College Graduation Gift Guide

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College commencement is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Naturally you want to show your love, pride and support with a gift that is just right and personal. Let us help you choose something that’s as special as your new college graduate!

New city, new apartment, new life



Bright and whimsical or plain and practical, your new grad will love a panini maker, blender, Cuisinart, Keurig, juicer, espresso machine or waffle iron.


  • Fill a basket with items celebrating the transition to a new neighborhood: local restaurant gift certificate, hiking or sightseeing guide, regional foods/treats.
  • Subscription to a season of theater or musical performances
  •  Gym membership
  •  New laptop (the one that went to college has probably about had it) along with a stylish protective case or sleeve
  •  Themed kitchen gift basket — Fill it with utensils or pans specifically for baking, grilling, etc. Add a cookbook!
  •  Gift certificate for meal/ingredient delivery services like Blue Apron or HelloFresh, or for a cooking class/evening for a group of people
  • New bedding (no more X-long twin!). AllerEase bedding is both hypoallergenic and luxurious.
  •  Business cards: There are many online, customizable options — check out MOO
  •  Monogrammed stationary — Lots of unique choices on Etsy, and at Minted

Dress for success



  •  A scarf or special piece of jewelry
  •  Guys need ties!


  •  Gift card to a nice clothing store for professional wardrobe purchases
  •  Cufflinks with university logo
  •  Gift card to online style service like Stitch Fix or Trunk Club


Personalize the cash gift



  • Give money for a special post-graduation trip.
  • Provide first month’s rent on a new apartment, or the first student loan payment.
  • Stock — Get your new grad excited to learn more about investing and saving for the future.

Travel and Transportation



  • A Zipcar gift membership is perfect no matter where your grad will be living.
  • Grads with cars will appreciate a AAA membership, car emergency kit, and gas cards for road trips.
  • New carry-on bag or passport holder



  • Diploma frame — See more creative ideas for preserving memories here.
  • Set of college logo coffee mugs, alumni license plate holder, etc.
  • Latitude and longitude charms for bracelet, necklace, keychain — A reminder of the place they spent four (or more) years making memories that will last forever. Lots of hand-stamped choices in Etsy or check out the collection at Lat and Lo.


For more than a decade, our print and digital resources have connected parents and families to their student's experience, providing the insider information you need and want. All our products — classic and new, print and online — are inspired by our commitment to answering your questions and strengthening relationships between families, students and campus/community resources.

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  • Great article. It reminded me to ask my high school senior about which of her preferred colleges have reached out about a regional event. We attended an event like this with our older daughter who was attending school far from home and it was very valuable.