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36 thoughtful (and useful) gifts for every kind of college graduate

Send them something special to show how proud you are of their work.
Etsy ; Winc ; Mark & Graham

They've pulled hundreds of all-nighters, spent their last dollars on coffee cups and now they're getting that coveted diploma. To be a college graduate is one of the biggest achievements in someone's life. It requires grit, perseverance and passion — and that deserves a prize!

According to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau, there's been an increase of five percentage points in people 25 years or older with a bachelor's degree from 2005–2009 to 2015–2019. This is enough reason to celebrate your college graduate with a small present and show them how proud you are.

Whether they challenged their brain through nursing school to become a healthcare worker or took an extra shift to finish their internship, we've rounded up a list of college graduation gifts for every kind of student. Here are some well-deserved items to prepare them for the workforce and adulthood.

To shop by category, simply click on the links below:

Best college graduation gift ideas

Custom Map Print

This custom map print would look great in their first apartment. If they’re moving to a brand new state or country, this housewarming gift would help them make their new place feel like home!

"The Defining Decade," by Meg Jay

Post-grad is the perfect time to get inspired and find your true passion, but it should also be one of the best times of your life! This inspirational book written by Meg Jay is filled with tools and encouragement to help your recent graduate make the most of their twenties.

Mark & Graham Leather Resume Portfolio

With college graduation hopefully comes job interviews! One way you can help your recent grad look extra professional while on the job hunt is by gifting them this leather resume portfolio from Mark & Graham. It can hold a legal pad for notes, and there’s also a place for business cards and a slot for various documents. For a personal touch, you can add a monogram for an extra charge.

Winc Gift Card

After years of drinking cheap beer, post-grad life is the perfect time to find your wine of choice. With a Winc gift card, you can help them explore new bottles with a specialty wine subscription box. Each month they send you three bottles of wine based on the quiz you take when you first join. You can even gift one-, two- or three-month subscriptions.

Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker

The “real world” is filled with early mornings and long hours. This Keurig coffee machine would make a great gift to help them get through endless days at their new job.

Custom Passport Holder

Help them plan and prepare for future international trips with this monogrammed passport holder from Etsy.

HelloFresh Gift Card

Whether they’ve never cooked a meal in their life or consider themselves a home chef, a HelloFresh meal delivery kit would be an awesome gift since the recipes are tasty and easy to make. They have hassle-free step-by-step recipes and offer four different meal plans including meat and veggies, veggie-only, family-friendly and low-calorie.

Gibson Home Rockaway Dinnerware Set

Help them get started on stocking up on apartment necessities with this 12-piece dinnerware set. It comes with four dinner plates, four dessert plates and four bowls — and they’re made in nine different colors.

Dragonn Natural Bamboo Cheese Board

Every adult should have at least one cheese board for all of their hosting needs. This one is great because it also comes with cheese-spreading utensils that can be stored in a convenient slide-out drawer.

"Adulting," by Kelly Williams Brown

This book is funny, wise and useful for anyone who recently graduated from college. From the wise words of Kelly Williams Brown, she makes adulting in the “real world” seem less scary and more approachable, manageable, and even conquerable in 535 easy steps.

Stanley Home Tool Kit

Whether they’re moving into an apartment right away or want to save up for a few months, they’re bound to need a hammer or two while moving in or out of their place. This tool kit is compact, sleek and the perfect way to help them get started.

Amazon Gift Card

When in doubt, get them a gift card! There’s bound to be something they need or want from Amazon.

Best college graduation gifts for her

Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote

A work bag is a necessity for their first job! This one from Longchamp will match all of her outfits, fit everything she needs for the day and is super easy to clean.

Baggallini Modern Everywhere Laptop Backpack

If you think she’d prefer a backpack for her morning commute, this everyday backpack from Baggallini is another great option. It's made of a water-resistant material that is easy to clean. It has enough room and pockets for most 13-inch laptops, a change of clothes and shoes for an after-work workout, a packed lunch and more. It even has a dedicated spot for things like your lip balm, keys and phone.

Figs Zamora Jogger Style Scrub Pants

If she's embarking on a career in healthcare, help her survive long hours at the hospital with these comfy and versatile joggers. The pants have an anti-wrinkle material, moisture-wicking properties and five pockets for maximum convenience. This one will keep her badge and essentials in place while running through the hallway.

