Graduation Gifts That Will Actually Be Used at College



Graduation Gifts Used at College

You can’t go wrong with cash for high school graduation gifts. But if you want to give a memorable gift, here are things that college kids can really use.

1. Gift Cards

A close runner-up to cash, all gift cards are not created equal. A gift card too small to buy something without additional money is not practical.  

* Coffee shop gift cards are popular. Even kids who dislike coffee will hang out there on occasion, and a gift card will be handy.

* Gasoline cards will always be used. Even a student without a car can help pay for fill-ups for road trips.

Graduation Gifts Used at College

* Sporting goods store cards, unless they are high value, are not a great idea because they may be out of the student’s normal price range. However, a large enough amount designated for a specific item (sneakers, skateboard, or jacket) will be quite appreciated. 

* Bed and bath store cards and big-box store cards are useful. The grad can furnish their dorm room, buy personal items, and stock up on coffee and snacks.

* Certificates for nail salons, grocery stores or fast food restaurants that are close to the college are always welcome. 

* Avoid cards to swanky restaurants. For mid-range franchise restaurants, give enough for the student to bring a friend or date.

* Cards to on-line stores are terrific for buying books and entertainment.

* And finally, Visa or American Express prepaid cards can be used virtually anywhere. They do have service fees for that convenience.

2. Dorm Room Furnishings

Certain big-ticket items can make dorm life more comfortable. 

* A comfortable desk chair can last the grad for four years and beyond. Find a model that can be kept in a box and assembled on site. (Verify that the dorm does not already have nice swivel chairs.)

* A small refrigerator or a microwave oven will be used daily. Check with the parents to avoid duplicates. But if they already have one...

* A rolling cart that holds the refrigerator and has a few mesh shelves to hold snacks and plates and napkins is a sensational gift.

* A flat screen TV is practical because it will save precious space. Check to be sure the dorm room can accommodate this.

* If the dorm room beds can be lofted, get a futon for under the loft. Sometimes local companies will construct the wooden futon in the room on opening day; they will know the correct dimensions for your dorm. Add bedding if you can afford it.

3. Electronics

Portable iPhone chargers are extremely practical for busy college students. People like to choose their own phones, computers and tablets. Compact docking stations and wireless speaker sets make great gifts. Digital photo frames are a space-saving way to keep favorite photos on display. A new (unbroken) Xbox could be welcome. 

4. Non-Electronics

College students still like the feel of paper and pen, if only for the novelty factor.

* Beautiful pens, especially from special relatives, are meaningful and will be enjoyed. Go for excellent writing quality; include refills, too.

* Permanent markers in multiple colors are fun for making posters and marking possessions.

* High-quality journals and hard-cover notebooks will be cherished by artists, poets, and note-takers. Make it meaningful; go for a recognized brand name.

* Envelopes and postage stamps are practical and fun. College kids love to receive mail; help them send letters to friends in other schools.

Avoiding cheesy gifts that are mass-marketed as “dorm essentials” will put you ahead of the game. Don’t be afraid to consult someone who can keep a secret so you can delight your graduate!

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