8 Great Gift Ideas for Your High School Graduate

The sounds of Pomp & Circumstance fill the air as we approach graduation season. When your graduate closes the door to childhood, you want to give him a gift that reflects that milestone. Stuck for ideas? No matter what your budget, you are sure to find a great gift for your graduate here:

Spirit wear – Help your recent grad blend in at their new school by getting them some college spirit wear. Contact the school directly or go online to PrepSportsWear.com. They have an amazing database of colleges in the U.S and Canada.

Luggage – Maybe your grad is taking a year off and plans to travel. Whether they are traveling first class or backpacking across the country, they need something to hold their things. For daily use, consider purchasing a book bag for walking around campus or a duffle bag for the gym.

Toolkit – If your grad is planning to move out of Mom and Dad’s house, they won’t have access to Dad’s toolbox. A basic toolkit from your local hardware store includes screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer, measuring tape and other handy tools.

Gift cards – Gift cards are a one-size-fits-all type of gift. New college students might appreciate a gas card or a gift card to Walmart, where they can pick up food, toiletries or household items. IKEA sells inexpensive furniture for small spaces.

A Basket of Goodies – Whether your grad is starting out in his first apartment or headed to the dorm, he will appreciate a basket full of essentials. Fill a laundry basket with snack foods, toiletries, a sewing kit, and a roll of quarters for the Laundromat.

Books – A classic graduation book is Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” which is an inspirational graduation sendoff for all ages. For practical college advice, try “The Secrets of College Success” by Lynn F. Jacobs. To record their college experiences, consider buying a 5-year journal.

Money – The most popular gift for grads is cash. The question is always, “How much should I spend?” Check out Simchabucks.com for a cash gift calculator.  Fill in your relationship to grad, state the event takes place, who the gift is from and your household income to receive a dollar amount suggestion.

Homemade gift – If you have the time to make it, a homemade gift is a heartfelt one. Make a pillow or quilt out of high school and sports t-shirts. Put together a scrap book of high school memories and include theatre programs, sports medals and football programs. Create a photo montage of pictures from Kindergarten to graduation and present it at her party.


Pam Molnar is the mother of a high graduate this year. With a summer filled with parties to celebrate the Class of 2018, she will have the perfect gift for all the graduates in her life.

Guest Contributor