Costs of Education
The resources employed to produce a good or service measured in monetary terms is known as the ‘cost of the product’. If the measurement is per unit of service or good, it is known as ‘unit cost’. In the context of education, as also in general, the resources can be both physical or human and can be either in monetary or non-monetary terms. If the services are paid for by the consumers (i.e. parents or students in case of education), the cost incurred is known as ‘private cost’.
If the resources paid by the society/government are also included then it is known as ‘social cost’. Social costs are thus inclusive of both the private costs and the costs incurred by the society/government. If such costs are paid through money it becomes ‘direct cost’. If they are paid through time spent or labour put in, it is ‘indirect cost’.The time spent on accessing a service which could otherwise have been used in deriving some earnings/returns is known as ‘opportunity cost’. Opportunity costs are also therefore known as foregone costs/earnings.