High School Graduation Gift Ideas

Looking for a present for your high school graduate? Celebrate your son or daughter’s accomplishments with these fun, practical, and meaningful gifts!


  • Laptop
  • iPhone
  • Tablet or eReader: Some of your student’s textbooks may be less expensive as an e-book.
  • Software: If your student already has the laptop, you might consider purchasing software that would be helpful for their major.

Keep in mind the size of your student’s dorm room (and transporting the items to college) when thinking about gifts for your student’s new home.

  • Easily transportable laundry hamper: Help keep the clothes off the floor with a laundry hamper that doesn’t take up too much space, has compartments for sorting, and is easy to carry down to the laundry room. Pair the hamper with new linens, towels, or a gift card for clothes.
  • Toiletry caddy, robe, towels
  • Stackable drawers or shelves for organizing
  • Refrigerator or microwave: Check with the college and coordinate with his roommate to make sure you’re not needlessly doubling up!
  • An online design plan from Havenly for their new dorm room

Low on cost, but highly meaningful
A meaningful gift doesn’t have to cost a lot, especially if you’re already helping out with tuition. Try one of these or create your own variation:

  • Ask friends, family, and favorite teachers to write notes to your student. Present them all at once, have them written throughout a planner, or get them on postcards to be sent periodically throughout the year.
  • Get a lightweight bulletin board and fill it with photos from you, your student’s friends, or family members.
  • Make a coupon book with different care package options. Need some ideas? Try “something sweet,” “boredom busters,” “a taste of home,” or choose themes based on his favorite sport, movie, book, or activity. Your student can “redeem” his coupon whenever he’s needing a little extra support or love from home. Short on time? Have pre-made care packages sent to your student!
  • A custom quilt made from their favorite T-shirts from Project Repat
T-Shirt Quilt Graduation Gift

Money/Gift Cards

  • Gas money or an airline gift card for a trip home
  • Spending money for a weekend getaway
  • Restaurant or grocery store gift cards
  • A gift certificate to a theater, museum, zoo, or other attraction in his university town to help him explore


  • A new backpack with a laptop sleeve
  • A carry-on suitcase for short trips home or other adventures.
  • Sticky notes, colored pens, and a wall calendar
  • Professional clothes for presentations, exams, interviews, or internships: Looking sharp can help your student feel more confident! (Give your student a gift card or gift him a shopping trip; it’s important for your student to be there to try things on and pick out what he likes.)

Once your shopping for your student is out of the way, how about a little gift for yourself? Make preparing for college a breeze with our workbook for parents of incoming college freshman, The UniversityParent Guide to Supporting Your Student’s Freshman Year.