30 Great Grad Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Graduate

The time has come to honor your favorite graduate! After all the dedication and hard work they’ve put in, this major life milestone deserves to be celebrated in a meaningful way. But how do you give a gift that shows just how proud you are of someone for graduating?

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Tips on Choosing a Gift

A graduation gift is more than a present; it’s a thoughtful acknowledgment of your grad’s accomplishments and a way to support them in their transition to the next phase of life. When deciding on a gift, keep these tips in mind:

  • Consider their interests and future plans, such as hobbies, goals, or career aspirations.
  • Determine if they would appreciate something practical they can use every day.
  • Think about a special customization that could make it more meaningful and special.
  • Choose a gift that recognizes their hard work and achievements.
  • Remember the value of the gift is not based on the price tag. Quality over quantity!

Whether you opt for something practical, memorable, sentimental, or just plain fun, our carefully selected graduation gift ideas are sure to bring delight to any graduate. Take a look!

Personalized Graduation Gifts


Consider gifting a piece of jewelry like a necklace, bracelet, or watch engraved with their name, graduation date, or a meaningful message. This personal touch will remind your graduate of their achievement every time they wear it.

2. Customized Photo Album

A photo album can be a heartfelt and nostalgic graduation gift, giving them something to reflect on their memories and accomplishments. Make one by printing out pictures and putting them in an album, or create a unique design and theme on Shutterfly!


A personalized college map is a thoughtful keepsake. You can get one that features a high school or college campus. There are even options to customize it with details like the college name, city, state, student’s name, degree, and graduation year.


A personalized graduation blanket will help your grad remember their special day! The EastArts custom Graduation throw blanket can be personalized with six photos, the student’s name, their school, and their graduation year. There are a variety of sizes available ranging from 32” x 48” to 60” x 90”. EastArts also offers a variety of other personalized styles and options if this particular layout isn’t your taste!

Practical Gifts

5. Dorm Room or Apartment Essentials

Is your graduate moving into a dorm or their own apartment? Getting them something for their place can set them up for success! This can be anything from pots and pans, a Hello Fresh subscription, furniture, or photos to decorate their walls. There are so many gifts to choose from. You can also start with:

6. Coffee Maker

Everyone loves a fresh cup of coffee, especially students who are about to enter the workforce or start their first semester of college. A new coffee maker is a great grad gift and can be used for years to come.

7. Laptop

If you’re feeling generous, a new laptop is always appreciated. Laptops are convenient to have for work, school, and personal use. Plus, this is a gift that will last several years.

8. Tool Kit

A basic tool kit is essential for a young adult. Whether they’re fixing their dryer, putting together apartment furniture, or hanging up a new painting, this gift will come in handy.

9. New Luggage

Luggage can be used for years to come. You can monogram a new luggage set or include travel essentials like a neck pillow, toiletry bag, or portable charger. A weekender bag is also great for overnight trips or short weekend getaways!

10. Headphones

Even if they own a pair of headphones, a newly upgraded pair is a great gift. There are a ton of options out there!

11. Apple Watch

Don’t want to lose touch with your graduate who is all grown up? Get them an Apple Watch to notify them when you’re calling. Plus, it’ll help them stay on top of their appointments. It comes in a variety of colors and features several health apps and resources.

12. Wireless Speaker

JBL Bluetooth speaker - holiday gifts for college studentsWho doesn’t love music? With a wireless speaker, your graduate can listen to music while they cook, work out, and work. They are durable, portable, and provide great sound. Plus you can get them waterproof and in all different sizes.

13. College Apparel

If your grad is heading off to college, gift them with some college gear to show off their school spirit. From Florida State University to Texas A&M, there is plenty of college apparel out there for you to choose from. Sweatshirts, t-shirts, reusable water bottles, or keychains are all options they can sport on their way to class or at the weekend football game.

14. A Bike

Ibera mount rack bike accessoriesGifting a bike is a great graduation present, especially if your graduate enjoys outdoor activities, needs to commute to class, or simply likes staying active. Don’t forget to include the bike gear for safety!

