30 Graduation Gift Ideas College Students Actually Need

This post is all about graduation gift ideas.

graduation gift ideas

Graduating is the most important experience in every student’s life. Graduates finally get to reap the results of hard work and dedication, so you want to find the best graduation gift ideas that show how proud you feel!

The best graduation gifts are the ones that are as special as useful. Something you know they’ll love, but they’ll also be using.

This is a list of cute and practical gifts that the graduate will actually need (and love!).

This post is all about the best graduation gift ideas!

Best 2021 Graduation Gift Ideas

1. Graduation Money Cake

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I’ll give you a clue about what graduates need the most: money! Yes, students are broke, so money is a really good gift that they will put to good use. For example, paying student loans or getting appliances for their dorm rooms.

2. Graduation Gift Basket

graduation gift ideas college
Source: Pinterest

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If you aren’t sure what the gift best idea for the graduate, is a box filled with useful things will be the best option. This custom gift basket has so many cute goodies that you can personalize with the graduate’s name.

3. Face Mask Grad Card

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Graduating during a pandemic is hard enough (I know from experience), so maybe this cute greeting card will send a smile to the graduate. Yes, not having a proper graduation can be a bit sh*tty, but at least you graduated!

4. Personalized Money Box

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This is also a really creative idea to give money as a gift without being boring. All you need is a box that you can DIY or buy pre-made. This graduation cap shaped box from Amazon is super cute and definitely more original than a plain cardboard box.

5. Amazon Graduation Gift Card

Upcoming college students that move to a campus need to get a lot of stuff. Moving into your own and spending all that money is not easy, so a little help is always useful.

This Amazon gift card that comes in a graduation cap holder is the cutest idea for the occasion.

6. Personalized Graduation Crystal Token

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Is there anything better than a fancy crystal token to remind you every day that you graduated? I don’t think so. You can put this in your living room or your bedroom and feel proud of yourself every time you see it.

Best Graduation Gift Ideas For Her

7. Custom Makeup Bag

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A big custom makeup bag is perfect for college students because they tend to lose everything. Get the graduate this cute custom bag and she won’t have to worry about forgetting her cosmetics at her friends’ dorms.

8. Personalized Graduation Gift Box

graduation gifts

This is the perfect graduation gift box because it has a mix of cute items but also useful ones, and the best part is you can personalize them with the graduate’s name.

Here’s what the box includes: a card with a personal message, chocolate, a rose gold lip balm, a heart necklace, a personalized notebook and jewel pen, a scented tea light candle and a personalized mirror.

9. Foldable Travel Bag

A foldable travel bag is especially helpful to move into your dorm. You need a bag where you can fit a lot of clothes but that doesn’t take too much space.

10. Custom Portrait

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Graduation is the most special day in every student’s life, so you should get them a gift that’s equally as special. Personally, I think there’s nothing more special than a gift that was made exclusively for you like a custom portrait!

These custom graduation illustrations are made by DelaneDesign, a talented illustrator on Etsy, and she takes every specification to make sure the portrait suits your graduate perfectly.

11. Air Purifier

To be honest, dorms are really humid and the air is definitely not the cleanest one. An air purifier is the best option to make sure you breathe 100% clean air and don’t get sick.

This is such a small economic investment and I promise your graduate will thank you for it.

12. Photo Collage Wall Decor

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The first time you get to your dorm room, all you want to do is make it feel like home. A photo wall decor is the perfect way to personalize it with pictures of your best memories.

13. Water Purifier

Everyone living in a dorm has a water purifier to make sure the water is clean. Dorm water is super gross so you want to make sure you stay hydrated, but also healthy!

14. Monogrammed Towels

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When people move into dorms they all tend to bring monochromatic towels that are similar looking. Make sure your graduate doesn’t confuse hers with her roommates’ by getting her monogrammed towels.

The monogram doesn’t only makes it super helpful, but also adds an elegant touch to them.

15. iPad

This is more on the pricey side, but I recommend it to EVERY college student. I got an iPad in my second year of college and it saved my life. I did everything on my iPad: from school essays to watching movies to even drawing! So the investment was definitely worth it.

