University president: Our pool of applicants has been shrinking over the past few years. One possible explanation of ...

Itzelth on August 14 at 10:50PM

Answer choice B

Why is the answer not B?

2 Replies

Shunhe on August 19 at 03:37AM

Hi @izzy,

Thanks for the question! So let’s take a look first at the stimulus here. We’re being told by the university president that the applicant pool is shrinking, and that one possible explanation is that they don’t charge enough for tuition and fees. So the idea there is that you get what you pay for, and so parents/prospective students think that the quality of education isn’t as good since it’s cheaper. So, the university president concludes, to increase the size of the applicant pool, they need to raise the tuition and fees.

Now we’re asked for an assumption that the university president’s argument requires; in other words, this is a strengthen with necessary premise question, which means we can use the negation test. Let’s take a look at (B), which tells us that the university president has to assume that the quality of a university education is dependent on the amount of tuition charged by the university. Well, is it possible that the negation is true, that the quality isn’t dependent on the amount of tuition charged by the university? And the answer is yes, this won’t destroy the argument. Remember, what we care about here is what parents/prospective students THINK about the quality of the education, not how the quality of the education actually is. So it’s possible there’s no actual relationship between education quality and tuition, just that there’s this psychological relationship in people’s heads. And that’s enough to make the argument true, so the argument is compatible with the negation of (B), which means that it’s not a necessary assumption.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.

Itzelth on August 20 at 10:42PM

Thank you!