Drawing on the original data collected during a period of university student protest in Greece, we explore whether the expected gains from the act of protesting itself influence an individual’s decision to participate in collective action. More particularly, we investigate the extent to which the process incentives qualify the weight individuals attach to the primary elements of the original cost–benefit equation of rational choice theory as well as other considerations in their decision-making process. Our findings point out that the magnitude of the effect of the process incentives is very strong and its inclusion in a rational choice model improves our understanding of students’ participation in protest activities. Turning to indirect effects, we show that process incentives behave as a first stage precondition for the students’ decision to participate in collective action. In the absence of perceived benefits associated with the process of protesting, the importance of attaining the public good becomes much less important in their decision-making process.