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10 Unique Gift Ideas For The High School Or College Graduate

With graduation right around the corner, plenty of loved ones will be shopping for the perfect graduation gift. For some, the hunt will be the perfect gift for college students. For others, careful thought will be put into the right high school graduation gift. Whatever celebration you have got going on this graduation season, here are some great graduation ideas to celebrate the next step in your loved one’s life.

Ditch The Flowers, Stick With A Gift Card


Yes, flowers are pretty. And yes, they make the photos look nice. But for most grads, pretty and nice won’t cut it. Skip the flowers this year and opt for a practical gift that your graduate will appreciate. Gift cards to their favorite stores will go a lot farther than roses or carnations will, especially if you are looking for a gift for a girl. Nothing says I’m so happy for you quite like a gift card to Ulta or Forever 21. If you’re afraid a gift card doesn’t send the most thoughtful or heartfelt message, don’t worry. It’s a changing world where the younger generations can appreciate a great gift card when they get one.


This next graduation idea is another practical gift you can invest in. Literally. Once your graduate finishes school, they are going to have to get on the adulting bus pretty soon. What better way to prepare them than teach them the value of managing finances. A great way to do this is by gifting them with shares of stock to get them on the path of financial stability. Companies like Stockpile and Sparkgift offer customers the ability to buy and gift fractions of different stocks from nearly any available company. This is a great graduation gift for young investors who already own stock. If your graduate is new to the investing game, even better. Their first ownership of stock will allow them to start their journey of financial stability sooner rather than later.

An Experience


Another graduation gift that every graduate is sure to enjoy is an experience. Especially since younger generations have clearly voiced in numerous polls that that would prefer an experience to materialistic things. The great thing about gifting an experience is the range of options available to you. If you’re a friend or a coworker on a budget, you can gift an affordable experience like a spa day or wine tasting trip at a local vineyard. You can find a range of experiences on sites like Groupon at relatively affordable rates. For parents or grandparents, gifting experiences such as trips or cruises are great ways to tell your child that you’re proud of their hard work.

A Fitted Blazer

This next graduation gift is the perfect gift for college students. After college, the hunt for a career starts. Give your graduate a leg up by gifting a high quality professional blazer. Not only will they appreciate the practical gift, but it will give them a boost up in confidence when they enter the interview room. Just be sure to include a gift receipt with this gift in the event your graduate wants to change the color or size of the blazer.

A Subscription


For your high school graduate who is getting ready to go off to college, this next gift is perfect. Consider gifting a month or even year-long subscription to a company or product you know your graduate will get use out of. Some subscriptions that make great graduation gifts include Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and even food services like Blue Apron. There are also plenty of makeup subscription companies that would make great gifts for college girls. Birchbox and Target Beauty Box are just some of the great makeup subscriptions that would make great graduation gifts for girls.

Personalized Jewelry

A great gift for college girls that is always appreciated is personalized jewelry. Jewelry, especially necklaces and bracelets that have sentimental or symbolic meaning, is sure to make any girl smile. My favorite go-to customized jewelry includes bracelets with inscribed messages. Personalized jewelry makes great gifts for girls especially when it comes from a significant other.

Content-Centered Gifts


A fun graduation gift for college students is a content-centered gift. If you have a graduate who majored in mathematics, then a great graduation gift would be any practical item that has to deal with math. If you have a budding teacher as a graduate, then a gift basket full of classroom supplies and goodies will make the transition into her new career a smooth one. You can’t go wrong with a content centered gift. Especially if it’s a practical gift that they can make use out of.

Diploma Frame

Graduation is expensive, especially when you’re getting ready to graduate from a university. One of the best gifts any graduate will be happy to get is a frame to display their hard-earned diploma. Not only will you help curb expenses for the new graduate, but this practical gift will be cherished for life. For some, a frame for a diploma may not seem like a creative gift. But as a recipient of a diploma frame, I have to say, this was one of the best gifts that I absolutely loved and used.

Notes From Past Teachers


This next graduation gift has got to be my favorite gift, but unfortunately, there is some planning behind it. A lifetime’s worth of planning that is. If you have young children who are just starting school, this is a great gift to start planning for now. Pick out a children’s picture book that has a heavy theme of success and growing up. My favorite book (and the one I plan to use with my own children) is Oh The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss. Once you have your storybook picked out, take a picture of you and your child reading the book together. Now, at the end of every school year, take the book to your child’s teacher and have each one of them write an encouraging note in the book. You will want to start somewhere on the inside of the cover and have your child’s teachers sign the first pages of the book. You want to keep your child’s teachers in chronological order, so try and keep all the first grade teachers together, second grade teachers together and so on. Encourage your child’s teachers to write on every blank space they can. It also helps to encourage the teachers to write about a favorite memory they had with your child. It will make the gift more memorable. Keep this tradition going until your child’s senior year of high school. When they graduate, they will have a childhood story that is full of memories of their childhood education.

Emails From The Past

This next idea is a digital spin on the previous graduation gift. Like the childhood storybook with teacher notes, this graduation gift will need some pre-graduation planning. You can choose to start on your child’s first birthday, or if you would like, you can choose to start at the end of your child’s first school year. Once you have a starting point. You will need to create an email account for your child. Each year your child grows older, write them a thoughtful email about their accomplishments and how proud you are of them. Once you have written the email, send it to the email address that you created for them. On the date of their graduation, simply present them with the email address and password to the account in a nice box or envelope. The letters will be a sweet reminder for them about the years that have gone by. Along with this, the letters are a great way to fight off homesickness if your graduate decides to move away to college.

I hope that these ideas can give you some inspiration for your favorite high school or college grad!


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