# 6.2 Solve General Applications of Percent

The topics covered in this section are:

## 6.2.1 Translate and Solve Basic Percent Equations

We will solve percent equations by using the methods we used to solve equations with fractions or decimals. In the past, you may have solved percent problems by setting them up as proportions. That was the best method available when you did not have the tools of algebra. Now as a prealgebra student, you can translate word sentences into algebraic equations, and then solve the equations.

We’ll look at a common application of percent—tips to a server at a restaurant—to see how to set up a basic percent application.

When Aolani and her friends ate dinner at a restaurant, the bill came to $\$ 80$. They wanted to leave a$20 \%$tip. What amount would the tip be? To solve this, we want to find what amount is$20 \%$of$ \$80$. The $\$ 80$is called the base. The amount of the tip would be$0.20(80)$, or$ \$16$. See Figure 6.6. To find the amount of the tip, we multiplied the percent by the base. Figure 6.6 A $20 \%$ tip for an $\$80$restaurant bill comes out to$ \$16$.

In the next examples, we will find the amount. We must be sure to change the given percent to a decimal when we translate the words into an equation.

#### Example 1

What number is $35 \%$ of 90?

Solution

#### Example 2

$125 \%$ of $28$ is what number?

Solution

Remember that a percent over $100$ is a number greater than $1$. We found that $125 \%$ of $28$ is $35$, which is greater than $28$.

In the next examples, we are asked to find the base.

#### Example 3

Translate and solve: $36$ is $75 \%$ of what number?

Solution

Solution

#### Example 8

The label on Masao’s breakfast cereal said that one serving of cereal provides $85$ milligrams (mg) of potassium, which is $2 \%$ of the recommended daily amount. What is the total recommended daily amount of potassium?

Solution

#### Example 9

Mitzi received some gourmet brownies as a gift. The wrapper said each brownie was $480$ calories, and had $240$ calories of fat. What percent of the total calories in each brownie comes from fat?

Solution

## 6.2.3 Find Percent Increase and Percent Decrease

People in the media often talk about how much an amount has increased or decreased over a certain period of time. They usually express this increase or decrease as a percent.

To find the percent increase, first we find the amount of increase, which is the difference between the new amount and the original amount. Then we find what percent the amount of increase is of the original amount.

### HOW TO: Find Percent Increase.

1. Find the amount of increase.
• $\mathrm{increase} = \mathrm{new\ amount} – \mathrm{original\ amount}$
2. Find the percent increase as a percent of the original amount.

#### Example 10

In $2011$, the California governor proposed raising community college fees from $\$ 26$per unit to$ \$36$ per unit. Find the percent increase. (Round to the nearest tenth of a percent.)

Solution

Finding the percent decrease is very similar to finding the percent increase, but now the amount of decrease is the difference between the original amount and the final amount. Then we find what percent the amount of decrease is of the original amount.

### HOW TO: Find percent decrease.

1. Find the amount of decrease.
• $\mathrm{decrease} = \mathrm{original\ amount} – \mathrm{new\ amount}$
2. Find the percent decrease as a percent of the original amount.

#### Example 11

The average price of a gallon of gas in one city in June $2014$ was $\$ 3.71$. The average price in that city in July was$ \$3.64$. Find the percent decrease.

Solution