CNN actually researched how much it would cost to go to Hogwarts
#NO WONDER THE WEASLEYS ARE FUCKING BROKE
How exactly did they “research” this? Looks like they just pulled a bunch of random figures out of their butts.
It’s stated in the books that tuition to Hogwarts is “free for all children in Britain”. I don’t know why they thought it wouldn’t be - it’s a British high school, not a college. So there, you just saved yourself $42,024.
In Chamber of Secrets, Mrs. Weasley emptied her entire bank account which contained only two galleons [£10 / US$20] and she managed to buy all five children’s entire set of books and potion ingredients with this, as well as Ginny’s robes, hat, clock, cauldron, and wand!!! And we know she bought all of these as she mentioned having to buy them. The fact that she bought all of these with only £10 pretty much proves how absolutely ridiculous CNNs estimation is.
If you want more proof, the actual cost of Harry’s want is far over estimated here, and the exact price in both pounds as US dollars can easily be found right within the books! Harry’s wand is bought for seven galleons, a galleon being worth about five pounds [mentioned by JK Rowling in an interview and in FBAWTFT/QTTA] means that his wand was £35, or US$53. So there’s some straight-out-of-the-books-and-word-of-god proof that the figures CNN have given are way off the mark. Not to mention the fact that even if you don’t go to Hogwarts, as a magical human you’re gonna have to buy a wand anyway if you want to do magic.
As for the school books, I’ve done an approximation based on various prices given through-out the books and on Pottermore. While these prices involve a substantial amount of guess-work, I think you’ll agree that my calculation is far more accurate than CNNs:
The Standard book of Spells costs one sickle [29p / US59c]. On the back of my comic relief copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them it says it costs fourteen sickles [£4.60 / US$8.26]. One Pottermore, all text books are one galleon [£4.97 / US$10.17] - however Pottermore currency only uses galleons so it’s likely they have rounded off. Lockhart’s books, the most expensive in the series, are five galleons on Pottermore meaning that the exchange rate in the books puts them around two galleons and fourteen sickles [£14.60 / US$20.80]. If we put a high average on this and assume that all textbooks are approximately a galleon [they are likely much less], and that each year has around seven required reading books, the entire price for seven years worth of books would be forty-nine galleons, which equals approximately £243, or US$367 - and remember, this is the maximum estimated price for the textbooks.
For the minimum, we need to consider that the Weasleys get a lot of things second hand, with Ginny’s copy of A Begginers Guide To Transfiguration being described as “a very old, very battered copy” - likely no more than five sickles. If they got all their books around that price, it would cost them no more than £14 / US$21 for the entire seven years worth! So school books, far from being US$516, fall somewhere between US$14 and US$367 for the entire seven years at Hogwarts.
Next we have robe, glove, cloak, and hat prices - these are never mentioned in the books or on Pottermore, so I can’t account for that. However I seriously doubt it’s as a high as they’ve got here. Considering books in the wizarding world are generally much cheaper than in the muggle world, I think it’s fairly safe to assume that clothing is as well. Likely a maximum of a galleon for a single set of robes.
They’ve also forgotten a huge number of things - cauldrons, potion ingredients, scales, and star charts, among others.
So yeah, I really don’t know where they came up with these figures. It looks like some guy just wanted to make a story about how expensive Hogwarts would be and put a bunch of American college figures together and thought “yeah, this looks good.”
Do not fuck with a fandom.