I pull this word from Nassim Taleb’s 2012 Antifragile because I think it is descriptive of the way that most people view additional educational credentialing. F(c) = Optionality. Or, optionality is a function of credentialing (which is supposed to increase as time in school increases).
The unfortunate culture is that if you are a reasonably intelligent young person (ie you have a pulse), then you are expected to go to college if you want a good job (whatever that means to the individual in question). It’s an credentialing — people view their opportunities and options as a function of their credentialing (with exception for extremely specific credentialing — thankfully nobody says “go be a doctor, it opens up so many doors for you!”).