SAT Math Multiple Choice Question 582: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 582

12. According to the Project on Student Debt prepared by The Institute for College Access and Success, 7 out of 10 students graduating in 2012 from a four-year college in the United States had student loan debt. The average amount borrowed per student was $29,400, which is up from $18,750 in 2004. If student debt experiences the same total percent increase over the next eight years, approximately how much will a college student graduating in 2020 owe, assuming she takes out student loans to pay for her education?

  • A. $40,100
  • B. $44,300
  • C. $46,100
  • D. $48,200

Correct Answer: C



Difficulty: Medium

Category: Problem Solving and Data Analysis / Rates, Ratios, Proportions, and Percentages

Strategic Advice: Find the percent increase using this formula: amount of change divided by original amount. Then apply the same percent increase to the amount for 2012.

Getting to the Answer: The amount of increase is 29,400 – 18,750 = 10,650, so the percent increase is 10,650 ÷ 18,750 = 0.568 = 56.8% over 8 years. If the total percent increase over the next 8 years is the same, the average student who borrowed money will have loans totaling 29,400 × 1.568 = 46,099.20, or about $46,100.

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