The cost of a semester's tuition at a certain university is based on the number of courses in which a student enrolls...

on October 29, 2017

Answer choice D

Why is answer choice D not the correct answer?

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Amanda on November 12, 2017

Why is A correct?

Mehran on November 12, 2017

Thanks for your posts. This is a Bizarro Paradox question, which means 4 of the answer choices would help explain the apparent paradox set forth in the stimulus, and 1 of the answer choices (the correct answer) would not have any effect.

First let's consider the stimulus carefully (as always).

The stimulus presents us with a set of facts, as follows:
1. The cost of a semester's tuition is based on the number of courses in which a student enrolls for the semester.
2. The cost per course has not risen in four years, but
3. Many of the students who used to be able to afford the tuition now claim they cannot.

Hmm, that's strange. What's going on?

Let's examine each of the answer choices, starting with (B) - I'll come back to (A) at the end.

(B): If this is true, then it would explain why students are now struggling to afford tuition, even though the cost-per-course has remained constant (because they now have to take more classes than they used to have to take, and their tuition is calculated on the basis of the number of courses in which they enroll)

(C): If this is true, it would also explain why students suddenly cannot afford their tuition. Although the tuition may not have gone up, other costs associated with the university education (student housing) have risen, making it harder for the students to afford the tuition.

(D): If this is true, it could also explain the paradox. New students get scholarships, making it easier for them to afford tuition. These scholarships are renewed for those students who maintain high GPAs. Some students may not maintain high GPAs, losing their scholarships over time; this would explain why students who used to be able to afford tuition now cannot.

(E) If this is true, it could also explain the paradox. Students may have been able to afford their costs by working part-time; if the university has eliminated many part-time student jobs, students may have a harder time earning the income needed to cover their costs.

All right. Now let's look at answer choice (A). This is entirely irrelevant, because there is no link between a rise in faculty salaries and the facts presented in the stimulus. Notice that faculty salaries are not connected to the cost per course - and that you are told explicitly that the cost per course has not risen. Whereas the other answer choices explain how the students' incomes or cost of living may have changed, a change in faculty's financial circumstances is not useful to resolving the discrepancy presented in the stimulus here.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have additional questions.

on December 16, 2019

For A, it seems you could argue that if faculty salaries went up, that expense may have been reflected in students' tuition increase and therefore they could no longer afford it. So it doesn't seem totally irrelevant. How are we to assume what tuition entails as it isn't stated explicitly?

James on June 17, 2020

I think the stimulus is saying the cost per course didn't go up, so faculty salaries aren't affecting tuition anyways.

Joseph on September 7, 2022

Hi Mehran, I also am failing to see how faculty salaries hasn't affected the ability for student's to afford tuition. Isn't it arguable that if faculty salaries went up, that quite possibly the tuition could have gone up for students making it harder for them to pay? I chose answer Choice D. I am still trying to wrap my head around why "A'' is the better choice.