Math Mondays: Compound Interest and College Loans

Compound interest and exponential growth is one of those great built in examples of a real world application with a math concept.  

As some of you know, I have been on a bit of a "college" kick as of late.  When we were working on linear equations and systems of equations, we did a project on the cost of college.  So, when some of students came around to compound interest, I thought, college loans were a great real-world application.

Students used real data to determine how much they were likely to need to borrow to pay for college, the different loan options (also real), and how much the loans would cost them in the end

Some of my students are closer to college than others, but for all of them the project was pretty eye opening. Of course this launched a much bigger discussion about the value of college. I hope they all go and succeed, and at least now they will go with their eyes open. Oh, yeah, and they saw yet another application for the math they sit in class doing day after day. 

Math Mondays is a bi-weekly blog post (2nd and 4th Monday of each month) sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching math.  If you have questions or think there is something I should include, you can leave me a message in the comments section below or at the store in the question and answer section.



  1. I'm a huge fan of the real world applications you use with students, and it's a great bonus that in this case the math helps students understand something substantially relevant to their lives and futures. Thanks for the post!


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