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Gre Argument 74
The president of Grove College has recommended that the college abandon its century-old tradition of all-female education and begin admitting men. Pointing to other all-female colleges that experienced an increase in applications after adopting coeducation, the president argues that coeducation would lead to a significant increase in applications and enrollment. However, the director of the alumnae association opposes the plan. Arguing that all-female education is essential to the very identity of the college, the director cites annual surveys of incoming students in which these students say that the school's all-female status was the primary reason they selected Grove. The director also points to a survey of Grove alumnae in which a majority of respondents strongly favored keeping the college all female.
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
The president's recommendation on admitting men into Grove College and the opposed argument from the director of the alumnae association both have some reasons. However, in order to better evaluate the recommendation and the argument, we need to know the answers of the following key questions.
First, we need to ask that whether the increase in applications of other former all-female colleges is due to their admitting of male students, or because of other reasons. This is a very important question because from its answer we can judge that whether the president's recommendation has the least hope of increasing applications to the college. If the increase in applications of other former all-female colleges is not a result of their admitting of male students but of other factors, such as an improving teaching quality, better facilities, or their cheaper tuition, then it will just make the recommendation seems groundless from the beginning, for the purpose of it is to increase Grove College's applications. But if the answer is yes, the increase in other colleges does because of their transformation from all-female colleges to colleges that adopting coeducation, then the recommendation is more worth considering.
Second, we also need to know more details about the annual survey of incoming students which the director of the alumnae association shows. How many incoming students did the survey ask? If there were only a few students being asked, then the survey is not representative. Did the questions asked in the survey reasonable? And in what way did they do the survey? For example, were they just asked a simple question like what is the primary reason for you to choose Grove College when they were busy making their administration? If the answer is yes, that is the way like that they have been asked, then there is a great possibility that the students did the survey half hearted, and they just came up with a question which is typical for this kind of questions instead of thinking carefully. If the answers of these questions remain unanswered, we cannot take much trust in the result of the survey.
The last question we have to ask is for what reasons the majority of Grove alumnae favored keeping the college all female. We only know that they do not approve the recommendation proposed by the president, however, what we really want to know is their reasons for opposing it. Did they oppose the recommendation because of their worry about the disadvantages that coeducation would bring, for instance, worrying about their daughters' safety? If the answer is yes, then it suggests us that we must think the advantages and disadvantages of the change carefully before implementing the recommendation. But did they just do it because adopting coeducation would threaten their own benefit, especially for those who sponsor the college? If the answer to this question is yes, then it makes the opposed opinions not so tenable, for the benefit of the college is often larger than that of a few people. So only if we know their reasons, can we better evaluate whether we should implement this recommendation or not.
In conclusion, the recommendation and the opposed argument are both complicated and could not be better evaluate without definite answers to the above-mentioned questions.