Gifts For The High School Graduate That Will Actually Be Used In College

If you give a gift of cash for a graduation you can never go wrong.  However, if you prefer to give a gift other than cash here are some things a college student can really use. 

  1. Similar to the cash gift a gift card is always useful and appreciated.  Just be sure to gift a card that is large enough so the student will not need to add additional funds in order to make a purchase.  Here are a few examples of welcome gift cards:

Gift cards for coffee shops are always popular.  Even students who dislike drinking coffer like to hang out at the coffee shops.

Gift cards for gasoline are great.  These can even be used by students who do not have a car to help with gas fill-ups when on a road trip with a friend.

Gift cards for a sporting goods store may not be a great idea unless the gift card is for a large amount. Shopping at the sporting goods store is probably a little above the student’s normal price range.  A gift card for the purchase amount of a specific item the student wants such as a jacket, skateboard or sneakers will be greatly appreciated.

Gift cards for big box stores and bed and bath stores are useful.  These can help the college student furnish the dorm room, stock up on snacks and buy personal items.

Gift cards for hair and nail salons, grocery stores and fast food or casual restaurants located near the school are sure to be a hit.  Avoid gift cards for upscale expensive restaurants and opt for the more casual restaurants.  Be sure the gift card is sufficient to cover not only a meal for the student, be one for his date or guest.

Students will appreciate gift cards to on-line stores for purchasing books and entertainment.

Finally, Master Card, Visa and American Express prepaid cards can be used just about anywhere.  You will need to pay a service fee for the convenience of these cards.

  1. Furnishings for the dorm room to make the room feel more comfortable are useful.

If the dorm room does not already have a nice swivel chair you might want to consider purchasing one as a gift. A comfortable desk chair can last the student all four years of college and even beyond the school years.  For convenience look for a chair model that can be kept in a box and assembled on site.

If the student does not already have one, the gift of a small refrigerator and/or microwave will be used every day.

A rolling cart with mesh shelves to hold snacks, napkins and such is a great gift.

If the dorm room can accommodate it, a flat screen TV saves on space.

  1. Electronics are something else college students will enjoy.

Portable iPhone chargers are very practical for busy college students.  Compact docking stations and wireless speaker sets make nice gifts.  Digital photo frames are space-saving for keeping your favorite photos on display.  People usually prefer to choose their own phones, computers and tablets so it is not wise to try and purchase one of these as a gift.

  1. Non-electronic, office type supplies are helpful.  Even if it’s only for the novelty factor, students still like the feel of paper and pen.

Your student may appreciate a high quality, beautiful pen.  Be sure the pen has excellent writing quality and include refills with the gift.

For making posters and marking possessions the student can use permanent markers in multiple colors.

High quality, name brand, hard-cover notebooks and journals will be appreciated by artists, note-takers and budding authors and poets.

Notepaper, envelopes and stamps will come in handy for the college student.  Instead of always texting they may want to send a note to their friends at a different college.  They may even want to send a note to their parents or grandparents.

Avoid purchasing the prepackaged gifts which are marketed as “dorm essentials”.  Instead try to ascertain what the student heading off to college truly needs or wants.  You may want to consult with someone close to the student to get an idea for the perfect gift,