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Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for University and College Students

Updated on November 25, 2012

Students in University or College are coming home from the holidays. You may not have seen them for awhile and they've probably changed a lot! Here are some universal gifts to give to students that are not both fun and practical!


This is the one thing that most students will always need. The amount is up to you, but no amount will be unappreciated. Students need money for books, tuition and living expenses. Even if these expenses are all take care of, they will most likely not have any money left over for entertainment. Place some money in a card, or make it more fun by slipping it in a book.

Pay A Bill

If you want to be more creative with money, offer to pay one of his/her bills. It may be a cell phone bill, a loan payment or an internet bill. You can make it more fun by putting the receipt of payment slip into a card or pay it before they get their bill so when it comes in the mail, it will show that nothing is owed. Then you can tell them about it later, or leave it as a mystery!


The One-Can Fridge

Many dorm rooms do not have refrigerators. This makes storing food and drinks difficult. The One-Can Fridge plugs into your computer (through USB) and will keep one can of pop cold. It sits easily on your desk and is not much bigger than a can of pop. It is only $19.99 from

Food Gift Basket

If you'd rather give him/her something tangible, consider giving him/her a food gift basket. These come in all sizes and price ranges and each is made within a certain theme. Chocolate, cheese, coffee, candy, meat and more all have their own gift baskets. You can even make your own and fill it with his/her favourite foods and snacks! University and College students love to eat and this gift will certainly be appreciated.

Care Package

A care package is something that you can have sent to him/her at school (a variety of services like this exist- check the school's website) or that you can make at home. Fill it with things that students need. These items include: snacks, pens, paper, towels, socks, toiletries, coins for laundry, homemade baked goods, photos, iTunes gift cards, and more. You can include basically anything that he/she needs on a daily basis. Most importantly, make sure to include things from home. This is great if he/she goes to school far away. If he/she cannot return home for the holidays, this will definitely brighten their day!

School Sweater

Sweaters are a common gift during this season. You could order a sweater from his/her school's online store (most schools have one) or you can pick it up next time you go for a visit. These sweaters are popular amongst students and most wear them home. They come in many different colours and designs. Sometimes stores like Campus Crew will make clothing with names of Canadian colleges and universities which is great!

A Tablet/iPad

A higher end gift that is great for students is a tablet or an iPad. These portable laptop-like devices allow users to log onto the internet, type out notes, read books with ease and take photos. It's smaller and lighter than a laptop and come in a variety of sizes. They're slim and will take up very little space in a purse, backpack or satchel. They're very popular this year and will allow him/her to take homework anywhere with ease.

Coffeemaker/Tea Kettle

Many students find it hard to wake up in the morning to attend their 10am class. You can help make it a little easy for them by giving them a coffeemaker or a tea kettle. Many different varieties are available. Some like regular coffee, so a small automatic drip coffeemaker will do the job. Others like flavoured coffee and there are coffeemakers by Tassimo and Keurig that offer small cups of flavoured drinks that can be placed into the machine and brewed into flavoured coffees. Tea kettles come in different sizes and varieties as well. You can include different types of coffee and tea to help round out the gift.

Storage & Organization

Chances are, he/she is living in a small dorm room or a small apartment. If this is the case, storage and organization is important. You can find lots of different types of storage in Walmart or other similar stores. When I was in University, I found that plastic crates were extremely helpful and durable. They held my books and other belongings and when it came time to move, I didn't have to pack! Everything was kept in those crates for easy transport. They also stack on top of each other, which is great. You can also look for storage solutions that fold down when not in use (some desks are like this) or other storage items that are easy to move at the end of the school year. Smaller organizational items include pen holders, magazine racks (great for organizing stacks of notes), photo boxes (great for storing small items), and more.

Recommended Novels


University and College require a lot of reading. Sometimes reading textbooks can be exhausting. Students who love to read will appreciate a break from their studies by reading a novel that will allow them to temporarily escape school. Stores like sell many types of books and even showcase the hottest books of the season. Check out your local bookstore and see what they recommend for students.


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