Knowledge is of key importance in the modern economy. Higher education institutions spread it to a large extent. Persons acquiring knowledge, i.e. students, can develop their interests, are more likely to have higher earnings and at smaller risk of unemployment. Studying involves costs incurred both from the budget and by individual persons. The article is aimed at presenting the method and research as well as determining the share of remuneration lost in the cost of higher education. Remuneration lost corresponds to remuneration that a person with secondary education receives during five years in higher education. Estimates were made on the basis of data derived from Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS) and Eurostat. Furthermore, remuneration lost was also analyzed (as far as possible) with reference to particular areas of study.