GMAT Verbal Practice, Critical Reasoning
Struthers College has built its reputation for academic excellence largely on significant contributions from wealthy alumni who are avid fans of the school’s football team. Although the team has won more national championships over the years than any other team in its division, this year it did not even win the division title, and so Struthers College can expect to see a decline in alumni contributions next year.
The above argument relies on which of the following assumptions about Struthers College?
- The college’s reputation for academic excellence depends on the performance of its football team.
- Contributions from alumni are needed for the college to produce a winning football team.
- Struthers alumni contributions depend to an extent on a winning record by the college's football team.
- The college’s football team will continue its losing streak next year.
- As a group, the college’s alumni will have at least as much discretionary money to give away next year as this year.
The argument boils down to the following:
The college’s football team lost this year.
Therefore, alumni contributions are about to decrease.
But this argument depends on a cause-and-effect link between the football team’s performance and the level of alumni contributions, doesn’t it? In other words, it assumes that the alumni who contribute to the college are motivated to do so (at least to some extent) by their interest in the football team and its success. The correct response is (C).