But say an owl did drop a Hogwarts letter down your chimney – would you be up for enrolling at the famous School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in September?
And, more importantly, could you even afford it?
To celebrate Harry Potter Book Night today (Thursday, June 24) and the 20th anniversary of the film franchise, we’ve waved our wands to work out just how much a place at Hogwarts would cost in real life.
The Potters left Harry a sizeable stack of coins to make sure their son could afford the seven years of tutorage required to become a bona fide wizard.
But the question is, how much does it cost to attend Hogwarts? And what’s the running total for us mere muggles?
Well, fret not, for we have the answer. The true cost of attending Hogwarts in 2021 would be £7,336.92, or 1,467 Galleons, 6 Sickles, and 22 Knuts in wizarding currency. That’s $10,353.47 in US Dollars and €8,506.95 in Euro.
Sceptical? It doesn’t take the Dark Arts to calculate the cost of Hogwarts tuition, just good old muggle maths and a little ingenuity.
With a little more muggle magic (maths), here is the cost of attending Hogwarts broken down into categories, including uniform, equipment, books, spending money and travel. So take a trip down Diagon Alley with us as we explore how much it would cost to attend Hogwarts in 2021.
It’s no good stepping off the Hogwarts Express in your muggle best. Instead, you’ll need to get kitted out with robes and cloaks befitting a budding witch or wizard, and that means paying a visit to Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions.
In 1991, when Harry and friends were buying their first robes, it cost 14 Galleons and 2 Sickles (£70.59) for three sets of the black work robes worn by Hogwarts students. By today’s standards that rises to £161.65, accounting for inflation.
And you’ll be lining Madam Malkin’s pockets for a little longer too because the compulsory shopping list for Hogwarts enrolees doesn’t stop there. You’ll also need a hat, gloves and a winter cloak, which together cost £181.87.
If you’re ready for fourth year, you’ll also need dress robes to bag a date for the fabled Yule Ball, setting you back another £161.65.
So, the Hogwarts uniform doesn’t come cheap. But remember, unlike muggle uniforms, it’s hard to grow out of a robe, so you should be set for your full seven-year tenure. And if you really can’t afford them, you could always ask the Weasleys to lend you some hand-me-downs.
Buying equipment for your magical studies is where the real spending starts. You’ll need all sorts of bits and pieces for subjects like Transfiguration, Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts, so be sure to take a friend down Diagon Alley with you to help carry it all.
Let’s start with the main tool in any witch or wizard’s arsenal – a wand. For this, you’ll need Ollivanders, because in the words of Hagrid, “there ain’t no place better”.
Despite the immense power they offer their users, wands are surprisingly affordable. Harry paid just 7 Galleons for his during his visit to Ollivanders in 1991 (£35), which would be £80.15 in 2021 (16 Galleons and 15 Knuts). Not a bad deal for the ability to force your enemies to eat slugs
Elsewhere on Diagon Alley, you’ll need to pop in Quality Quidditch Supplies for what may be the most exciting purchase on your wizarding shopping list – a broomstick. Like muggle cars and bicycles, brooms range in price depending on the spec, but it’s possible to get a mid-range model for around £1,145, or 229 Galleons, in today’s money.
Remember, though, that Quality Quidditch Supplies also stocks used brooms for those on a budget. Madam Hooch might have one going spare if you ask nicely, too.
Your trusty smartphone isn’t going to cut it at Hogwarts, and don’t expect Wikipedia to help you revise for your OWLs. Instead, you’ll need to buy a bunch of books ahead of the new term, and that means paying a visit to good old Flourish and Blotts
Back in 1991, the average Hogwarts textbook from Flourish and Blotts cost between 1 and 5 Galleons. Adjusting for inflation and assuming that Hogwarts still requires students to buy 34 different books, that’s £938.90 – a sum that would make even Hermione blush.
Don’t despair, though, as it’s always possible to source used books at Hogwarts, either in the library or in Horace Slughorn’s storage cupboard. Just make sure there’s nothing off about it before you start reading – Hagrid’s still cleaning up after the events of Chamber of Secrets.
While room and board are included at Hogwarts, you’ll still need some loose change to spend on wizarding goodies – whether that’s Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Botts beans, or dubious joke-shop prototypes from the Weasley twins.
And don’t forget, Hogwarts students are entitled to visit Hogsmeade village from their third year upwards, provided they have parent or guardian approval (or a conveniently procured invisibility cloak and secret map). That means wetting your whistle in the Three Broomsticks Inn, a wizarding pub renowned for one drink and one drink only: butterbeer.
The amount of spending money you’ll need at Hogwarts depends, seemingly, on how much of a sweet tooth you are. In the nineties, we estimated that Harry and his classmates had around 10 Galleons (£50) a year to spend on wizarding oddities, which, adjusted for inflation, works out at £572.50 over seven years in today’s money.
After forking out over a grand for a broomstick, you might not fancy splurging more on travel. But everyone knows there’s only one way to get to Hogwarts (unless you “procure” your dad’s flying Ford Anglia) and tickets for the Hogwarts Express might not come cheap.
It’s hard to pin down exactly how much students paid for the journey between Kings Cross and Hogwarts, or whether they paid at all. What we do know is that Hagrid gives Harry a ticket in his first year and that there is a conductor aboard the Hogwarts Express charged with checking them.
Since we can’t assume that travel to Hogwarts is free, we’ve used the price of an Off-Peak Single from London to Fort William Station in the Scottish Highlands (our stand-in for Hogsmeade village), which comes to £129.90.
Assuming that students will make at least four trips a year (start of term, a return trip at Christmas, and the end of term), this comes to £3,637.20 over seven years – by far the largest expense, accounting for around 50% of our entire Wizarding schooling budget.
Given the cost of other UK boarding schools, you might be braced for eye-watering sums here. But no. Back in 2015, JK Rowling confirmed on Twitter that Hogwarts doesn’t charge tuition, with the school’s day-to-day operations subsidised by the Ministry of Magic.
That means while you will need £7,336.92 for uniform, equipment, books, spending money and travel, the cost of attending Hogwarts for seven years would be less than half the average price for one year’s private schooling in the UK. Not bad, right?