The Best College Gift Guide for High School Grads

Gift giving can be difficult, especially when you’re looking for a gift for a teenager. Whether you’re a parent, sibling, or friend looking for the perfect gift, check out our list of 20 gifts that your teenager is sure to love (and use)!

graduation picture
Coffee Maker/Electric Tea Kettle

For those late-night study sessions and early 8 am classes. This mini Keurig ($99) is a popular option among college students. For a cheaper option, check out the Hamilton Beach electric kettle ($15-$20).

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2. Means of Transportation

Help your graduate get from place to place with train tickets, a pre-loaded metro pass, a bike, a longboard, or even a car!

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3. Electronic Gadgets

electronic gadgets

There are so many options. Your high school graduate can…

  • Download movies and save essays on a USB ($10+)
  • Buy textbooks on a Kindle ($60+)
  • Play games and read the Bible on an iPad ($400+)
  • Browse the web and take notes on a brand new laptop ($200-$1000+)

Electronic gifts are great because they’re not only for entertainment, but for schoolwork as well.

4. Duffel/Gym Bag

Duffel bags ($100-$150) are great investment pieces for weekend trips and retreats. A new gym bag ($40) is also perfect for those hitting up the gym or hauling around sports equipment to away games.

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5. Book

Pass on your favorite book or have your graduate’s favorite teachers write a message in Dr. Seuss’s ever-popular Oh, the Places You’ll Go! ($10)

oh the places you'll goSource:

6. Journal and Pens

Fountain pens ($50+) are a traditional graduation gift. Pair it with a journal, and it’s the perfect gift for the budding writer. The Bombay journal from Barnes and Noble ($15-$20) is a best-seller.


7. Polaroid Camera

To capture and share her first-year memories. Check out the Fujifilm’s instant photo cameras ($60+) for on-the-spot photos and fun.


8. Monogrammed Towels

So she won’t get his towels mixed up with her roommates’. PBteen has a good selection of towels ($8.50-$45) that you can monogram for an additional $9.


9. Portable Speakers

Speakers are great for hooking up to his laptop for those dorm-room movie nights. The Beats Pill 2.0 is $200, but here are some great options for under $50.

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10. Wallet or Purse

Don’t let her lose her school ID with an ID case ($12)!

vera bradleySource:

11. Printed Photos

Print some photos beforehand so that your friend can fill her dorm walls with some of her favorite people and memories.

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Water Bottle

A good-quality water bottle ($15-$30) will help him remember to stay hydrated during those long classes.


13. Jewelry

A gift that’s beautiful and encouraging! This is one is from  ($17-$27)

faith jewelrySource:

14. Netflix Account

A gift that the whole family can use (and most likely his new college friends too!) Only $7.99 for the basic Netflix plan.

netflix15. Snack Subscription Box

Who doesn’t love free food? With so many healthy snack boxes out there, she’ll have some brain food to munch on during finals week. Naturebox has an option that delivers five unique snacks every month for $19.95.

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16. Workout Clothes

Fight the freshmen fighteen by hitting the gym in all new workout gear ($20+)

workout clothes for menSource:

18. An Adventure for Two 

Gift a certificate for a spa day ($50 per person), season passes for Six Flags ($70), or concert tickets for two ($50+).

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19. Shopping Spree 

Whether it’s a new winter coat or his first fitted blazer, take him on a shopping spree so he can be prepared for any occasion!

shopping spree20. Cash and Gift Cards

According to a study by Hallmark, 95% believe that money is an appropriate high school graduation gift. Have fun with it! Check out some creative ways to give money as a gift!


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