Practical Gift Ideas for Graduates

Graduation giftEvery year, as the school year comes to a close, millions of gift buyers find themselves asking the same question—“What do I get the graduates?”

Money is a much-appreciated and easy choice, and writing a check in the amount of the graduation year (for example, $20.13) has become a popular trend. But some gift givers look for slightly more personalized options.

Here are some ways to combine the best of both ideas—“money” in the form of a gift card (which, to be honest, grads love receiving) with a personalized twist. If you’re still shopping for graduation gifts, here are a few great ideas.

A custom Visa gift card. This can be used wherever Visa debit or credit cards are accepted. Although the gift card itself is almost universal, you can add a unique twist. Upload a photo and add text to design your own gift card. Try these photo ideas—the graduate with friends at school, a pic of him in his cap and gown or a sentimental photo of him in kindergarten.

University gift card. Many colleges and universities sell gift cards that can be redeemed in the cafeteria, bookstore or other school-sponsored venues. Help the grad get ready for his next step by giving him something he can use to purchase books, college gear, dorm accessories or school supplies.

A gift card for travel. Whether they’re heading across the country or just across town, most graduates will need transportation to get there. Give a gift card for gas or airfare along with a copy of Dr. Seuss’ book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”—a favorite gift for recent grads.

A department store gift card. If you’re buying for a college graduate (or a high school grad who’s headed right into the working world), a gift card for new clothes can help him or her purchase appropriate job interview apparel, something most students don’t have hanging in their closet.

Starbucks (or other coffee shop) gift card. Coffee shops are a favorite hangout for students, and caffeinated beverages may come in handy for all-nighters. Plus, a gift card like this can make a poor college student feel like she can indulge in her favorite Frappuccino or latte without the guilt.

A grocery store gift card. Buying essentials like toothpaste, deodorant, toilet paper or study break snacks might come as a shock to a new college co-ed who’s never had to shop for these things. A gift card for essentials may help ease that transition.

Any other ideas that you’d like to share with us? What grad gifts have you given that have been most appreciated?

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