Classes are over, the hard work is done and the diploma is in hand — your graduate is ready to take on the real world! After the pomp and circumstance, celebrate your new graduate with a gift that says the tassel was worth the hassle.
We’re pretty sure a new grad won’t turn down money or a gift card, but as they move on to the next phase of their life, give them something that sends them off into the real world feeling a bit better about adulting. Whether it’s a practical gift that prepares them for their new career, a luxury they can’t yet afford themselves, or a thoughtful gift to commemorate a job well done, these are some of the best college graduation gifts every grad will appreciate.
Best College Graduation Gifts for Every Grad
Help get their wardrobe workplace-ready with a subscription to Stitch Fix. This personalized shopping experience offers a business casual subscription that is curated to your taste, size and budget, all while striking the right balance of professional and casual styles that’s right for their new career and post-college life.
A great planner can change your life, especially for a college grad who may feel overwhelmed with a new career, in a new city and all the other “fun” things that come with adulting. The Panda Planner is a scientifically designed daily planner to help you improve your productivity and time management, and thus improve your happiness as you seize the day and focus on hitting your goals. This planner uses positive psychology to empower your grad so they can keep it all together without losing their lust for life as they take on the world!
Say cheers to graduating with these unique, hand-etched tumblers. College Town Glasses sells tumblers in sets of 2 with maps of more than 100 college towns, so your grad can reminisce about their college days from wherever life after graduation takes them.
Your grad is heading out into the world, but before they let work, grad school, money and responsibilities get in the way, give them this Bucket List book and inspire them to see the world. Ideas range from cultural experiences and natural wonders to ideas for things to do anywhere, like learning to play an instrument or trying a new cuisine. Whether their bucket list takes them driving through clouds in Sri Lanka, swimming with dolphins in New Zealand or simply learning to make pottery, this book has plenty of ideas to feed their passions throughout their life.
This is the gift that keeps on giving (and ensuring your grad eats well too). The Instant Pot Duo cooks fast and saves time, so they don’t have to leave a crockpot on all day or prep food before heading out to interviews or work. The Instant Pot Duo is perfect for small apartments or kitchens too, as it combines seven appliances in one: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, yogurt maker and warmer. With 14 smart programs for cooking and an app full of recipes, your grad (and their stomach) will love this one-pot wonder.
Never underestimate the power of a great pen — the perfect gift for a grad who’s entering the workforce or headed to interviews. The Fisher Space Pen will last them three-times longer than the average pen and can be a great talking point, as this pen can write upside down, at any angle, in extreme temperatures, and even underwater or over grease!
So you graduated college, but still feel like a student? Or maybe you finally got your first apartment but aren’t sure how to actually cook or clean? This wise and funny book from author Kelly Williams Brown offers insight into making the real world more manageable for those just learning the art of adulting. This comprehensive guide to being a grown-up covers everything from how not to hook up with someone from your office to how to fix your toilet, and everything else in between to help aspiring adults conquer the real world.
Your new grad is probably headed to plenty of interviews for their new career and this resume portfolio will ensure they’ve got everything they need to succeed. The sleek design offers pockets for business cards, resumes, proposals and more, as well as a refillable writing pad for note taking. The classic black matte finish makes it ideal for men and women, and its slim design helps it fit in most briefcases and bags
Help your grad say goodbye to meal plans and ramen, and hello to homemade food with a Blue Apron subscription. With Blue Apron, your grad will not only enjoy fresh ingredients and inventive recipes, but they’ll also add new cooking skills to their repertoire. The step-by-step instructions make cooking easy and they’ll have access to tutorial videos too.
A great way to encourage your grad to travel and explore is giving them a great piece of luggage. This Samsonite Omni hardside expandable luggage is a great start for their first adventure on their own. The 20-inch spinner luggage meets most carry-on size restrictions and features four multi-directional spinner wheels, a TSA-compatible lock and retractable handle. The exterior is scratch resistant to keep it looking great trip after trip and the bag comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
A simple, yet classic gift for grads is a business card holder. As your grad goes on interviews or attends networking events, this gift will come in handy. This stainless steel and faux leather business card holder comes in a variety of colors and is lightweight and compact, making it a perfect fit for pockets and purses.
Sleep may not have been a top priority in college, but now that your grad is entering the real world, a good night’s sleep means better productivity in their new career. The Hatch Restore can ensure they sleep better, with a personalized sleep-wake routine to fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. The sunrise alarm clock supports healthy cortisol levels, while other features like wind down and sound library help set the mood for a great night’s sleep.
After all the early morning classes and all-nighter study sessions, your grad’s college coffee maker probably needs to be replaced. A new Keurig is a great gift for college graduates who’ll surely need their caffeine fix while finding their first job — plus it will help them save money by making coffee at home before work and skipping the high-priced Starbucks trips.
