GRE Argument Essay 79

The following appeared in a memo written by a dean at Buckingham College.

“To serve the housing needs of our students, Buckingham College should build a new dormitory. Buckingham’s enrollment is growing and, based on current trends, should double over the next fifty years, thus making existing dormitories inadequate. Moreover, the average rent for an apartment in our town has increased in recent years. Consequently, students will find it increasingly difficult to afford off-campus housing. Finally, an attractive new dormitory would make prospective students more likely to enroll at Buckingham.”

In the above given memo from the dean at Buckingham College, the dean suggests that they should increase the number of dormitories in the college since the number of students will double in the next fifty years. He says that not only will it save the students from off-campus housing which is difficult to afford, it will increase enrollment at Buckingham College. This memo presented by the dean does not give a logical and practical suggestion and a closer look at his argument makes it insufficient to support the suggestion.

The dean is of the view that based on the current trend, the enrollment to the college will double in the coming fifty years. Considering this, the existing dormitories would be insufficient for all the students. However, if this trend is likely to continue like this is a matter which needs to be given a thought. Fifty years is a long period of time. There are many changes that happen in the administration and the running of a college. If the students are choosing to get enrolled in Buckingham College today, this might not be the case tomorrow. Enrollment of students depends upon many factors like the reputation of the college, job placements of graduates, courses offered, quality of education imparted etc. All these factors are variable in a span of fifty years. Therefore, it cannot be said for sure that in the next fifty years, the enrollment would double. Considering this, building a new dormitory might be a useless decision.

The dean further says that the average rent of an apartment in the town has increased in the recent years. However, if the rent is likely to continue to increase in future is a question that matters for students who seek off-campus housing. The prices of property see a lot of variation in short durations of time. The average rent of any apartment depends upon the property prices of that time. What the property prices are going to be in the next fifty years cannot be determined today. Hence, if off-campus accommodation will be unaffordable or if it is going to be comfortable for students is a matter of time. Moreover, if the average rent of an apartment is high in the town, the students have a choice of taking up an accommodation in the suburbs. Students can also form groups to share an apartment with which the burden of the rent is shared by all and it is not difficult on the pocket of any one of them. The dean ignores these possibilities and simply assumes that students will prefer a dormitory instead of off-campus accommodation.

The dean gives his final reason of building new dormitories and says that it will increase student enrollment in the college. This is, however, a very small factor which may effect student enrollment. As discussed earlier, there are many other factors which affect the enrollment of students. The students not only see the accommodation facilities given by the college but overall performance of the college while taking admission into it. Thus, the presence of dormitory is a secondary issue amongst many students seeking admission in a college. Moreover, many students prefer to take up an off-campus accommodation because it offers them independence. If they stay in a dormitory, they will have to bind themselves according to the rules of the college which can restrict their freedom. Therefore, even in the presence of a dormitory in the college, students might prefer to take up off-campus accommodations.

The dean also ignores the possibility of another college of repute coming up in future. In a span of fifty years there can be a number of new colleges rising in the town. It is possible that students prefer to get enrolled to other colleges than to get enrolled to Buckingham College due to the facilities offered as well as the reputation held by the other colleges. Therefore, it cannot be confirmed that student enrollment will double in the next fifty years. On the contrary, it might go down due to the increase in the number of colleges. The dean should consider these possibilities before suggesting such a decision. Building dormitories involves a great initial cost. The dean, however, does not seem to be concerned about this and simply presents a memorandum loosely based on assumptions and future possibilities.