SMWC to host Debt 101 Tuesday

Thursday, October 9, 2008

WEST TERRE HAUTE -- As part of Money Smart Week in Indiana (Oct. 11-18), St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, will bring debt experts to campus on Oct. 14 for Deb. 101.

The presentations are free and open to the public.

Debt 101 at SMWC will begin at 9 a.m., with a presentation by Jacki Switzer, director of financial aid at SMWC, who will discuss the best way to organize finances for college. At 10:15 a.m., Karla Bensinger from Old National Bank will share tips on how to have a healthy credit life-style starting the day after graduating from college and at 11 a.m., SMWC alumna Erin Alsman Robertson, class of 2000, will speak about financial management. The day's presentations will conclude with a 1 p.m. panel of students and graduates who will share their experiences with managing their student loans.

Lunch for Debt 101 participants will be available for $5 in O'Shaughnessy Dining Hall from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

An education is an investment that is often financed with scholarships, grants, loans and credit cards. According to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, "two out of three college students graduate with debt and the average borrower who graduates from a public college owes $17,250 from student loans."

Jamie McCracken, assistant professor of business, said while much of the information presented during Debt 101 could benefit almost anyone, the information is especially important for high school and college students.

"It seems like life moves so fast when you graduate high school and start college," McCracken said. "One thing that hits students fast is financial issues, like student loans, credit cards, buying their first car, living on their own, etc."

Debt. 101 is sponsored in part by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and its Detroit Branch. Money Smart Week in Indiana is Oct. 11-18 and more than 75 events are going on throughout the state. The events are set up to support financial literacy.

The event is being hosted by the College's Business, Arts and Media (BAM) department. The department offers a wide variety of majors and minors, including accounting, advertising, art, business administration, computer information systems, digital media, film studies, graphic design, human resource management, journalism, marketing and professional communication/writing.

The majors provide opportunities to work collaboratively, develop critical problem-solving skills and excel in the use of technology.

Fore more information about the department, e-mail For more information about the program Tuesday, e-mail or More information regarding Money Smart Week may be obtained at

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