Sentimental Gifts


Give your grad some help with the book 101 Secrets for Your Twenties by Paul Angone. Angone’s writing helps new graduates navigate office life, interpersonal relationships, and much more with wit and wisdom. It’s a defining decade, to be sure, but your favorite graduate doesn’t have to go through a quarter-life crisis. Available in paperback, on Kindle, and as an audiobook.


Your graduate will be proud to show off their hard work with this great diploma holder. It can hold their diploma, a graduation day picture, and a tassel. Plus, there’s a wonderful quote from Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you imagined!” Whether you get it in black or white, this frame will look great in your grad’s dorm, first apartment, or new office.


This is a classic graduation gift, especially for graduates who received their first reading lessons with Dr. Seuss! Oh, The Places You’ll Go can be a nice little touch to remind them just how proud of them you are and, of course, how far they’ll go. They can see it on their shelf for years to come and be reminded of their own accomplishments, too.

18. Handwritten Letter

A handwritten letter shows personal effort and can be kept as a cherished reminder of support and well wishes for the future. Offer words of encouragement, let them know how proud of them you are, and share fond memories or experiences, expressing your gratitude for their presence in your life.

For Breaktime Fun Gifts

19. Games for The Outdoors

You know that college (or the working world) is going to be more than just work and study. You’ll also want to have some fun. So when you need a study break or you’re done with work, get your friends together and get outside!  Have fun with:

20. Gaming Consoles

Whether your grad likes new games or classics, there are gaming consoles for all. This can get pricey, so these are perfect if you want to go in on gifts with multiple people.

Budget-Friendly Gifts

21. DIY Art

Gift your grad a custom piece of artwork that reflects their interests or accomplishments. This will be something they can hang in their dorm room or apartment to always remember your love.

22. Jar of Memories

Grab a jar that suits your graduate’s style and then fill it with handwritten memories! Encourage friends, family, classmates, or colleagues to write down their favorite memories, encouraging words, quotes, or advice for the graduate. Each memory should be written on a separate paper strip. It’s not only a thoughtful gift but also a meaningful keepsake that reminds the graduate of the love, support, and memories shared with loved ones.

23. Experience or Activity

Soon your graduate will be gone, so make the most of it now. Plan to spend quality time with them by doing activities they enjoy and creating new memories together.

Self-Care Gifts

24. Book of the Month Club Subscription

A Book of the Month subscription allows your graduate to pick whatever book they want to read. It’s a perfect gift for avid readers!

25. Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are known to be calming. They can also help people with anxiety! We suggest getting one that’s around 10% of the person’s body weight for a comfortable fit.

26. Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oils smell great and add aromatherapy to any space. Add an essential oil diffuser to your gift list along with a few popular essential oils to give your recent grad some relaxation!

Financial Gifts


Amazon.com graduation gift cardCute, useful, and always welcome, an Amazon gift card (in this adorably appropriate mortarboard gift box) is the perfect graduation gift. It gives them the chance to practice some independence—choosing their own gift! You can choose any amount from $25 to a generous $2,000.


529 plans are not just for children under 18—they can be for anyone pursuing higher education. If your college graduate is planning on going to graduate school in the future but not immediately, a 529 contribution could be exactly what they need to help afford their education. Or you could even opt to start one for future grandkids if your child already has one of their own!

29. Gift Cards to Your Graduate’s Favorite Restaurants

Darden restaurants gift cardCooking and cafeteria food can get old quick. Keep your favorite grad fed with a bouquet of restaurant options they can choose from when they need something different. Check out options around campus (or work) to find their favorites. Or opt in for UberEats or DoorDash gift cards.

30. Cash Is King

No matter if you are just starting college or starting on your career, there’s no doubt every bit of cash helps. In cash form, as a check, or as a transfer into their Venmo account, graduates will appreciate the extra cushion of cash.

There are so many options when it comes to choosing a gift for the graduate in your life, whether it’s something practical they can use daily or a personalized keepsake that symbolizes this milestone. Before making a purchase, keep in mind their next stage of life so the graduation gift is both appreciated and useful.

Let’s celebrate their achievements with thoughtful gifts that show our genuine love, support, and encouragement for their future endeavors. Happy shopping!

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