11 Graduation Gifts They Won't Return

Stumped on what gift to get for a high school grad? Guest author Claire Preston from College in the Bag suggests 11 fun and useful gifts for any budget.

QDT Editor


Wondering what to give the high school graduate? First and foremost, albeit inelegant, kids always love the green stuff – cash. As college tuition sky-rockets and textbooks cost as much as $350 each, every little bit helps*.

Here are 11 smart ideas to meet every budget:

  1. Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies Gift Certificate Send the graduate a congratulations card with a note promising to send a care package of homemade chocolate chips cookies. Nothing like homemade cookies to help make new friends! $20

  2. University Flag – great for dorm room decor and graduation parties. They can be ordered online from the campus bookstore. $25-$50

  3. Gift certificates- Bed, Bath & Beyond or Target for dorm room supplies.

  4.  Amazon Gift Certificates- these can be used for textbooks and all sorts of necessary supplies. Most students open an Amazon Prime membership, thus they can receive their orders within 2 days. So easy.

  5.  The Naked Roommate by Harlan Cohen, a fun read of behind-the-scenes look at everything students need to know about college. $9

  6. Guys- 24 identical pairs of Socks Lose a sock and you have 47 more that match. Go to Costco or a Nike outlet and laundry will not become an issue. $50

  7. Girls- Shower wrap around towel, bonus points if it is monogramed. $20 – $40

  8. Memory foam bed pad and pillow- college kids love their beds and they tend to brag about who sleeps best on their hallway. $100+

  9.  OtterBox one of the best inventions to protect expensive smart phones. Be sure to get the right model. $20 – $40

  10. “Off to College” Laundry Basket – this is for the creative gift giver! Pick up a new laundry hamper and fill it with laundry supplies, snacks, Advil, first aid kit, flip flops, flash light, extension cords, etc. $30+

  11. New Computer – Before purchasing one, check with the University tech department to see if they have any special purchasing discounts and what systems they best support. If purchasing a Macintosh, Apple offers a $100 discount with student ID.  $500 – $1,200

*Bonus Tip - if your child receives a large sum of cash gifts, consider dividing it into payments that they will receive over the course of four years. For example, if the total sum is $1,000, and it is not going directly towards tuition, allow them $250 per year for spending money, books, etc.

This piece originally appeared on collegeinthebag.com.

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