Currently reading this artice, there are lines,

Students who were defrauded by for-profit colleges will have their federal school loans eliminated, the Education Department announced on Thursday.

Students who received partial credits from these universities will also be reimbursed for any payments already made on the loans, again be eligible for federal student aid and have any negative ratings resulting from loan repayments removed by credit bureaus.

Does this mean that there are colleges/universities that gave students benefits aka money for what purpose?

And what is the meaning of the verb "defraud"? Merriam gives the below meaning but it connotes negative meaning to me.

transitive verb

: to deprive of something by deception or fraud

And a there is a positive sounding article that uses the word "defraud"?

Biden's Education Secretary just canceled $1 billion of student-loan debt for about 72,000 defrauded borrowers

  • Course credits are recognitions for taking a course. Each course is worth a certain number of credit points.
    – Ammu
    Mar 19, 2021 at 20:30
  • @Ammu Thanks. What would you mean by "credit points"? The course can provide students with not the course points but instead money?
    – Kentaro
    Mar 19, 2021 at 20:33
  • Course credits are not about money. Google "Course Credits" and read the Wikipedia page for a better understanding. Here, the article says, even if the students have completely the course partially, the money they had paid against the loans will be reimbursed and they will be eligible for a fresh student aid.
    – Ammu
    Mar 19, 2021 at 20:39
  • @Ammu I understand what course credit is. Like English A A 3.0, history of economics B 2.0, etc. And what is the relationship between them and the "for profit college"?
    – Kentaro
    Mar 19, 2021 at 20:47
  • @Kentaro For-profit colleges are colleges that are private, profit-seeking businesses (that is, they are not run by the government, or by a religious order, or as a charitable institution). They are the colleges that defrauded students.
    – stangdon
    Mar 19, 2021 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


A "for-profit" college is one that attempts to make a profit. This is in contrast to colleges that are run by the government, and those that are run by non-profit charities. "For-profit" colleges charge students fees for tuition, use those fees to pay their staff wages (etc) and give any leftover to the owners of the college as profit.

A student that has been defrauded is a student that has paid for a course, but hasn't received the course that they paid for. For example if they paid for a course that is "accredited" but the course wasn't "accredited" then they have been cheated. If you gain money by cheating this called "defrauding somebody". It always has negative meaning towards the college that is cheating (including in the example that you give).

To earn a degree or a diploma you have to earn sufficient "credits" (nothing to do with money) and the US system allows that you earn the credits at different colleges, provided that those credits are "accredited". Being "accredited" means that the course is proved to be a good course and other universities will recognise the course as being valuable. If you earn credits at one college you can then change college and you don't have to start again. You can transfer the credits from one college to another.

But if the college was defrauding the students, then these "partial credits" might be worthless. They don't count if the student changes college and they don't count for an official accredited degree. So Biden is saying that students in this situation can get money back from their student loans, because they are the victims of illegal colleges.

  • Wow! great explanation! Thanks. First of all, I can't believe if I consider my country that there is a "cheating" professors aka colleges (defrauding) in the U.S. U.S is a curious country....
    – Kentaro
    Mar 19, 2021 at 21:37
  • Such places exist in Japan too: see bandoalpha-dmill.blog.jp/archives/32799447.html (although often with links to the USA where this is more common)
    – James K
    Mar 19, 2021 at 21:46
  • According to an ex American president the war of Independence was not really about tea but about Land, numerous rich settlers wished to rob the indigenous population of their lands and defraud poor settles of their claims. So for a country founded on such activities it is not so surprising that colleges defraud pupils and Health care cost more than anywhere else.
    – Brad
    Mar 20, 2021 at 4:19
  • @Kentaro Unfortunately, there are always people who try to profit by cheating others rather than honest work. This may seem more common in the US because we have privatized many sectors (such as education and health care) that many other countries reserve to the government.
    – StephenS
    Mar 21, 2021 at 7:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .