Opportunity Cost s - Producing one product means giving up the opportunity to produce something else. For example, if an economy produces 20 units of product A then producing that product costs them a certain amount of either product B, C, D etc.
What are the costs of going to college? The typical college student pays $22,000 per year in tuition, fees, room and board. One might think that the costs of going to college would be $88,000, but this is not the case. What about lost wages from not working? The lost wages are the Opportunity Costs you paid for attending college. You probably could have earned $25,000 annually so you can add another $100,000 to the costs of earning a college degree therefore it might have actually cost $188,000 for a college degree. You then need to consider the fact that even if you were working you still would have paid for room and board which we'll say is $10,000 per year. $188,000 - $40,000 = $148,000 so it could actually cost you $148,000 to go to college instead of working those 4 years. Is college worth it? Well, it depends on the amount your future earnings will be increased by from earning your college degree.