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9 Unique Gift Ideas for College Grads

Written by Savannah Marie, Community Blogger | May 23, 2014 9:14 AM

If you’re like me, you know a few people that have graduated college this spring. Although we are incredibly proud of their achievement, we have no idea what to get the grads in our lives. Whether you're buying for a future orthopedic specialist or  lawyer, never fear! I've completed this rather comprehensive gift giving guide for us all to enjoy. Celebrate their big day by giving you grad one of these great gift ideas.

1.    Gift Cards

Who doesn’t love a great gift card? It’s a simple, easy gift that your graduate will be sure to love. Let them have fun celebrating by giving them a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Or, since college graduates will have a ton of loans to pay off, give them a gift card for gas or groceries.  They’ll appreciate something useful that can help them save money.

2.    Clothing

We’re not talking about party clothes. College graduates are looking for professional jobs, and they’ll need the clothes to match. Try giving your graduate some work-attire clothing for all the interviews they’ll be going to. 

A nice pair of dress pants or a blouse will be fine. This is also a gift that will help your graduate save money, since they’ll need to buy work clothes anyway. If you don’t know your graduate’s size, a gift card to the store will work — then, they can pick clothing that matches their taste.  


Photo by Elias Falla

3.    Coffee

For your coffee-loving graduate, give them a Keurig. It’ll be beneficial when they have to get up at 6 a.m. for their first day on the job, and they’ll be sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness and support for their caffeine addiction.

4.    Subscriptions

Give your graduate a subscription to their favorite newspaper or magazine. They’ll have to keep up to date on the latest news anyways, so why not give them a head start? Subscriptions are relatively cheap, so you won’t break the bank.

Try giving them a subscription to The New York Times or your local paper. If they’re more into magazines, Cosmopolitan is one of the most popular women’s magazines. It’ll be great reading material for the coffee table in their new apartment.


Photo by Matt Gibson

5.    Décor 

Speaking of apartments, most graduates will be excited about décor. They’ll likely be moving out of mom and dad’s house, and into an apartment or home of their own. Your graduate will need to decorate, so give them something to spruce up their new place. They’ll definitely be in need of furniture and kitchen supplies, but picture frames are always a simple and easy gift to give, as well.

You might even consider buying them a mirror to place on the wall. And if you don’t want to give your graduate something they might never use, try buying them a sheet set. Everyone can always use multiple sets, and it’s a gift your graduate will actually use regularly.

6.    Moving Expenses

Since your graduate is likely moving away from home, why not pay for their moving truck or associated expenses? Your graduate will appreciate you covering the expenses of their moving truck, or you could even volunteer to help move their stuff.

7.    DIY Gifts

If you’re crafty, try making something for your graduate. These types of gifts can range from homemade cards to decorations for their new apartment. You can even bake them delicious baked goods or home cooked meals.


Photo by Chotda

College graduates will definitely love the fact that they won’t have to eat in the dining hall anymore.  If you’re short on ideas, check online for some great inspiration. Pinterest is a god-send for DIY gifts.

8.    Electronics

An electronic device is a go-to gift for most college grads. While you probably won’t have the funds to buy your graduate an iPad mini, you can buy them an extra phone charger. If they’re like me and constantly on the phone, they’ll probably go through phone chargers just as quickly as I do.

It also can’t hurt to have an extra phone charger lying around if the cord unravels or the charger becomes worn out. You may even look into buying your graduate a solar phone charger. This will be an appreciated device if they plan on traveling a lot for business. 

9.    Business

Finally, speaking of business, what is a better gift than a business card holder? This gift will be extremely useful if your graduate plans on running his or her own business, or plans to start networking frequently.

Consider these suggestions when buying a gift for your college graduate. There’s bound to be at least one thing your college graduate will love, and I’m sure they’ll appreciate your generosity. 

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  • peterollson img 2014-08-01 04:09

    I think that it would be better to prepare something special for the event of graduation. For example I got a cool chair from my parents and it serves me for many years. If you are concerned about funding then it would be wise to turn to personal borrowing in US.

  • Udy Regan img 2015-10-24 00:50

    While gifts are really nice to receive, it's not nice to expect to be given one because it's all about the thought isn't it?

  • Shawn Leone img 2015-10-29 03:22

    The above ideas are very exciting but there should be some entertainment event and parties which will be memorable for the graduates. the entertainment ideas involving such as DJ's nights,casino nights for students,Mardi gras beads of new Orleans style,Bling diamond slides and high quality tech video jeopardy in just less budget than any other event services. The night should be filled with total entertainment that the students and the whole college guest could enjoy. Collection of unique furniture's for the special guests in that night will be provided. There will be a feel of unique College Event Entertainment Hartford that contains full night entertainment with numerous exciting games in less budget.

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