We’d get back even more if we were located at Niagara Falls

Last week, Bwog calculated exactly how much of his or her student life fees a Columbia student could drink back at Lerner Pubs.  This week, Bwog has found another source of free items (and use for Frontiers) to take back a few more of those student life dollars.

B-of-the-E Assumptions (based on Google)

  • There are about 180 days per year that every student will be on campus if he or she only leaves for Thanksgiving, winter break, and spring break.
  • Let’s say those plastic rain ponchos are a fashion statement (ie: not just for rainy days).
  • Several on campus locations, including Lerner Hall and the Hartley Hospitality Desk, stock plastic ponchos.
  • New York City has an average of 121 rainy days per year.
  • The wholesale price of rain ponchos is $50.79 for 48 ponchos.
  • Student life fees are $698 per semester, which we’ll call $700


  • Student life fees for 8 semesters = $700 x 8 = $5,600
  • The average cost of a poncho= $50.79/48= $1.06, about $1
  • The approximate percentage of one year that a student is on campus: 180/365 = about 50% of the time
  • So, if there are 121 rainy days per year, we’re around for roughly 50% of those, or 60
  • If you take one poncho for every rainy day over the course of four years= 240 ponchos (If a few friends are willing to give you their ponchos, that’s even more! But it also begs the question what you might do with all of them…).
  • Dollar value in ponchos= 240x$1= $240
  • Percent of student life fees returned= $240/$5,600= 4.3%


  • A student can get back about 4%ish of his/her student life fees by taking one poncho every rainy day at Columbia.
  • Ponchos are more valuable than beer
  • Back-of-the-envelope calculations are a tested and proven method to procrastinate starting your problem set, ever.

People who know what’s up via Wikimedia Commons