University of Southern Indiana

USI's Eaglenomics speaks to national issue

USI's Eaglenomics speaks to national issue

5/14/2012 | University Communications

As college debt becomes an issue in the 2012 presidential election, a financial literacy program developed by the University of Southern Indiana’s Office of Student Financial Assistance is making national headlines.

The main objective of Eaglenomics, USI’s financial literacy program, is to educate students and provide them with the tools necessary for successful money management. Financial literacy benefits students, the University, and society-at-large, according to Mary Jo Harper, director of Student Financial Assistance. “It’s now a must for higher education institutions to facilitate the efforts to promote financial literacy,” she said.

“When students incur high levels of debt, the risk of dropping out of school often becomes a reality,” Harper continued. “Money issues for students become retention issues for institutions. The financial aid office can play an important role in student retention by educating students on financial management matters.”

Defaulted federal student loans cost taxpayers money. Schools with low default rates can benefit, while sanctions can prevent a school with a high percentage of defaulters from continuing to participate in federal loan and Pell Grant programs.

USI benefits from student financial literacy through lower default rates, reduction in student’s monetary issues, fewer crisis visits to the financial aid office, and increased retention.

Students benefit through reduced financial, emotional, and physical stress, better academic performance, and a sense of empowerment in money matters.

Harper was recently interviewed by Fox Business about Eaglenomics.

Stories about the new program have also appeared in these media outlets:

You can view the Eaglenomics slideshow on the USI website at

The Office of Financial Assistance recently trademarked the name of the program. 

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