One of the first concepts that is introduced in a beginner’s economics course is that of opportunity cost. However, in discussions on rising college tuition, I rarely hear that concept mentioned. While it’s true that the cost of tuition is rising faster than inflation, if you take into account the opportunity cost of going to college, it doesn’t seem so bad. After all, even college graduates are having a hard time finding jobs these days. It must be impossible for a fresh high school graduate to find work. By choosing to forgo four years of potential earnings to go to college, I’m not giving up so much. If we calculate the cost of college as opportunity cost plus actual costs, it could be that it’s actually getting cheaper to go to college in real terms. I haven’t run the numbers though.