14 Best College and High School Graduation Gifts

Is your loved one getting ready to graduate? Completing such a big milestone is a cause for celebration!

Hey there, it's time to throw your hats in the air because your loved one just graduated! It's a momentous occasion that deserves a grand celebration. After years of hard work, dedication, and sacrifices, they've completed a significant phase of their education. What's next? Anything is possible. The world is their oyster!

But what's the perfect way to honor this milestone? The best gift, of course! Don't settle for a generic greeting card or a bouquet of flowers. Instead, go for something that will help them kick-start their bright future. Here are 14 thoughtful and fun gift ideas that your graduate will love.

GiftYa offers a wide selection of virtual gift cards, which make great graduation gifts. Within seconds, you can send your loved one a GiftYa card to some of the country's top restaurants, bars, spas, and shops. You can even add a custom message to give your gift a personal touch. Check out our full selection of digital gift cards now!

1. Savings Account

Help your loved one plan for a bright financial future

If you are a parent of a graduating senior, opening a savings account can be a great help as your child enters the "adult world." In addition to being a great tool for managing finances, this gift allows for a breakthrough in processes that can be confusing or complicated for first-time graduates. 

A savings account is a great way to start on the road to financial independence. It's exciting and demonstrates a vote of affection and trust that a graduate is likely to appreciate. In college, the student will manage his or her own budget, pay for dorms, buy a definition essay, and buy groceries.

There are several different types of savings accounts you can open:

  • Traditional Savings Account: Traditional savings accounts are typically offered at banks or credit unions. You can usually open one with a low deposit. 
  • High-Yield Savings Account: As the name implies, high-yield savings accounts offer a higher APY compared to traditional accounts. They’re great for maximizing money growth. 
  • CD Account: With a CD, you are depositing money into an account and keeping it aside for a set period of time. During this time, your money will earn interest. This term period can last anywhere between 30 days and 60 months. 

2. Symbolic Objects

Give them something to look back upon

After graduation comes a new phase — whether it's graduate school or a new career. So giving a graduate something representing the guild he or she is about to join can be helpful and exciting. Each guild has its own items, features, and even badges and symbols. For example, you can give a writer a pen, a biology student a classic book on botany, and a doctor a rod of Asclepius (the symbol of medicine). 

According to the best essay writing services, these gifts can motivate students to study. They’re also a great reminder of where all of their hard work can lead them. 

3. A Commemorative Video

Remind your loved one how far they’ve come

You can also celebrate their academic successes by gifting a video montage filled with photos and clips from various stages of their life. There are free editors that you can use online or on your computer. Some of our favorite programs include OpenShot, iMovie, and Movie Maker. Don’t forget to add some fun music and transitions! 

Want to add an extra special touch? You can also include clips of friends and family members congratulating your loved one for their big accomplishment. It’s a fun and thoughtful way to remind them that their hard work does not go unnoticed. This video will become a cherished keepsake they will treasure for years.

4. Family Reunion

Get everyone together to celebrate

Consider gathering all of your close friends and family members for a graduation party! Your graduate will feel loved and appreciated knowing that the most important people in their life have come together to celebrate their accomplishments. 

Not only are graduation parties great for celebrating your loved one’s successes, but they’re also perfect for catching up with old friends and relatives that you haven’t seen in a while. In the end, a graduation party is more than just a celebration. It's a way to create lasting memories, strengthen bonds, and inspire the graduate to keep reaching for the stars.

5. Favorite Food

Treat them to something delicious!

What better way to celebrate your loved one’s accomplishments than by surprising them with their favorite food? Whether it's a delectable dessert, a succulent cut of meat, or a savory stew, you can whip up their favorite meal yourself as a special treat. If cooking isn’t your strong suit, you can always take them to their favorite restaurant instead. 

You don’t have to limit the gift to just one meal! College dining hall food can get boring quickly. Send them a care package filled with their favorite meals and snacks! 

6. Chalkboard

Help them stay organized

Staying organized has many benefits, and a chalkboard is a great tool for staying on top of assignments and deadlines. Notes, daily homework assignments, important dates, drawings, and reminders are just some of the things your child, friend, partner, or family member can put on their new chalkboard. Best of all, it can be personalized and redone as many times as the pen and eraser have been passed around. 

7. Lunch Box

Lunch boxes make a great practical gift

A high-quality lunch box can be a real game changer, especially if the recipient is looking to save some money by packing their meals. 

When searching for a lunch box, make sure you find one that has premium insular capabilities and great portability. Some lunch boxes feature numerous compartments, making it easy for the user to sort different dishes. Lunch boxes don’t have to be boring. Remember to find one that also suits the recipient’s personal style!

