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So, how much does it cost to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? J.K Rowling answered that question in response to debates over whether or not there was tuition for the Harry Potter school. As it happens, Hogwarts is free. Well, tuition is free.
Following an article over at Mic.com, which did a pretty thorough breakdown of what it might cost to attend the fictional academy at the center of the Harry Potter books, and estimating what the tuition for the school might be ($42,000), J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to respond to a fan's inquiry on the matter, and she laid the issue to rest...
This information doesn't come as a huge surprise, as there's no reference to tuition in the Harry Potter books. That includes the first book, which itemizes the supplies Harry needs for his first year, including robes, a hat, gloves, textbooks, a wand, a cauldron, a set pf glass or crystal phials, a telescope, a brass scale and -- optional -- an owl, cat or toad. No broomsticks allowed. No mention of tuition. Of course, we might assume that such matters are dealt with separately from the enrollment letter and the supply list. But if that were the case, wouldn't it have come up at some point over the course of the seven books?
Harry Potter is established as a wealthy character when the vault of gold his parents left him is revealed to him, so money may never have been a big enough issue for the topic of tuition to come up, but the Weasleys were always on a tight budget. Ron couldn't afford new dress robes and had a hand-me-down rat. The Weasley kids got their books secondhand. Lockhart's lengthy list of expensive required reading was a cause for concern in Book 2. It's not as if money and the cost of school-related supplies didn't come up from time to time. If a Hogwarts education came with a pricy tuition, it's likely that too would have been referenced at some point. So it was a pretty safe assumption that there was no tuition for the school. But because it wasn't specified, it became a blank that inevitably needed to be filled in, and so J.K. Rowling has.
The Ministry of Magic covers the cost of education. But who funds the Ministry of Magic? Taxes? Or does private funding from wealthy witches and wizards (ahem, Lucius Malfoy) cover a good portion of cost of running a wizard government? More questions. At the very least, this new update does confirm that while attending Hogwarts isn't cheap, when supplies are taken into account, it's actually not that expensive if we factor in a top notch magical education, not to mention room and board.