Sure your college grad has a degree, but do they have personal money management skills to ensure they don’t squander what they worked so hard for? Unfortunately, many students don’t ever take a personal finance course but this book teaches young adults eight important lessons on 99 money principals that are quick and easily digestible, as well as unorthodox, making them memorable when they begin navigating their financial future.
If your grad has big goals, this planner can help them make those dreams happen. The Passion Planner helps define their short- and long-term goals — in their career, in their personal life, and more — and incorporate them into their daily life. Whether their passion is a new career, a hobby they want to pursue or dreams they want to see fulfilled, they can make it all happen by staying organized. It’s a great step to creating the life they want.
Your grad may already have an Amazon Echo, but the Echo Show makes life even easier with the 5.5-inch smart display. It can help them stay connected with family and friends with video calling and messaging. They can use it for step-by-step recipes in the kitchen or checking traffic and weather before heading to work. Watch a show or listen to a podcast or audiobook, and if paired with Amazon Photos, you can use it as a digital photo frame to show memories from the college years and more. You can even control your smart home and ask Alexa to turn off the lights or turn down the thermostat.
Work-life balance isn’t just a mantra. Putting your laptop and phone down to spend time on bettering yourself and staying healthy is something to foster early in your life, and a subscription to the Peloton App is a great start for new grads who may not have the time or money for a gym membership or personal trainer. With this app, they can workout anywhere, anytime with more than 10 workout types streaming on-demand. Whether they like running, yoga or a full body bootcamp, there’s something for everyone’s workout style.
While your new grad may not be able to afford a cleaning service, get them a head start on keeping their new home clean with a Roomba. This robot vacuum cleaner can be scheduled to clean daily while they’re at work. The three-stage cleaning system and dual multi-surface brushes grab dirt, debris and pet hair from carpets and hard floors while the edge-sweeping brush gets in the corners and edges. It works with Google Assistant and Alexa, plus the dirt detect sensors will alert Roomba of dirtier areas of the home and cleans it more thoroughly.
When your grad makes a few new friends at work or in their new city, they can get to know them better in a fun game of Pricetitution. This fun party game asks “How much money would it take for you to _____” and you’ll be surprised at how much or how little it takes for your friend to get a tattoo of the last thing they ate, for example. The closest guess to the answer wins — and you’ll learn a lot about your new friends.
This is the perfect gift for a grad who’s entering the workplace or will be traveling for work. The Hilife Steamer can keep their clothes looking fresh and neat (even if it sat in the dryer overnight — we’ve all done it!). This steamer easily removes wrinkles from garments and its compact size means it won’t take up space like an ironing board and can be packed in a suitcase while traveling.
Best College Graduation Gifts for Her
Upgrade your graduate’s backpack to something sophisticated to take to work, like this slim Kate Spade laptop bag. This is well worth the investment, which will make a statement at interviews or meetings, plus they’ll have this high-quality bag for years to come. The luxe leather bag features subtle designer hardware, can fit a 15-inch laptop and has pockets for your wallet, phone, and notebook.
Give them something for graduation they’ll cherish forever, like a beautiful piece of jewelry. Pandora bracelets make a great gift they can dress up or dress down, and there are so many charms to choose from the options will almost seem endless. And with bracelets that come in sterling silver, 14K gold, rose gold, two toned, and leather, there’s something to fit everyone’s style. Theme the bracelet with charms that represent their school colors, their new profession, the city they’re moving to and more, and you’ll have a memorable gift they’ll love and admire
A handwritten note never goes out of style — despite all the texts, emails and Slack messages we send these days. This gift gives a personal touch that’s still appreciated, even in today’s digital world. Whether it’s a thank you card for graduation gifts or a letter to a mentor, personalized stationery can be a thoughtful gift for a new grad. Minted has a variety of designs to choose from so you’re sure to find stationery that fit anyone’s style.
Your new grad is going places, so give them the perfect weekender duffle to make travel a breeze. This durable canvas and PU leather overnight bag is an ideal gift for grads who are wanderlusts at heart, travel for work or love weekend getaways to see family and friends. It’s sophisticated style is also a step up from college-themed duffles and will look polished during a work trip. The main compartment is spacious enough for clothes, accessories and essentials for a three- to five-day trip, plus a separate shoe compartment. The bag features a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap and five metal studs on the bottom keep the bag off the ground while traveling.
Nothing starts your day off right like a great cup of coffee, and it’s even better in an amazing mug. We love this one with an inspiring quote from the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. These memorable words will encourage your new grad to reach new heights and break that glass ceiling one sip at a time.
Help your new grad look and feel their best with Ipsy, a monthly subscription service that sends them the best beauty samples every month. They’ll receive five deluxe cosmetics samples in each delivery, a great way for them to sample premium beauty brands without the high price tags or full-size product. It’s a feel-good gift they’ll get every month!
