Gift Guides

15 Useful Gift Ideas for the Graduate Going to College

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It’s graduation season, and if you have a lot of graduations to attend or if you know a lot of people graduating, it may be hard to come up with the perfect gift. I mean, what do you get for someone graduating high school? After high school, a lot of the graduates are going off to college, the military, or starting a new journey in their lives. I have learned to get gifts that are useful for graduates in the next journey in their lives because 1.) you’re not just purchasing a gift to get a gift, and 2.) it is something that is thoughtful, useful, and won’t be collecting dust on a shelf. I put together a list of useful gift ideas for the graduate who is going to college.

Looking for a gift for a graduate that won't collect dust and will actually be used? Check out this list of useful gift ideas for the graduate going to college.

15 Useful Gift Ideas for the Graduate Going to College:

1. Tool Kit. 

Whether they know how to use a hammer or the difference between a Phillips head and flat head screwdriver, a tool set is something they will eventually need.

2. Cookbook. 

I don’t know many seventeen and eighteen year olds who know how to cook more than a few things. They will eventually get tired of mac & cheese, and a cookbook is a great way to learn how to cook.


3. Toiletry/Bath Organizer. 

Help them keep their items from getting lost that first week in college with a toiletry/bath organizer. Fill it up with body wash, deodorant, and wash cloths so it’s ready to go.

4. Towels/Wash Cloths.

Towels and wash cloths sound like a wedding shower gift, but for someone graduating high school with plans to go off to college, they will need to purchase towels and wash cloths. Pick out towels in their favorite color and have them monogrammed with their initials to keep them from getting lost.

5. Laundry Hamper.

A pop-up laundry hamper is a great gift for a graduate because they will soon be doing their own laundry if they are going off to college. Grab a bottle of laundry detergent to go with it.

6. Smart Phone Charging Station. 

Dorm rooms can be small with not a lot of wall plugs. College students need a place to charge their cell phone, tablet, laptop, and a place to plug in a lamp to study. A smart phone charging station is a great and useful gift.

7. Bedside Caddy. 

This bedside caddy can hold text books, magazines, pens, chap stick, keys, and more. It makes it perfect to keep a small space organized.

Related: 7 Items to Buy in Bulk for Your College Student 

8. Over the Door Armoire. 

It’s no secret that dorm rooms are small, and girls need a place to store their jewelry, toiletries, and makeup. This over the door armoire is perfect for organizing jewelry and makeup, and it even locks!

9. 12-in-1 Tool Card. 

This 12-in-1 tool card is as thick as 4 credit cards, but contains twelve tools including a knife, fire starter, and whistle. It is a great gift for someone going off to college.

10. Emergency Tool and Auto Kit. 

Not all college students go to a college close to home. That means road trips back and forth between home and college. Road trips can be unpredictable and it’s always better to be safe than sorry, this emergency tool and auto kit comes with jumper cables, electrical tape, pliers, tire pressure gauge, and more.

11. Maglite Flashlight. 

My dad got me a Maglite Heavy-Duty 4-Cell D Battery Flashlight when I started driving to keep in the car. He told me that it was a multi-purpose tool, and that if anything ever happened I could use it in self-defense, as a flashlight, or to bust the window out if I was in a wreck and trapped in my car. I think this would be a great gift for someone going off to college as well.

12. Academic Planner. 

An academic planner will help them keep track of their assignments, study group meetings, work schedule, and everything else going on in their life.

13. Campus Double ID Case. 

This campus double ID case holds both a driver’s license and college ID. It even attaches to a key chain to keep the dorm room and car keys together.

14. Amazon Prime for Students.

Gift the gift of Amazon Prime for Students. With it, they will receive free 2-day shipping, discounts on text books, and many other great benefits. To say it’s a useful gift is an understatement.

15. Gift Cards.

If they are going off to college and need to purchase a big ticket item, purchase them a gift card to help go towards that purchase.

I’m sure no matter what you purchase as a gift for the graduate, he/she will be thankful for it. If you’re wanting to get them something they will use in their first year of college (or for years to come), give one of these useful gift ideas for the graduate going to college a try.

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