In a project for Mrs. Hileman’s pre-calculus class, students used math to learn about the exponential growth of debt by completing the following tasks:

• Research the university of your choice.
• Research the cost of tuition.
• Determine the cost of room and board.
• Determine the cost of books and supplies.
• Determine the maximum amount you can borrow per year.
• Determine the interest rate for each loan; private or federal loans.
• Determine the length of the loan; number of months; years.
• Determine the payments after you graduate for each loan and the total payment per month.
• Determine penalties of non-repayment.
• Determine total cost after you paid off your loans and compare it to total cost if you pay an additional $25 per loan per month (cost and early payoff date).
• Research the salary of your career field and determine the monthly salary. Then calculate the percent of your monthly salary to make your monthly loan payment.
• Site your sources.
• What did you notice as you went through this research?

Several of Mrs. Hileman’s students worked together to create this impressive powerpoint presentation, which they used to present their findings.

The students determined that the cost of their education after paying off student loans would be approximately 1.5 times higher than its original value!