Sip sip, hooray! Celebrate the new grad with a great bottle of wine and these super cute graduation wine labels. Use them as decorations at the graduation party or skip the greeting cards and use these labels on their favorite bottles of wine. Cheers to years of hard work and their awesome achievement!
Leave that college apartment decor behind and help your new grad make their grown-up apartment look like a home with a subscription to Decorated. This service ships six to eight seasonally inspired home decor pieces to them four times a year. Their package comes with a how-to booklet with ideas and placement suggestions too. There’s nothing more adult than decorating your own space.
Best College Graduation Gifts for Him
If your grad is ready to trade in the backpack for something more polished, try this vintage messenger bag. It’s made of durable leather and water-resistant canvas, perfect for everyday use. It features nine pockets for everything from a laptop, headphones, notebooks and other essentials. The shoulder strap is adjustable for length and comfort, as well as detachable with padded handles to be carried as a briefcase. This rugged, vintage messenger bag also comes in five colors to fit anyone’s style.
If their new career takes them across the country or around the world, consider a travel laptop backpack like this one from Matein. It’s a best seller on Amazon with a five-star rating and features plenty of storage space for everything they’ll need. This backpack has a separate laptop compartment that holds up to a 15.6-inch laptop, along with a spacious main compartment to hold electronic accessories, headphones, and other daily essentials. The front pocket keeps you organized so you can grab your pens, keys, phone and more easily and quickly. It also features an anti-theft zipper back pocket to hold wallets and passports, as well as a USB charging port and a luggage strap.
Nothing says you’re ready to take on the real world like a great fitting suit. They’ll feel confident during interviews or the first day on the job when wearing a well-tailored suit. Express is a great place for on-trend designs and budget-friendly pieces that will appeal to young grads. They can take their pick from extra slim, slim and classic fitted suits.
Timeless and classic, a nice pair of cufflinks will commemorate their graduation and is something they’ll remember every time they wear them. Whether they don these stainless steel initial cufflinks for special occasions or everyday to work, it’s a simple but special gift for a graduate.
Help them keep their wardrobe updated regularly with a subscription to The Tie Bar. If they wear a tie everyday, you can gift them a year of ties to keep them looking fresh. Choose a six-month subscription for a seasonal spruce-up or help them step into style with a sock subscription. Whatever fits their need, these wardrobe essentials are high quality at affordable prices.
There’s no better statement piece than a watch, and this trendy, yet traditional watch from Nixon would make a great graduation gift. The Nixon Porter with taupe leather band and gunmetal face has a bold and sleek style that’s classic with a contemporary twist. This minimalist statement accessory can be dressed up for work or dressed down for a casual night with friends, and comes at an affordable price.
Self care starts here for men, as the Dollar Shave Club ships razors, hair products, deodorant and more right to their door. Getting your groom on has never been easier with new razors delivered monthly and additional grooming products at discounted prices. Plus, you’ll know they’ll always look their best!
Best College Graduation Gifts from Parents
After four years of studying, note taking, researching, and writing papers, your graduate’s laptop is bound to show some wear and tear. Give them a fresh start with a new laptop, like the ASUS VivoBook. This laptop features a 15.6-inch display and weighs only 3.53 pounds, making it thin and lightweight enough to carry in your bag. With 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, it’s plenty of space for the average user. It also features the exclusive Ergolift design for an improved typing position, an 88% screen-to-body ratio, and a built-in fingerprint sensor for easy login.
Give your grad an upgrade with a set of new Apple AirPods. These are easily set up with all their Apple devices and gives you the ability to listen to your favorite music or talk to your family and friends wirelessly. They connect immediately with your device once you put them in your ears and with the charging case, the AirPods can have more than 24 hours of battery life. It’s a simple upgrade that makes life easier for your new grad.
They worked hard to get that diploma, so help them display it with pride! You can’t go wrong with a traditional diploma frame, which can be hung in a home office, at work or anywhere besides the refrigerator. Plus it helps preserve such an important document. This classic 11×14 frame comes in black, mahogany and white finishes, and includes a white beveled mat and hanging hardware for a hassle-free installation. The tempered, shatter-resistant glass gives a crystal clear view of their diploma too!
Not sure what to do with all those T-shirts from college? Instead of keeping them boxed up or throwing them away, have their favorite shirts made into a quilt with Project Repat. These award-winning, custom T-shirt quilts are made in the USA and have been featured on The Today Show and CNN. All you have to do is send in your shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys, dri-fit shirts or even button-down shirts and Project Repat will sew them together into a beautifully crafted quilt. It’s a nice way to put great memories to good use, plus you’ll do your part to upcycle shirts and keep them out of landfills.
New grads need to spread their wings and fly — to a destination of their choice! Give them the gift of travel so they can explore all the world has to offer before life happens and they forget to check off places on their bucket list. Southwest Airlines gift cards never expire and the airline travels to 103 destinations in the U.S. and an additional 10 countries, giving your grad plenty of places to visit.