8. Gift Cards

Gift cards are a practical and versatile gift for the high school or college graduate

When giving physical gifts is too difficult, your best ally is a digital gift card. Since you can customize how much money you put into them, gift cards can also be a great option if you’re working on a limited budget. Plus, you can buy a gift card for pretty much anything. For example, you can give the recipient a $100 prepaid card for a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu. Most restaurants, retail stores, hotels, spas, and recreation centers also offer digital gift cards. 

Having trouble finding the best digital gift card for your recipient? GiftYa offers digital cards for thousands of stores around the country, including both big brands and local shops. GiftYa digital cards are easy to send. Just choose a card from the website and enter the recipient’s information to text them the card instantly. Gift cards have a reputation for being impersonal, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. With GiftYa, you can add a custom message to the card before sending it on. 

GiftYa digital card. 

9. Laptop

A laptop is an essential tool for college

Whether your student has graduated high school or college, a laptop will come in handy for their future endeavors. When choosing a laptop, you’ll want to keep several factors in mind:

  • Price: Laptops can cost anywhere between $200 to $2,000+ dollars. If your loved one is planning to use a laptop mainly for surfing the web and streaming videos, you can probably find a decent laptop at a low price. But if they need to edit videos or they like to game, you will likely need to shell out a little more money for a laptop that can handle these needs. 
  • Portability: If your loved one plans to take their laptop to class, you’ll want to find something light and portable. Carrying a heavy laptop around campus can start to feel inconvenient after a while. If they only plan to use it in their apartment or dorm room, a heavier laptop might not be as burdensome. Some students like laptops with smaller screens while others prefer larger screens for easier multitasking. 
  • Storage: It’s generally recommended to purchase a laptop with at least 256 gigabytes of storage space. But if your loved one stores most of their files on the cloud, you could purchase a laptop with less space. 
  • Display/Resolution: Laptops generally offer 1080p, 1440p, or 4K resolutions. 
  • Operating System: The most popular operating systems include Windows, Apple, and Chromebooks. 

10. Chargers and Cables

Make sure their electronics are always charged

Chargers and cables are essential tools that we rely on every day, yet they often go unnoticed and underappreciated. Despite their humble status, they make excellent gifts that are always in demand and can serve as ideal companions to a new laptop. Whether you're looking for a practical present or a thoughtful gesture, these trusty accessories are sure to come in handy and be appreciated for their usefulness.

11. Luggage

Luggage is the perfect gift for the avid traveler

A new set of luggage is the perfect gift for the graduate who is planning to relocate, whether for school or work. A high-quality piece of luggage can last for years and become an invaluable companion for the graduate's future travels. 

However, before purchasing luggage as a graduation gift, it's important to consider the graduate's needs and preferences. If they prefer a specific style or color, it's best to choose something that aligns with their taste. You’ll want to take size, material, and durability into consideration too. 

12. Bed Set

Help them spruce up their new room with a chic bed set

Is your newly-minted graduate getting ready to move into a dorm room? Maybe they’re moving into their first apartment or house. Either way, they’ll need a new bed set!

Bed sets typically include:

  • Comforter
  • Pillow Shams
  • Fitted Sheet
  • Flat Sheet
  • Pillow Cases

When searching for a bed set, make sure you find one that is made of breathable, light material like bamboo or linen. Don’t forget to consider their personal tastes too. 

13. Self-Heating Mug

Make sure their coffee never gets cold with a self-heating mug

Self-heating mugs keep your coffee at the perfect temperature. Image courtesy of Wired.

Your graduate might have some late nights ahead of them. Help them stay awake and alert with a temperature-controlled mug. 

Brands like Ember and Yeti offer electronic mugs that keep drinks at the recipient’s preferred temperature for hours. With a self-heating mug, your loved one never has to worry about room-temperature coffee again!

14. Instant Pot

Cooking a delicious meal has never been easier with an Instant Pot

Instant Pots make it easier than ever for busy students or professionals to cook delicious meals at home. Image courtesy of Coupons.

If your graduate is starting to cook for themselves for the first time, an Instant Pot can be the perfect starter gift for them. 

An Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used for a variety of cooking methods, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing, and more. With an Instant Pot, the graduate can easily make a wide range of dishes, from soups and stews to rice and pasta dishes.

In addition to being practical and versatile, Instant Pots are also easy to use and clean, making them a great choice for busy graduates who are just starting out in the kitchen. Plus, they come in a range of sizes and models, so you can choose one that fits the graduate's needs and budget.

Graduation is a huge milestone in anyone’s life. Celebrate your loved one’s accomplishment with a special gift! Which gifts on the list caught your eye? Let us know!

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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