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16 Useful Graduation Gift Ideas

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Graduation season is here, and chances are that many of us know someone who is getting ready to take that next step either into continued education or the workforce, so here are 16 Useful Graduation Gift Ideas compiled with the help of Graduates!

16 Useful Graduation Gift Ideas Complied by High School and College Graduates

Whether graduating from high school or college, a little something to get them started is always useful.

I remember when I graduated from high school that I received quite a few gifts…some of them more useful than others.

I spoke with high school and college students and here are 16 Useful Graduation Gift Ideas.

This post, 16 Useful Graduation Gift Ideas, contains affiliate links. Using links to these sites means I will earn a percentage of the purchase at no extra cost to you.


Obviously, the green stuff is usually the first on any graduate’s list, as they can use it for what they need. So if you are planning to give a little moolah, you can find some creative ways to gift your greenbacks.

  1. While a little cliche, Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Place You’ll Go is the go-to book for graduation. How about filling it with a few surprises, like some five or ten spots hidden throughout the pages? I also like The Giving Tree and The Wonderful Things You Will Be and I Wish You More.
  2. If you are feeling extra sentimental, you could hide your surprises in Love You Forever or Someday or If I Could Keep You Little or I Believe in You. Be sure to include a special note for your special student. My grandparents gave me one of these books, and I still have it.
  3. wallet or wristlet or clutch would be a great way to gift a little cash. You can fill the slots with bills of various denominations and even include a gift card or two (see below).
  4. Wouldn’t we be amiss not to prepare our students how to handle money and say no to credit card debt? Dave Ramsey’s Graduate Survival Guide can do just that.  Teach them to be wise with their money at an early age.


However, if you want to think outside the “cash box”, there are plenty of other cool opinions that will be appreciated as well as useful.

  1. Gift cards are always welcome, and, like cash, can be used to purchase much-needed items. I personally think that online sites like Amazon are great because you can ship the items to the desired location instead of packing and moving it.
  2. Gas cards can be useful to encourage the wayward soul to visit their loving family from time to time.
  3. Of course, we all know about the infamous freshmen 15, so you can make your contribution to that legacy through grocery store gifts cards.
  4. While it may not be possible to cook in a dorm and cafeteria food can get old, restaurant gift cards to places like Panera or Dominos would be welcome options. And for someone just starting a job, it’s nice to have a “free” night where cooking is not necessary.  And no one ever pulls an all-nighter in college (LOL!), but just in case, a gift card to Starbucks or a local coffee shop might help get someone through such a procrastination dilemma.


  1. In hopes of encouraging them to take care of their own laundry, how about a collapsible laundry basket or this cool Star Wars hamper with some additional items such as laundry detergentdryer sheets, and stain remover. You could even throw in a roll of quarters if they will be using a laundry mat.
  2. Another basket could include cleaning supplies (preferably natural) and paper towels. Of course, you couldn’t go wrong with a diffuser and some essential oils.
  3. Depending on the set-up, dorm showering can be an adventure, so include a shower caddy and large towels (go with a dark color – trust me). If not in a dorm, a stationary shower organizer is an option. Whether in a dorm or stocking a new apartment, fill it with their favorite skin care products. Or give them the recurring gift of the Dollar Shave Club.
  4. Grab a couple of reusable grocery bags and fill them with fun snacks for the dorm or apartment. You could even include a few food storage containers, paper plates, cups, etc.
  1. Many students will be driving to college or commuting for work, so if appropriate, a car emergency kit could come in handy, then you can add engine coolantwasher fluidice scraperflashlight, and window breaker keychain.
  2. If they need some tools in general, you could grab a multitool or a homeowner’s tool kit.
  3. Stock up their medical needs by filling a container with a few basic meds, like bandaidsantibiotic creamibuprofen, and cold meds.
  4. Take a backpack or messenger bag or laptop bag and fill it with supplies, such as pens, pencils, notebooks, sticky notes, batteries, etc. If you wanted to add an extra touch, you could add a wooden pen or a leather journal.

Whether they are graduating from high school or college, think about the things they need to help them move into the next phase of life.

16 Useful Graduation Gift Ideas Complied by High School and College GraduatesMost of my feedback from the graduates mentioned items that are practical for dorms and apartments.

Make it fun and useful.

And you don’t have to spend a lot of money either. Use your coupons for cleaning products. Shop at the dollar store when possible.

They will appreciate any help they can get!

Do you have any other useful graduation gift ideas?  Please share them in the comments!

For more graduation inspiration, click through and check out this fun DIY Graduation Cap Cupcake Stand and Cake Plate made from clay pots and wood squares from the hardware store!

DIY Graduation Cap Cupcake Stand from Clay Pots Creatively Beth #creativelybeth #graduationparty #diycakestand #claypotcrafts

Thanks for stopping by!

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