Rent The Runway Gift Card

First impressions are extremely important when it comes to interviewing for a job. A Rent the Runway gift card will give them access to hundreds of high-end clothing and accessories to make them look best for the moments that matter most!

Efytal Graduation Compass Necklace

This thoughtful necklace has a dainty compass pendant which will encourage the new graduate to enjoy the post-grad journey.

Kendra Scott Elisa Pendant Necklace

For a trendier jewelry gift, go for this Kendra Scott Elisa necklace. It’s perfect for everyday wear and will add a bit of sparkle to any outfit, whether she rocks it to the office or on a date.

Fred & Friends Copper Party Cup

The fun doesn't have to stop once college is over! Upgrade her red Solo cup to a sleeker, copper party cup for all of her new favorite mature cocktails.

Women's Clove Shoe

For those college grads that will withstand long shifts and standing hours, gift them this pair of kicks from Clove. The brand was created for nurses specifically but the shoes can be worn in any kind of field. These shoes are designed with fluid-repellent uppers, OrthoLite inserts and for long-lasting comfort. "It is comfortable even if I work 12 hours shift [it still feels good]," said one reviewer.

Best college graduation gifts for him

Samsonite Convertible Briefcase

If they’re working behind a desk after graduation, a briefcase is a useful and thoughtful gift to prepare them for their first job. This one from Samsonite is lightweight, sturdy and has plenty of space to organize all of his work essentials.

The Tie Bar Shirts

Help him give a great first impression on his first day of work with a crisp set of dress shirts from The Tie Bar.

Fossil Men's Stainless Steel Watch

You can’t go wrong with a nice quality watch. This stainless steel and leather chronograph quartz watch is the perfect gesture for any guy graduating from college. It would look great with a suit or weekend attire.

Tommy Hilfiger Men's York Magnetic Wallet

Now that he'll be making real money, he needs a place to put it! This leather Tommy Hilfiger wallet is sophisticated and offers a lot of room for an array of cards, plus it has RFID technology to keep his information safe.

Uncommon Goods Urban Map Glasses

If he’s longing for the good ‘ole days already, get him a set of these unique glasses featuring a map of his old college town.

Uncommon Goods Upcycled Record Coasters

For an even more upgraded cocktail setup, get him these upcycled record coasters from Uncommon Goods. If he loves music, he'll totally appreciate that they're made out of reclaimed records while he kicks back.

Mark & Graham Custom Cufflinks

Custom cufflinks are a special and thoughtful gift for a new graduate. This pair from Mark & Graham is made out of sterling silver in a classic square shape and created in New York.

Best college graduation gifts from parents

Amazon Echo Dot

The Amazon Echo allows you to do things like voice control your music and other smart appliances.

Society6 Framed Print

This piece from Society6 would look great in their new place. It can be placed in various frame colors like white, black, brown or red and comes in sizes as large as 26 x 38 inches.

Fitbit Luxe

Help them stay on top of their fitness game with the Fitbit Luxe. The latest version of this smartwatch has tons of beneficial capabilities including all-day (and -night) activity tracking, a vibrant display, essential wellness tools to track your stress, heart rate and sleep, and a five-day battery life.

UrbanStems The Sol

One way to show your recent graduate how proud you are of them is with flowers. This arrangement from UrbanStems is mixed with gorgeous yellow and white flowers with a pop of greenery.

Apple TV 4K

An Apple TV would be an awesome upgrade to any living room. You can stream movies and shows from hundreds of different apps including Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO, YouTube and use Siri to control it all with your voice.

Maya Brenner 14K Gold Asymmetrical Letter Necklace

While this personalized necklace from Maya Brenner might be on the more expensive side, it's a timeless piece that should last them for many years to come. It's made out of 14K gold and allows you to customize it with your daughter's initials for a personal touch.

Away "The Bigger Carry-On" Suitcase

Get them ready for future work trips and fun travel weekends with a suitcase from Away. "The Bigger Carry-On" is made out of a durable polycarbonate shell, includes two compartments to stay organized, has a TSA-approved combination lock to keep your things safe, and comes with a black leather luggage tag that can be customized.

Apple AirPods Pro

If they don't already own a pair, the new AirPods are perfect for long work commutes or working out. They're sweat and water-resistant, noise-canceling and give you quick access for anything you need to ask Siri.

Top Flite Golf Clubs

Golf is a universal sport that many companies like to take part in for business. To get your son or daughter on their best game, get a set of golf clubs to help them master their skill.

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