10 great gift ideas for your new college graduate

By Unigo

Soon, your college student will be a college graduate. It has taken many study sessions (and perhaps more all-nighters than you’d like to know about) to get here, and we’re sure you want to congratulate your son or daughter with the perfect college graduation gift. If you’re stumped about what to get, we have you covered. Whatever your budget may be, check out these college graduation gift ideas to help you and your new grad celebrate the big day.

1. Interview clothes

With that diploma in hand, college grads will be hitting the job market. What better way to send them off than in some brand new threads? Whether it’s a suit and tie, skirt and blazer, or perhaps a gift card to let them make their own fashion statement, you’ll be investing in a future career.

2. Alumni gear

If you don’t want to go the fancy route, you can go cas. Like the collegiate apparel you bought upon receiving that acceptance letter, you can now buy alumni gear so your former student can show off that graduation status. You don’t have to limit the gift to just T-shirts, either. You can get office supplies, home décor, license plate frames, you name it! Any way to show off, we’re all about it.

3. Food

No more dining hall plans! That the good news, but that also means that your son or daughter will have to start buying and preparing meals. You could go for a gift card to a grocery store to help your son or daughter get all the basics to stock up the pantry, but where’s the fun in that? Check out home cooking gifts, like Blue Apron or Plated, that deliver fresh food and easy-to-follow recipes right to your child’s door.

4. Gym membership

Most college students are lucky enough to have free access to the university gym. Invest in your child’s health with a gym membership as a college graduation gift. Not only will you help encourage an active lifestyle, but exercise can also improve mood and self-confidence (something a job seeker is sure to appreciate).

5. Décor for new place

If your grad is moving from a college dorm or small apartment, help them feel like more of an adult with real home furnishings. If you can, help by investing in solid furniture (and not that couch your son found sitting outside his dorm on moving day). A nice set of dishes, silverware, cookware, bedding, bath linens, or even a nice welcome mat can make a student feel more like a grown-up. Or, you could offer a rent-free room while your grad finds a job.

6. Diploma frame

After all, that piece of paper took a lot of hard work (and, not to mention, money). Your student will probably want to show it off, but he or she may not be willing to shell out the dough for a nice diploma frame. In order to avoid seeing that thousand-dollar piece of paper shoved in an ill-fitting dollar-store frame, invest in a college diploma frame. Check with your child’s university, too, as many offer specialty framing with the school logo.

7. Jewelry

Whether it’s a class ring or a family heirloom, jewelry is a popular graduation gift for many reasons. Jewelry can serve as a lasting reminder of a parent’s pride and a student’s accomplishments. For an extra-special touch, you can also have it engraved with the school name, the graduation date, or your grad’s initials.

8. Tech gear

The last time your college grad probably invested in a laptop was at the beginning of college. And, sure, that computer got him or her through hundreds of essays and research papers, but it’s probably time to look at getting an upgrade. A new computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone could be just what your grad needs to start a career off right.

9. Travel essentials

Not all college graduates go straight from class to an nine-to-five. Many often use the freedom to travel the world, or at least take a well-deserved vacation. You can either pitch in on this travel adventure, or you could gift items that are sure to be useful during trips, like travel converters and adapters, new luggage, journals, a passport holder, or a neck pillow.


Let’s be real, this is probably at the top of every college graduate’s list. Student loans, moving, finding a new place to live, and life in general, all cost money. Every little bit helps relieve stress until that unemployed grad becomes a member of the workforce. The amount you’re willing and able to give is up to you, but we’re certain your grad will be thankful for it no matter what.

However you choose to congratulate your son or daughter, we know that your pride in their accomplishments will shine through. Congratulations on the exciting road ahead!