Graduation Gift Guide

Congratulations to that special student in your life! All of their hard work, all-nighters, and energy drinks have finally paid off! They will now be transitioning into a whole new world of the work force!

How will you celebrate all their hard work, since finding ideas for graduation gifts can be tricky! I myself, just graduated with a B.S. in Marketing, and I have some suggestions to help take the stress out of finding a great graduation gift for your loved one.

Whether you are looking for creative ways to give cash, useful gift cards, or practical graduation gifts, here are some recommendations to help you find the perfect gift!

Creative Ways to Give Cash

So what does any graduate truly want as they are starting their new life, that one thing they might need more than anything else? You’ve got it: Cash. Not only does money satisfy any new grad, but it makes gift giving a whole lot less stressful!

Sticking some cash or a check inside a graduation card is about the simplest way to go. But feel free to think of a fun alternative. There are several unique ways to give your graduate money. For example, do you happen to have a favorite book, that you feel your graduate might gain an elegant sort of wisdom from? How about bookmarking the inside cover with a check? Here are some other ideas from four different blogs:

Money as a gift

fun way to gift money

By Lovein’ Our Chaos

Book of Money

for the graduate

By Emmer’s Ideas

Graduate Glass Block

for the graduate

By Crafts Direct

Money Diploma

graduation gift

By Today’s Mama

Useful Gift Cards for Graduates

If you aren’t keen on giving cash, you can always give gift cards as a graduation gift. But try to make sure that the gift card is going to be useful to the grad! Whether it’s their graduation from high school or from college, try to find a gift card that can help them in the current stage of their life. Here are some useful gift card ideas you may consider:

  • Clothing: Your graduate may need a savvy outfit to land their dream job, so give them a gift card toward a clothing store such as Kohl’s, Macy’s, or JCPenny; you may be helping them more than you know! 
  • Electronics: Laptops, tablets, smartphones; you name, they want it! But it may be difficult to keep up with what devices they already own. Giving gift cards to electronic stores such as Newegg and Best Buy; is perfect for recent grads! Even if you know what type of device, you may not know exactly which model they want; so give them the freedom to choose!
  • FurnitureIs your grad moving into their first apartment? They may be in desperate need of furniture! What about giving gift cards for stores like Bed Bath and Beyond or IKEA?
  • FoodGift cards to restaurants are extremely useful to anyone living on a tight budget, not having to blow their budget but still enjoying a nice dinner every once in awhile can be a real nice treat. But you may also consider giving them gift cards to their local grocery stores; as a recent college graduate myself, I would consider this to be one of the most practical gift cards out there!

Graduation Gift Ideas

There are many practical ideas for graduation gifts out there to give your grad. Some examples are: a personalized leather portfolio, a nice photo frame with a date stamp, new gift for apartment, an engraved pen or business card holder.

What about a gift that is focused on the career of the graduate? For example, a future teacher might like a name plate, or a lawyer may enjoy a new briefcase. You may also consider if the grad will be relocating to a new city; consider finding them a nice city map or subway tokens.

With your careful thoughts and consideration, you can surely find the perfect gift for your graduate! Here are some examples:


Leather Portfolios

Frames or Albums

Coffee Makers

Business Card Case

Apartment Decor

Name Plate


Other FatWallet Blog Resources:

  • Post-Graduation Expenses: How to Prepare for a Healthy Financial Life After College
  • How to Not Get Hustled by Your Student Loans
  • 3 Money-Saving Tips for College Students
  • Student Laptop Buying Guide
  • 6 Creative Ways To Stop Starving and Start Paying Off Your Student Loans

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