Graduation Gifts

High school and college graduations mark a turning point in a young adult’s life. Recognize this important event with thoughtful and practical graduation gifts.

High School Graduation Gifts

If the student is going to college after graduating from high school, consider graduation gifts that help make the transition easier. A new laptop or desktop computer is a welcome gift, as long as you know the recipient’s requirements and wishes. Consider a gift card or accessories such as a printer or a wireless keyboard.

Another great graduation gift idea is a mini refrigerator or microwave, particularly if the student plans to live on campus. Some companies package the fridge and the microwave together in a combo unit, making it perfect for the limited space of a dorm room.

If a big purchase like a refrigerator or computer is beyond your means, consider putting together a care package for the college-bound student. This can include:

  • Bed sheets (most dorm beds require extra-long twin sheets)
  • Convenience foods (canned soup, boxed macaroni and cheese)
  • Cork board for notes and photos
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Lotion, shampoo and shower gel
  • Shower caddy
  • Towels
  • White board with markers.

Not all high-school graduates go to college right after graduating. Some enter the armed forces; others enter the work force or opt to travel. If so, consider practical gifts like money, gift cards, clothing, messenger bags or backpacks. You may give books on personal finance or life management for young adults. Personalized gifts such as engraved jewelry are appropriate for all high-school graduates, whether or not they plan to attend college.

College Graduation Gifts

Most college graduates leave college prepared to enter the work force. Some are moving into their own apartment for the first time. Keeping this in mind, the best graduation gifts for college students include career items like leather wallets, briefcases and business attire. Cash and gift cards are especially welcome, particularly if the student needs money for a security deposit on an apartment or to fund a career wardrobe. If the student is moving out for the first time, home-decor items like housewares, linens and tools make great graduation gifts.