Two students studying economics at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania decided to calculate the amount that Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore might have charged his young wizards.
Their estimate: £26,816,or $42,752. (Meanwhile, Lehigh charges about $54,000 per year.)
Tuition alone is estimated to be £25,800, which is the average rate at one of England’s most prestigious boarding schools. Then there’s a long list of supplies mentioned in the books — like robes and pointed hats, brass scales and a standard-size pewter cauldron.
The calculation appears on the blog,Centives, which was started this spring by Anjan Gupta of India and Daniel Maryanovich of Chicago, who will both be seniors at Lehigh this fall. The blog applies economic principles to campus life, such as meal plan prices and how students with limited plans paid more per meal than those paying cash at the door.
“There’s so much potential to apply economics to small things,” said Gupta, 21, who is majoring in economics, international relations and psychology.
Things like Harry Potter.
Gupta is a huge Harry Potter fan. He started reading the books right around the time the second volume came out in the late 1990s. (If you think you are also such a fan, prove it with our Harry Potter quiz.)
Since then, “I’ve read every book the day it came out. And then I’ve read every one several times,” Gupta proudly told me this afternoon.
So in addition to planning to see the final Harry Potter movie the day of its release, Gupta decided to blog about the economics of Hogwarts.
When I challenged him on the idea of Hogwarts even having tuition (my sister is convinced they don’t), he responded that even if young wizards get a free ride, there is still a per-pupil cost.
Gupta has been surprised by the “phenomenal” response to the blog post, which a variety of readers have commented on and fact-checked.
He is now planning additional blog posts about the intersection of economics and campus life at Hogwarts. What ideas do you have?