Math Monday: Paying for College Doesn’t Have to be Scary!

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It’s that time of year – the leaves are changing and the new FAFSA is out. This Halloween, find out three engaging Desmos activities that will make paying for college a little less intimidating.

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DESMOS: OLS Regression and College Costs

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In this interactive and visual activity, students build their conceptual understanding of how least squares regression works using real-world data.

First, students find the most appropriate line for data on college sticker price versus net worth. Using an interactive graph, students can visualize how the line of best fit will minimize the squared residuals.

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Next, students look at statistics on college acceptance rates and grant financial aid. They determine the line of best fit, analyze the r2 value, and explore non-linear regression models.

DESMOS: Future Value of a Periodic Investment

If you have extra money, should you invest or pay off your student loans faster? In this activity, students use math to decide for Lynn—a recent college graduate who has $150 to make or invest in additional student loan payments.

This activity practices defining variables and adding values ​​to a complex real-world formula. In the end, students will use their calculations to decide which option is best for Lynn.

DESMOS: Recursive Formula: Paying Off Student Loans

There is a great real-world example of a recursive formula in a loan repayment action. In this activity, students write a recursive formula to model student loan repayment. Then, they consider the benefits of using technology, such as online loan calculators, when dealing with recurring formulas.

We hope you enjoyed these activities! You can find these and more in NGPF’s Desmos collection!

About the author Katherine Dawson

Katherine (he/she) is excited to join the NGPF team after 9 years of experience in education as a mentor, tutor and special education teacher. He is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Policy Analysis and Management and has a master’s degree in Education from Brooklyn College. Katherine looks forward to bringing her passion for accessibility and educational justice to curriculum design at NGPF. During her free time, Katherine enjoys undertaking cooking projects, walking around the Seattle neighborhood with her partner and dog, or hanging out in a hammock with a book.



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