Graduation Gift Ideas for (Pretty Much!) Every Graduate


graduation gift ideas


Looking for the best Graduation gift ideas?  You’re in the right place!

We’ve pulled together 41 of the most helpful graduation gifts you can give someone heading off to college.  Find ideas for every type of graduate – from bedding to bicycles, coffeemakers, quarter rolls and everything in between.  (Plus, scroll down to the bottom of the list for a few unique DIY gifts they’ll love!)

Psst….. Did you know college students can currently snag a 6-Month Free Trial of Amazon Prime?! (WOW!)

Gradation Gift Ideas

luggage graduation gift idea


One of the most popular gift ideas for graduates is luggage!  My hubby still remembers his parents sending him off to school with a full set as a graduation gift – he said he was able to fit all his stuff in except for a box of CD’s (Remember those days?)

A great choice is this American Tourister iLite Max Softside Spinner.  The carryon is a great price point and comes in tons of fun colors to fit a bright personality.


jewelry graduation gift idea

Inspirational Jewelry

A meaningful necklace is a great gift – and reminds your graduate to enjoy the journey, follow their dreams or discover their path.

Another great jewelry gift idea are these Tribe Bracelets from Cents of Style – choose a phrase like Be Brave, Dream Big or Go Be Great!


satchel graduation gift idea

Laptop Bag/ Satchel

When they’re ready to ditch the backpack and look more grown up (while still having a safe home for the laptop) – a nice leather satchel laptop bag can be just the ticket.


graduation bicycle gift idea


For students who will be living on campus without a car – a bike is a super practical gift.  They’ll get a ton of use out of it, from exercising and getting groceries, to having the option of commuting to a nearby job.   Walmart has lots of inexpensive styles!


bluetooth speaker graduation gift

Bluetooth Speaker

Every music lover will want to have their own dorm-room sound system, in which case a good bluetooth speaker is a must.   The UE Wonderboom is a great option with a room-filling sound and crystal clarity.  (Plus it comes in fun colors and it’s WATERPROOF!  So it can go in the shower, or get dropped in the lake accidentally.)


graduation gift ideas for girls

FabFitFun Box

If you don’t live near the graduate but want to send them some love – here’s a great little box you can customize with full-size posh beauty products and seasonal items (Each box is guaranteed value at $200+!)  Check out FabFitFun boxes here.

practical graduation gift idea

Inverted Umbrella

You’re college kid is going to need an umbrella for running to classes on rainy days – might as well get a cool one!  These inverted umbrellas are new and keep things from getting drippy.


coffee graduation gift idea

Coffee Maker

For college kids who are going to run on coffee – a good coffee maker is a Godsend!  This Ninja Coffee Bar System is so easy to use and your graduate won’t need to buy pricey pods or Kcups with their meager funds. 😉  It makes a variety of brews, including a concentrated 4 oz cup that will jolt them awake in the middle of finals!

dave ramsay graduation gift idea

The Graduate Survival Guide

This one is recommended by Dave Ramsay and is all about the 5 mistakes to avoid during your college years.  It gets GREAT reviews and can set your grad on the right financial path early!

graduation gifts for guys

Noise Cancelling Headphones

To make it easy to study ANYwhere – regardless of roommates or any other disturbance.


cool graduation gift ideas

ENO Hammock

Campuses across the country are hung with hammocks full of students ready, studying, napping or just socializing.  If you have a teen, you probably already have an inkling about the popularity of the ENO.  It’s known for quality and strength – as well as the Atlas Straps that make hanging it anywhere (really – virtually anywhere!) a breeze.


timeless graduation gift ideas


A watch is just a classic graduation gift.  A nice leather strap with a classic face is a good gift for a guy – and this Timex Weekender is awfully affordable besides!


dorm gift ideas

Microwave , Hot Pot  or Foreman Grill

Another gift that’s practical – but so necessary for dorm or apartment living!  A hot pot or Foreman grill is a better choice for those headed to dorms that don’t allow microwaves, always good to check first!


dorm room gift

Lounge Chair

Give them a place to sit that’s not their desk or bed – or a place to entertain a friend.  Either a butterfly chair or a beanbag type chair would be perfect.

graduation gifts for dorms

Humidifier/Oil Diffuser

Make their room feel like a sanctuary (and keep the air moist) with a relaxing oil diffuser that doubles as a cool mist humidifier.


