10 Gift Ideas for College Graduation
Are you looking for some different college graduate gift ideas this year or simply aren't sure to get for the graduates that you know? These ten ideas can be given by friends or family members and are a good fit for many different types of graduates. There are lots of options here for customization and personalization as well as different price points.
1. License Plate Frame
Plenty of students do purchase a license plate frame during college. However, if students have not yet purchased frames, an alumni frame is a great option. You can show off your alum properly wherever you go with a license plate frame. If you don't live close to the college, there are a number of ordering options online. Google "college alumni license plate frames" for warehouse sites or check out individual school bookstore web sites.
- College License Plate Frames
Get college license plate frames and other college novelty merchandise at Lids.com.
2. Diploma Frame
Personally my husband and I weren't too interested in framing our undergrad diplomas, but we do enjoy displaying our respective medical and master's degrees. Whether you will have a professional work environment to hang your diploma or you simply want to hang it at home, a high quality diploma frame will make all the difference. Thrift stores are a great place to score cheap frames that may simply need a new wood finishing or coat of paint.
3. College Scrapbook
This is a great gift option for those of you who are crafty. For those who are not crafty, consider purchasing a personalized handmade scrapbook, such as the one that I've linked on the right. Work with the graduate to design the perfect layout or surprise the graduate with a book you've designed yourself with blank spots to add photos.
Until I lived in an apartment my last year of undergrad, I had done very little cooking on my own. My husband and I got a couple cookbooks for our wedding, including the one I linked below, that are still really helpful when I need a basic recipe or just want a cooking tip. Whatever the level is of the graduate's cooking skills, a high quality cookbook can still be a valuable resource. Consider the graduate's cooking preferences as well as tastes and diet (i.e. lactose allergy, gluten intolerance).
5. Fun Fiction or Non-Fiction Book
The majority of my undergrad classes were moderately to heavily reading intensive. I read very few books for fun throughout the entirety of undergrad simply because I didn't find it relaxing to sit down with another book during my downtime. This didn't kill my love of reading, though, and I got back into reading for fun a couple years after I graduated. This is true for many graduates. Give a graduate one of your current favorite fiction or non-fiction books.
6. Practical Apartment/House Gift
Even if graduates acquire a handful of practical apartment/house items during undergrad, there are most likely a number of items that they will still need once they are living on their own. While these may not be the most exciting gifts, they will be invaluable and will often last a long time. Consider an all-purpose tool set, cleaning supplies (go beyond Windex and think about a vacuum or mop), cooking gear, and more.
7. Future City Gift
Many college graduates move to a brand new city for a job or further schooling. Consider giving them a resource for the city such as a restaurant guide or a road map. If you're feeling more ambitious, put together a binder with resources or create a future city gift set. Additionally, think about gift certificates for local restaurants and stores. Many places offer gift certificates online and/or through phone orders.
8. Clothing Gift Certificate
I simply didn't have a great need for a lot of professional clothing during undergrad and spent a fair amount of money investing in a professional wardrobe during my first couple years of teaching. During this time, I always appreciated getting gifts of professional clothing or clothing store gift certificates for places where I could buy work appropriate outfits. Even if graduates don't have jobs yet, this can still be important to consider, as at a minimum, they will most likely need interview outfits.
Fashion tips: Basic wardrobe building and planning
9. Briefcase or Professional Work Bag
I loved my backpack and ID holder key chain in undergrad and really don't love carrying a purse, but I also believe that it's important to live up the role of a professional with the proper accessories. Hang onto your backpack for family trips and weekend outings and get a briefcase or other high quality work bag that you can use every day. As the gift giver, be realistic about your budget and the size of the bag that the graduate will need. There are lots of options out there.
10. Classic Jewelry
This is an obvious choice for women, but don't discount this as a possibility for men, too. Classic male jewelry options can include watches/pocket watches, cufflinks, and a simple ring with a birth stone. One of my favorite classic options for women is pearls. Think about the type of jewelry that the graduate wears. For example, a necklace might be an ideal choice for one person, while for someone else, earrings will be the jewelry that they wear every week.
More great graduation resources from the author.
- Graduations and Graduation Parties: How to Save Money
In this article, you learn how to save money on graduations and graduation parties. It includes a lot of DIY options and resources for bulk or cheaper purchased items.
- 10 Gift Ideas for High School Graduation
This article has 10 gift ideas for high school graduation. There are a variety of options for price points and personalization. These are great ideas for both family members and friends who are looking to give gifts.
- Medical School Graduation Ideas: Announcements, Party Themes, Cakes, Gifts, and More
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