11 Best Gifts For College Graduates For 2018

I can’t believe another school year has passed! A whole new group of students graduate college next month, ready to enter the “real” world. You may be looking for the best gifts for college graduates for 2018 to reward them for their hard work and help prepare them for the next stage in life. There are many ways you can balance the two and give them something useful.

Cash is a certainly a cool gift for college graduates but think outside the box to give a gift they’ll actually enjoy and need. You can give a practical gift like money towards a professional outfit or something more fun like wireless headphones. Just make sure to pair it with their personality and what they will need to succeed in the next phase in life.

best gifts for college graduates for 2018


Buying gifts can be a challenge, especially for such a momentous event. If you’re looking for how to recognize the student in your life, here are the best college graduation gifts for 2018 that balance practicality and recognition:

1. High-Yield Savings Account


Everyone needs a high-yield savings account. Not only is it important to store your money somewhere safe, but it’s also great to earn interest on your money

Most traditional banks offer super low-interest rates to customers so your hard-earned money accrues only pennies per year at best.

With a high-yield savings account, you can lock in a more competitive interest rate for your savings.

CIT Bank pays 1.55 percent interest on savings accounts. That’s 22x the national average! They even offer money market accounts that pay 1.75 percent if the student will need check writing privileges.

There is a minimum deposit requirement of $100 to open an account so make sure to keep that in mind.

If you plan to give cash, putting it in a high-yield account can be one of the best gifts for college graduates. Not only can it be the foundation of an emergency fund, but it can also give them the ability to start saving as soon as possible.

2. Coffee Maker 


Investing in a quality coffee maker is a great way to save money on expensive lattes. While some coffee lovers remember to purchase new, updated coffee makers, there are others who definitely procrastinate. Why not help them out?

This coffee maker from Cuisinart would serve as a perfect housewarming gift for the graduate moving into their own home or after college. It’s programmable and has a 24-hour advance brew start so you can program it and move on to other things.

3. Business Card Holder 


Attending networking events and job fairs without business cards might lead to missed opportunities. Rather than letting this happen to your graduate, buy them some business cards. And they’ll probably need something to put them in.

This business card holder from MaxGear can be a good graduation gift for him, while this Kate Spade business card holder works great for her.

4. Instant Pot 


Everyone secretly wants one of these! An Instant Pot allows you to cook meals simply and in less than half the time that it would normally take using the stove-top or oven.

There are plenty of ways to use an Instant Pot: pressure cook, slow cook, saute, steam, make cakes, make yogurt, cook rice, warm food – pretty much anything you can think of.  It also comes with a collection of recipes to try and a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty (just make sure you register for it).

This is a great gift for college graduates who might not have time to cook or are new to cooking. It’s cheaper and often healthier to cook your meals at home and an Instant Pot can help with that.

5. Computer Bag 


Another nice college graduation gift is a computer bag. It’s one of those things that everyone wants but is often cost-prohibitive.

A quality bag like this one from My Best Friend is a Bag is probably one of the best graduation gifts for her.

This leather one from Texbo is perfect for him or someone who wants a more practical bag that will protect your device from accidental damages.

6. Tool Set 


Everyone needs a tool set. If your graduate is moving out or buying a new place after college, or if you’re a parent who’s tired of your child stealing your tool set, consider this set from Stanley.

It will provide them with almost everything they need for small projects around the house (or even side hustles).

7. Amazon Prime Membership


Who doesn’t love Amazon? With an Amazon Prime membership, you can enjoy free 2-day for Amazon orders, watch thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Video, stream songs and playlists, get free Kindle e-books, unlimited photo storage, and more. As a result, this makes an excellent gift for college graduates.

You can purchase a one-year Prime gift membership for $99 or a three-month Prime gift membership for $38.97, plus the applicable taxes on Amazon.com.

8. Personal Finance Book


A personal finance book is probably one of the best gifts for college graduates with little experience managing their finances. I’ve heard many financial success stories about books motivating people fix or improve their finances.

There are so many great books about paying off debt, retirement and saving, money management, and self-employment.

If this seems like something your graduate needs, check out this giant list of personal finance books on Amazon for the best finance book recommendations.

9. Gift Cards


When in doubt, go with gift cards. If you know the person is picky, or just hasn’t really pinpointed what types of gifts they’d need or want, gift cards save the day.

Gift cards allow the recipient to choose what they want using your money so it’s a win-win. Your gift card choice doesn’t have to be boring, either.

If you’re unsure about what they like, Raise is a great option to find a variety of different gift cards – from clothing to home needs and more.

10. Wireless Headphones 


Wireless headphones are great for commuters using public transit, fitness junkies, or even media lovers who want to tune in to their favorite music or YouTube videos without disturbing everyone.

These Beats Studio3 wireless headphones are high-quality and great to use at or away from work. If you’re looking for one of the more fun gifts for college graduates, wireless headphones can be a hit.


11. Towel Set and Sheet Set 


Help your graduate #adult with this luxury but reasonably priced sheet set from Mellanni. If they’re good on sheets, this Turkish Cotton towel set is a also good graduation gift idea.

These simple items are often overlooked but everyone ends up buying them. Why not save someone money by purchasing them as a gift?

No matter what your budget is, there are plenty of options when it comes to gift ideas for college graduates. All of these gift ideas are useful and will help make their lives easier in some way.


What are some of your favorite gifts for college graduates? How much do you budget for buying gifts? Do you think it’s more important to get something fun or something more practical for a college graduate?

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