Problem of the Week: A Disappointing Investment

Editor’s Note: The Department of Mathematics at Gettysburg College hosts a problem of the week challenge to determine each semester’s Paul Mugabi problem-solving award recipient(s).  Each week’s entries are scored by a faculty judge, and winner(s) from each week will receive a Problem Of the Week (P.O.W.) button.  The Gettysburgian is not involved in or responsible for accepting or evaluating students’ submissions to this contest.

This is the first P.O.W. of the spring 2022 semester.

Problem of the week


The contest is open to all Gettysburg College students. Up to three people may work together on a submission. Make sure your name is on your submission and that any sources are properly cited. Send solutions to  This problem was posted on Friday, January 21 and solutions are due on Friday, January 28 by 5:00 p.m.


Exactly two years ago, I started a vacation fund. In its first year, the fund lost p percent. In its second year, the fund gained p percent. Right now, my vacation fund has exactly half its starting value.


What’s p? Answer, and explain.

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Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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