenbrouwer, Peter (July 18, 1996). "DeVry Update". Eye Weekly. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2018. Deeply indebted former students of the DeVry Institutes of Technology teamed up with a scrappy Etobicoke lawyer last week, launching a $400 million class action suit against the scandal-plagued, U.S.-owned schools.
  50. ^ Mouhteros v. DeVry Canada Inc., 41 Ontario Reports 63, 73 [Mouhteros] (Ontario Court (General Division) July 2, 1998), archived from the original on May 19, 2018.
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  52. ^ "Class Action Suit Filed Against DeVry Institute of Technology". News. ConsumerAffairs. November 30, 2000. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018. A consumer class action lawsuit accuses the DeVry Institute of Technology of widespread deception and unlawful business practices, and charges that contrary to advertising claims, DeVry students are not being prepared for high-tech jobs. The suit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court by the law firm of Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. Plaintiffs seek an order certifying a nationwide class of former DeVry students who were harmed by DeVry's failure to provide the facilities, faculty and educational experience it promised.
  53. ^ Almer, Ellen (December 1, 2000). "DeVry hit with lawsuit". News. Crain's Chicago Business. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018. The share price of Oakbrook Terrace–based DeVry Inc. remains flat after falling 20% Thursday, when the company reported lower-than-expected fall 2000 enrollment figures and revealed that they have been sued by three recent graduates. The lawsuit alleges that the for-profit higher education company does not adequately prepare students for the job market. But what hurt the company more, analysts said, was the modest 10% enrollment growth, compared with the expected 12% to 13%.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  54. ^ a b DeVry Inc. (September 13, 2009). Annual Report. SEC Form 10-K (Report). pp. 35–36.
  55. ^ McClure, Matt (February 6, 2013). "Students at DeVry twice as likely to default on loans". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018. Acting on the advice of the private colleges accreditation board, the province gave DeVry the right in 2001 to grant baccalaureates in computer systems, electronic engineering and business operations. At the time, it was the country's first for-profit degree-granting institution.
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    "Pannu wants DeVry's degree status revoked". News (Canada). CBC News. February 9, 2001. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018. The leader of Alberta's New Democrats is calling on the government to revoke degree-granting status at the DeVry Institute of Technology in Calgary.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
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