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Gifts for Grads

Female graduate student with mother, portrait

(Barry Austin Photography/ Getty Image)

Finding a useful yet interesting gift for a graduate can be tough.

Updated May 19, 2017: This slideshow has been updated to include newer gift ideas.


Young woman counting money.

(Getty Images)

Those pursuing work after high school may need cash for gas, rent and a business wardrobe. College-bound kids can always use cash, too, for textbooks, class fees and pizza.

Portable Chargers

Electronic devices being charged.

(Getty Images)

Whether it's to Snapchat or call home, portable chargers can help grads stay connected.

Voice-Controlled Assistants

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Popular intelligent assistants, like the Amazon Echo or Google Home, can help teens do research, track notes and more.

Transit or Gas Card


Load up a metro, Uber or gas card for recent high school graduates to help them get around campus when they head to school or to and from their summer job.



Biking on a campus is a great way for students to be outdoors, exercise and get to class quickly. And for a freshman without a car, owning a bike can be crucial for off-campus trips to grocery stores and parks.

Music or TV Streaming Service

Exciting TV show.

(g-stockstudio/ Getty Images)

A monthly subscription to services like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify or Tidal is a gift that keeps on giving. New college students will appreciate the opportunity to watch their favorite shows and listen to their favorite artists in between study breaks.


A student doing work on a tablet.


Computers aren’t cheap, but for tasks ranging from on-the-go assignments to job searching, they can be important tools for recent grads. Look for graduation and Memorial Day deals, or split the cost with others.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones


For those who can’t shell out for a computer, look for quality headphones. They’re ideal for jamming on the way to work or class and while studying in loud dorms.



A small suitcase or overnight bag can come in handy for weekend trips back home, or spring break.

Board Game


While board games may seem a little old-fashioned, they can be a perfect way to make friends on a rainy day. Go for classics like Monopoly or newer games like Settlers of Catan or Apples to Apples.

Gift Card

Gift Card


Research the grad’s college campus to see what stores and restaurants are nearby. Students can use prepaid gift cards to cover the cost of books or incidentals like clothes and movies.

Buy an Experience

Image of a crowd at a music concert.


With the stress of finals now over, give graduates a gift to help them relax and have fun this summer, like a spa day or tickets to see their favorite musical artist.

Looking for More Gift Ideas?

Use online tools to gauge the cost of college.


Consider to help students be successful in life and college.

Are there any gifts we missed? Tell us on and .

 is a senior digital producer at U.S. News. You can follow her on or email her at .

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