Graduation Gift Ideas

meaningful graduation gift ideas

So, graduation time is just around the corner. I have children in high school and college, and they have lots of friends, so that means thinking of clever gift ideas for all the special people in our lives.

My goal is to give something meaningful. In years past there have been a limited number of graduates to celebrate and I have found clever ways of gifting money or store gift cards to help get them ready for college life. This year there will be many more graduates who have been an important part of our family’s life for a lot of years. So I find myself endlessly searching for great graduation gift ideas. Gifts that go beyond money, gifts that they will actually use, or that will last, or that will tug at their heartstrings. Turns out this is harder than it seems.

Here are some of the ideas that I have gathered from friends, family, and endless online searches. Some are better for those closest to you, and some for friends and acquaintances. I hope this helps those of you who are also on your own quest for meaningful graduation gift ideas. If you have any suggestions to add to the list, please add your own comments at the bottom of the page!

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Graduation Gift Ideas

Something Personalized

I love the idea of giving something with the graduate’s name or monogram. It shows that you took the time to make something unique to them.

  • Monogrammed frame
  • Monogrammed towels
  • Monogrammed jewelry for the girls or a money clip or cuff links for the boys

Something Sentimental

These  ideas are great for your own graduate or for those who are really close to you.graduation gift ideas

  • A scrapbook of school memories
  • A photo collage or framed special picture
  • A personal quilt made of school colors, old team tee shirts, quotes or other special memories
  • A family heirloom or gift with personal meaning to your family

Something Relating to the Graduate’s High School or College

Celebrate the graduate’s achievements with memories of high school or something significant to where they are headed.

  • School bannersgraduation gift ideas
  • A logo sweatshirt
  • A signet ring
  • A coffee table book about the grad’s school
  • Gifts with the school’s mascot or logo

A Good Book

I love the idea of giving books for graduation. They could be classic novels or college survival guides. Here are a few that I’ve found.


Gift Baskets

Filling a basket with must-haves for freshman year could be so much fun. If you are creative this is an amazing idea. Check out Pinterest for some great graduation gift basket inspirations.

Gifts that Keep Giving

Every student living away from home loves to get care packages. You could give your grad a voucher for home baked goods to be delivered at intervals, or there are a number of websites that will send themed care packages to a student once or regularly. Here are a few:

graduation gift ideas

Money or Gift Cards

Of course there is always the tried and true gift idea of money or a helpful gift card. If you decide to give a gift card, think about a student’s life on campus. Having cash to spend at local restaurants, shops or coffee houses would be great for any student. Here are a few ways to make this option more fun:

  • Put a gift card into a fun luggage tag or ID case.
  • Give money in the form of Scratch-Off Lottery Tickets
  • Fold money into a fun origami shape or make a money lei.

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thumb_graduation_page For more ideas to make your graduation special, take a look at our graduation party page!

About Caroline Preble

I'm a gal who thinks that there is always a reason to celebrate! I am a wife and mom to two great girls, and a former elementary teacher who has turned my love for all things fun and creative into a website to share with friends everywhere.

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