Storage Cart

Know someone who loves to stay organized (or needs help in that area?)  Make a home for all their odds and ends with a storage cart – and outfit it with a few fun organizing baskets, caddies as well!


hipster graduation gift

Record Player

A great gift for any audiophile who loves all things vintage 🙂

best graduation gift

Nice Sheets

Slipping into a supersoft set of sheets is like getting a hug – and PeachSkin Sheets are the coziest ones I’ve found so far.  They’re incredibly comfortable and unbelievably soft!

vacuum graduation gift ideas

Dust-Buster Vacuum

Most dorm buildings will have a few heavy-duty vacuums lying around for students to use.  But a hand vac is a good gift that can help keep both the dorm and the car tidy for small accidents.

This one will take up minimal space, but get the job done in a pinch.  (Plus this new Black + Decker Wet/Dry Hand Vac can handle spills as well!)


Bed in a Bag Set

Your graduate is going to be spending a lot of time in bed – it’ll be their couch and hang out spot, homework lounge and oftentimes where they eat. Other than wall art, the bed is also the easiest way to personalize a dorm room.

Help them deck out the one piece of furniture that’s about to play a central role in their new world!

graduation gift ideas 2017

Soft Lighting

Flourescent lighting is the WORST – and on a college campus it’s literally everywhere.  Find a lamp that gives off the opposite of harsh lighting for times when they need something restful.  The ENO Eclipse lantern is a cool option because it can serve as a dorm nightlight (it has 4 lighting modes) and serve as lantern and tent light on weekend camping trips as well.


snapfish Photo Book

Photo Book

Fill a book with good memories, positive vibes and personal accomplishments that led up to this day – a great way to spend a little on something that means a lot!

Kitchen Tools & Dishes Set  

Walmart has some great everything-included sets, especially these Gibson Total Home packages at Walmart!

You could even put together a whole set of what they’ll need for dorm room cooking from the Dollar Tree!  They seriously have some AWESOME bargains there 🙂


This is a more expensive gift – but will be invaluable to your graduate as they do research, work on papers, keep up with course information, etc…


Many dorms have community bathrooms – and a bathrobe is a great gift to help them feel more comfortable journeying to and from the shower.  Pair it with a shower caddy and nice toiletries to make it a bigger gift!


Water bottle with Storage

I fell totally in love with these Contigo Kangaroo bottles – the perfect place for Cash, a Key, and school ID!

frugal graduation gift idea

Plants that are hard to kill

Succulents are a good choice because they’re hardy and need little watering – and they’re very trendy besides!  A giftcard to Lowe’s garden center would be a good way to not only outfit your graduate with all the houseplants they could wish for, but also pick up one of the following…

Roadside Car Kit   and Basic Tool Kit

Both of these are helpful for the first time on your own – and will last beyond the college years.

best graduation gift ideas 2017

Of course, cash is ALWAYS going to come in handy – as well as gift cards to local restaurants, movie theaters or stores….

Gift Cards:

  • Grocery Store
  • Restaurants (Check out this adorable Pizza Box giftcard presentation!)
  • College Bookstore
  • Gas Card


Graduation Gift Basket Ideas:

Laundry Supplies Bundle

Pick up a cute Laundry Bag and add detergent/fabric softener + lots of Quarters in a container (My mom sent me to school with those mini M&M containers full of quarters!)

Quick & Easy Food Basket

Pack a box full of meal items that are super easy to prepare.  Include cans of soup, ramen, granola and protein bars, peanut butter and crackers, cereal, etc…

Box of Love

Ask friends and loved ones to each write a letter to your grad so when they’re having a homesick moment they can get a hug from far away.


Suds & Bubbles Bundle

Put together some Cute Dish Towels + Dish Soap & Scrubber in a fun caddy.  Or send them a box of Mrs. Meyer’s products from Grove – we love their natural products and they smell great too!

Study Kit

Snacks, pens, Notebook, Gum and other odds and ends to help study time be a little more pleasant!

First Aid Kit

This one you can either buy or put together yourself – but it will come in handy (especially if your grad will immediately join the Ultimate Frisbee group out on the quad 😉 )


*Not all of these are frugal, but graduation is one of those events that only comes around once  – so I’ve also included some special gifts on here that are a little pricier 🙂

In pulling together this list, we collaborated with some of our favorite brands – who provided a product for review.  Those companies are Shark/Ninja, ENO, Samsonite, Black + Decker, UE Megaboom and Peachskin Sheets.  All ideas and opinions are my own.

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  1. karen b says:

    A nice study bible if they don’t already have one. I know that the last thing college students probably want to do is “study” more but they will most likely be away from there home church so having a nice bible would help them to continue to stay in the word. Of course this would only befor christians.

  2. That’s such a wonderful idea Karen – I think I’m going to add that to the list for sure!

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