Carol never wore her back-of-the-envelope goggles. Now she doesn’t need them.

As you may have noticed, we’ve been doing “science” lately in order to procrastinate actually doing anything, ever. So far, we’ve told you what percentage of the Student Life Fee you can drink back, and what percentage you can poncho-back. In this installment, we use our fancy back-of-the-envelope skillz (you can’t prove it’s on a Mel’s napkin) to guilt you into going to class more, maybe. Here’s a rough estimate of how much money is wasted each time you skip class to watch Homeland in bed:

B-of-the-E Assumptions

  • We all have that one lecture class that’s 3 points and meets twice a week, usually in Havemeyer 309
  • Each of those classes is an hour and 15 mins (but feels like 4 years)
  • Current tuition per semester of Columbia College is $22,514, aka $22,500
  • Like everyone Bwog knows takes about 16 points/semester
  • There are 16 weeks in this semester, minus 1 for reading week, so 15
  • At least two weeks will only have one class, due to Thanksgiving, Election Day, or your professor’s commute from NJ
  • If you take 16 points/semester, the cost of each point is $22,500/16, which equals about $1,400
  • A 3-point class is $1,400 x 3, so $4,200
  • This semester, a twice-weekly class will meet 2 times per week x 15 weeks, minus 2 times for aforementioned extenuating circumstances, which gives us 28 class periods
  • Each time you skip this class, it costs $4,200/28, which is roughly $150 per class


  • Skipping the average Columbia College class costs about $150 in wasted tuition money
  • That’s like 30 (flavored) Heights margaritas
  • It’s impossible to factor in the opportunity cost of NOT watching Homeland in bed during that one lecture, so this calculation may or may not be moot

Throwback to that creepy Chem Lab poster via Wikimedia Commons