The graduate in your life is about to finish high school. Yeah!! It’s time to reward him or her with more than a high five. Let’s find the perfect graduation gifts!

What is an appropriate graduation gift?

The right high school or college graduation gift keeps the recipient’s future, lifestyle and priorities in mind. Every student is different.

I gathered a few graduation gift ideas from parents, former college students and educators. Their suggestions included things like travel bags, laundry detergent and favorite recipes. A really popular idea was gift cards. Food items, in general, were mentioned often!

Take a moment to look over this list before shopping for one or more graduates in your life.

13 sensational graduation gifts to hack

customized red power bank

  1. Portable custom battery charger or power bank. Smartphones, tablets and other devices will need plenty of juice on the run.
  2. Mattress topper. If you’ve ever slept a night in a dorm room bed — No. Explanation. Needed.
  3. Gift cards. Choose coffee shops, grocery stores and pizza places. If transportation is an issue, grab a gift card for gas or the local campus shuttle service.
  4. Keurig Single Serve Coffee Makers. Late-night cramming and early morning classes require loads of caffeine. Heavy java drinkers may appreciate a more economical coffee maker.
  5. “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” The Dr. Seuss book by Random House is a traditional must-read for every graduate. It’s also the last book Seuss ever wrote. Are those tears?
  6. Netflix account. “All work and no play … ,” as they say. Your grad will enjoy a night off to catch a good movie anywhere on any device.
  7. Earbuds and headphones. Help him/her block out the annoying trombone player down the hall or the party animals upstairs.
  8. Auto Safety Kit. A dead battery. An icy windshield. It happens. Be the hero and get your grad prepared.
  9. School apparel. T-shirts and sweatshirts with logos and mascots might boost school spirit or at least provide more clothes when laundry day gets skipped.
  10. AAA membership. A personal AAA membership could prevent a dangerous scenario with a disabled vehicle along the highway.
  11. First-aid kit. Hopefully, only a bandage will be needed.
  12. Digital news subscription. Choose one that suits your grad. Ex., business major: Wall Street Journal. A subscription to a hometown paper is another option.
  13. Money. I saved this one for last because it is the most requested item from grads. Cold, hard cash is always welcome, but it isn’t a unique present. You can do better.

Graduation gifts and party inspiration

customized gray graduation can cooler

For creative graduation gifts, party ideas and inspiration, visit our Graduation Pinterest board.

If you’re the graduation gift giver and party planner, check out our customized can coolers. We’ve got tons of designs to choose from or we can help you create your own! We also can personalize your drinkware, napkins, custom graduation mints and other graduation party supplies!

One final thought …

Tell your graduate how proud you are, inspire them with confidence and continue to support them on their journey.

— Shelley Grieshop

Give your graduation party a passing grade with custom napkins!


Shelley Grieshop is a former newspaper journalist who earned more than a dozen Associated Press awards for her in-depth research and writing skills. In May 2016, she joined Totally Promotional as a creative writer. She currently writes company blogs about branding, marketing, logos, wedding planning and much more. One of her life goals is to teach people when to use hyphens and apostrophes.

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