Question: Tuition Program

Comment on Tuition Program

Great breakdown. Got the same answer. I'm pretty smart huh brent? :)
gmat-admin's picture

That would be a valid conclusion :-)

awesome professor

Hi Brent,

Can you please explain below CR question. I got conclusion and its analogy question but still couldn't identify correct ans and didn't understand reasoning given in OG, please help

Although the discount stores in Goreville central shopping district are expected to close within five years as a result of competition from a SpendLess discount department store that just opened, those locations will not stay vacant for long. In the five years since the opening of Colson's, a nondiscount department store, a new store has opened at the location of every store in the shopping district that closed because it could not compete with Colson's.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. Many customers of Colson's are expected to do less shopping there than they did before the SpendLess store opened.
B. Increasingly, the stores that have opened in the central shopping district since Colson's opened have been discount stores.
C. At present, the central shopping district has as many stores operating in it as it ever had.
D. Over the course of the next five years, it is expected that Goreville's population will grow at a faster rate than it has for the past several decades.
E. Many stores in the central shopping district sell types of merchandise that are not available at either SpendLess or Colson's.
gmat-admin's picture

Mitch provides a nice analysis here:

And Ceilidh provides a nice analysis here:

If you need further help, let me know, and I'll be happy to weigh in :-)

This is tough - while the answer DOES make sense here, I am unsure of the "out of scope" aspect of E.

The conclusion of the paragraph states that students should participate in the program as a means of decreasing the cost of their child's EDUCATION. To my understanding, "cost of education" generally encompasses items like room and board, thus bringing E back into scope. Is there an item I'm missing? I might just be overthinking it.

gmat-admin's picture

The conclusion recognizes that tuition is just PART Of the overall cost of education.
Since the tuition program will save money, the overall cost of education will be reduced.

In other words, the tuition program will help reduce the overall cost of education.
Since room and board is not covered in the tuition program, it has no bearing on the conclusion (the tuition program will help reduce the overall cost of education)

Does that help?


Yes - thank you very much!!

Hi Brent,

What if the question was, "Which of the following will provide the strongest support for the conclusion?"

And let's say that one of the answer choices is:

"the future tuition rates are predicted to be much higher than today's ones"

Do you mean that then it will be a correct answer choice?

If yes, I am a bit confused since, how parents can save on college tuition when they don't know yet which college their child will enter.

BTW, what does it mean "at current rates" I suppose that they are not able to accumulate the full tuition cost over a year period? They probably do it over dozens of years during which the "current rate" can change several times. Do they pay for they year equivalent whey they firstly started accumulated money or "the current" rate is updated?
gmat-admin's picture

In order for the correct answer to be correct, we need only strengthen the conclusion. That is, we don't need to guarantee the conclusion. The conclusion is that this program will save money.

Your suggested answer choice of "the future tuition rates are predicted to be much higher than today's ones" is not bad, but there would also need to have some element that is included in answer choice B. That is, we need to show that the the rate at which tuition increases will be less than any kind of interest-bearing savings account. Otherwise it might not be the case that the program will save money.

While it is still possible that the child May attend a different college altogether. However, in general, the program will save money.

The idea with "current rate" is that parents pay tuition that's equivalent to the current tuition charged. So if tuition is $1000 per year, then the parents would pay a lump sum of $4000 now, and their child would go to school tuition-free.


Thank you Brent

the improvement is great, My error log is becoming greener.
gmat-admin's picture

That's great to hear!

So I got this answer correct but I also realized after listening to all of the reasonings in the video that I had wildly misinterpreted the passage and the answer...

I thought the passage was saying prepay the tuition at current rates was referring to some kind of account because I always see "rates" associated with interest accounts etc. but then I realized they meant the current cost for schools.

I chose B because I thought it meant that to put money into this account (the one associated with the program) would end up having them pay more money than what the tuition was ultimately worth.

I thought the rate was some rate set by the program of investing, and that B meant they would over-invest principal amounts and then have their money tied up in this account basically, when they didn't need to put that much money in the account because the schools were less expensive.

How the heck do I avoid having grossly inaccurate interpretations like that???
gmat-admin's picture

This video might help:
It's all about increasing your focus while reading passages for RC questions, but it can easily apply to reading Critical Reasoning questions as well.

got this right in 1 minute, what's the difficulty level?
gmat-admin's picture

I'd say it's in the 500-550 range.

Office Hours

On December 20, 2023, Brent will stop offering office hours. 

Change Playback Speed

You have the option of watching the videos at various speeds (25% faster, 50% faster, etc). To change the playback speed, click the settings icon on the right side of the video status bar.

Have a question about this video?

Post your question in the Comment section below, and a GMAT expert will answer it as fast as humanly possible.

Free “Question of the Day” emails!