I know it’s a lot of money, but it’s still cheaper than a laptop and you get to do basically the same.

16. Personalized Planner

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Every college student needs a planner. If you don’t get it as a gift, they will still have to buy it themselves. So if you’re not sure what to get your graduate, a custom planner is definitely a good option!

Read: 24 Unique Party Ideas Everyone Will Remember

17. Reusable Makeup Remover Cloths

useful graduation gifts

Makeup wipes are expensive and not sustainable at all. These reusable makeup remover pads are the best way to reduce your waste and save money.

18. Motivational Quote Bracelet

graduation gift ideas 2021

Jewelry is always a classic. This is not only a cute piece to wear every day, but also something your graduate will hold on to when she’s miles away. This inspirational bracelet is available in three colors: silver, gold, or rose gold, and you can customize the quote.

19. Portable Phone Charger

College students are always super busy running from class to class, taking tests, and doing homework, they don’t even remember to charge their phones. I speak from experience, mine was at 10% of battery 24/7.

A portable phone charger is a lifesaver, and it’s super practical to carry it around.

Best Graduation Gift Ideas For Him

20. AirPods

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AirPods aren’t just a good graduation gift idea for him, but also for her. Because who doesn’t love Apple’s AirPods? They are the greatest quality and make such a special graduation gift.

21. Tile iPhone Finder

With this Tile pack, no college student will lose anything ever again. These are item trackers you can put in your wallet or your keychain, and it automatically tracks to your phone.

22. Shower Slides

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A pair of shower slides may sound lame as a graduation gift, but I can assure you they are super important when living in a dorm room. If your graduate doesn’t have a pair already, make sure you get him one.

23. Magnetic Bluetooth Speaker

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If he loves listening to music in the shower, he will love this magnetic Bluetooth speaker you can place anywhere. It is portable and water resistant, so he won’t have to worry about humidity.

24. The Ultimate College Cookbook

grad gifts

A lot of college students eat super badly when they move to their dorm rooms because they say they don’t have the time or space to cook. Well, with The Ultimate College Cookbook they will have no excuse.

This book has sixty recipes you can make in your own dorm room with just a few ingredients. They are super easy and most importantly, they taste super good.

Dorm Room Essentials For Graduation Gifts

25. Clip-On Fan

grad gift ideas

A clip-on fan is the most useful thing I got as a college student. It makes your life so much easier because dorms are super hot in the Summer. I used it through my four years of college, and I still use it at home now!

A clip-on fan is one of those graduation gift ideas you don’t know you need until you have them.

26. Custom Monogrammed Laundry Bag

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This might sound super silly, but when doing laundry with your roommates it’s easy to get confused about whose clothes are whose. A custom monogrammed laundry bag is super helpful, and also cute.

This one from Etsy offers you the possibility to choose from more than 45 colors for the monogram and different font styles.

27. Custom Monogrammed Towel Wrap

useful graduation gifts

Most dorm rooms don’t have their own bathroom, so you have to share it with other roommates. These towel wraps are the best option when you have to walk because they make sure your towel doesn’t fall off.

28. Mesh Shower Caddy

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Since most college students share the bathroom with other roommates, a mesh shower caddy you can take with you is definitely essential.

This one from Amazon is perfect since bathrooms are always humid and you don’t want your shower caddy to get soaked.

29. Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

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A memory foam mattress topper is a must for college students! The mattresses on dorms are always super nasty and old, so if you’re not willing to buy a new mattress, I highly suggest you get a mattress topper.

A memory foam mattress topper is super comfortable and it helps you sleep so much better which is highly important among college students.

30. Makeup Mirror

graduation gift ideas 2021

This is something not a lot of people think about, but most dorm rooms don’t have any mirrors. This means you’ll have to bring your own unless you want to be constantly going back and forth to the bathroom.

I love this heart mirror from Urban Outfitters because not only it makes the best gift, but it’s also super helpful. It has led lights in it so you can make your makeup even on dark mornings.


This post was all about graduation gift ideas!

graduation gift ideas 2021

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This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you purchase through them (at no extra cost for you). I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and love. You can read about my disclosure here.

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