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IU's MoneySmarts partners with Pete the Planner to help students make smart financial decisions

Feb. 3, 2017

Members of the IU Board of Trustees received an update from the IU Office of Financial Literacy at their Friday meeting on the IUPUI campus.

phil schuman

Phil Schuman | PHOTO BY INDIANA UNIVERSITY

The office’s award-winning MoneySmarts financial wellness program is taking a bold new step to help students at IU and across the country by developing a comprehensive yet practical financial wellness platform to help students make informed financial decisions.

The platform, MoneySmarts U, will be created through a partnership with Peter Dunn. Also known as Pete the Planner, Dunn is an award-winning comedian and brilliant financial mind who writes a USA Today column and is the author of 10 books aimed at helping people create financial stability at any stage of their lives. Dunn is regularly considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world.

MoneySmarts U will provide financial information to guide undergraduate students, grad students and recent alumni -- even those in high school who are considering college -- before, during and after college. The Office of Financial Literacy, whose MoneySmarts program has been called one of the “5 genius ways colleges are tackling the student debt crisis” by Yahoo Finance and a “Model of Excellence” by University Business Magazine, will license MoneySmarts U distribution to other colleges and universities across the country. 

“The goal of MoneySmarts U is to help students make informed decisions that best meet their financial needs, whether that means going to IU or somewhere else, they have the information at their fingertips to make the right decision,” said Phil Schuman, IU director of financial literacy.

MoneySmarts U will have 21 instructional “modules” produced over three years, with seven modules released each year, starting in summer 2017. The modules are 45 to 60 minutes long and include videos, calculators, interactive exercises, download guides and more. The first video, promoting the program, was released last week. 

The MoneySmarts program has been a part of IU’s commitment to affordability, which has been responsible for students receiving letters from the university twice a year updating them on how much they have borrowed and what it will take to repay the loans. That effort alone has reduced student loan debt at IU by almost $100 million.

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