From Affordable to Splurge-Worthy: The Best Graduation Gifts for High School & College Grads
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Graduation season has arrived! The last two years have been rough for all students, so it makes sense that the class of 2022 has so much to celebrate. When it comes to gift options, you can’t really go wrong with gift cards or a maybe a streaming subscription, but if you’ve been searching for a wider variety of thoughtful, affordable or splurge-worthy gifts, we’ve put together a list of over a dozen of the best gifts for high school, college grads and more.
From meaningful keepsakes to must-have gadgets, see our roundup of great gift ideas below.
Joycuff Graduation Bracelet
Joycuff has more than 26,000 positive customer reviews on Amazon, and this personalized cuff is among the fan favorites. The customized grad bracelet features an uplifting, engraved message and it arrives in a cute little gift box.
Amazon Fire 7 Tablet
Amazon’s new Fire 7 Tablet features an enhanced quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM. The device is available in black, blue or pink and it retails for just $60. Fire 7 tablet is equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen, 16 GB or 32 GB of storage (add up to 1TB of expandable storage with microSD) and up to 10 hours of reading, browsing the web, watching videos, listening to music and more.
Black Document & Photo Frame
This dual-opening graduation frame is perfect for commemorating academic achievements. The durable, black frame holds an 8.5-inch x 11-inch document and a 5-inch x 7-inch picture and it’s on sale for $20. Find more frames here.
Cannon R7 EOS Mirrorless Camera
For the grad who could use a professional camera, the high-performance EOS R7 is the most advanced APS-C camera from Canon. Perfect for dedicated professionals and novices, the versatile R7 is great for capturing photo and video, fast-action and more. The camera has high-speed, 30 fps capabilities, 32.5 MP sensor, DIGIC X image processor, 4K60p video among other features.
Sony LinkBuds S
LinkBuds S, the newest edition to Sony Electronics audio lineup, delivers immersive sound for listening to music but also taking calls, AR games and more. The battery lasts for six hours without the case and 14 hours with it.
Herschel Novel Mid-Volume Duffle
You can’t go wrong with a sturdy weekend bag. Designed to keep you organized on the go, the Hershel Novel Mid-Volume duffle back features a removable shoulder strap, a convenient side-access shoe compartment and it comes in a range of different colors.
Adidas Moves for Men Eau De Toilette Spray
Looking for an affordable fragrance? This aromatic spray from Adidas serves up a crisp and energetic fougère for exploring new grounds and embracing new challenges. The fragrance features earthy notes of muguet, sandalwood, oak moss and thyme, with top notes of green apple, anise, Italian parsley, peppermint, mandarin and black peppercorn, alongside elegant heart notes of cedarwood, musk, lavender and jasmine.
Gucci Men’s 3-Pc. Guilty Eau de Parfum Gift Set
Have more room in the fragrance budget? This Gucci Fragrance Gift Set for Men has earned thousands positive customer reviews. The Gucci Guilty Pour Homme Eau de Parfum is a mesmerizing, woody aromatic spicy fragrance. Rose and chili pepper create an unexpected and invigorating nostalgic vibe, while patchouli and cedarwood accentuate the fragrance’s “richness and sensuality.”
Chanel No. 5
Speaking of fresh scents, there’s nothing like a classic. Chanel No. 5 has been beloved for decades and its blooming scent makes it perfect for a new graduate. A full floral bouquet, Chanel No. 5 is composed around May rose and jasmine, with bright citrus top notes and a touch of bourbon vanilla. Chanel No. 5 is available at Sephora, Macy’s, Dillards and other major retailers.
Graduation Cap & Gown Cuff Links
Looking for a gift that’ll go with a cap and gown? Try these silver cuff links shaped like tiny grad caps.
Tarsus College Grad Bracelet
A new adventure begins! Gift a graduate with this motivational bracelet that comes with an inspirational card to help motivate them through this new chapter.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera
Who doesn’t love a picture-perfect selfie? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera gets the job done. This pint-sized camera measures 4.77-inches tall and 2.64-inches wide, making it small enough to slip right into a pocket or bag. Features include one-touch selfie mode, auto-exposure mode, shutter button customization, automatic exposure and automatic flash.
The Bucket List Journal
It’s never too soon to start checking off that bucket list! This gift-worthy keepsake allows you to keep your adventures in one place. The Bucket List Journal has enough space to document 20 bucket list experiences and it comes packaged in a mini keepsake bag with a foil-printed mini pencil.
Joy Wellness Journal
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so you can never have too many journal options. Regardless of whether you’re graduating, retiring or just getting started, finding joy is a key component to happiness. Gift a lucky grad with a thoughtful planner to keep them organized and on track.
Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones
For long commutes, studying, working or gaming, headphones make a great gift, and you can usually find a decent pair on sale. The Beats Solo 3 Wireless on-ear headphones are designed to immerse listeners in rich sound. These durable, foldable and wireless headphones provide up to 40 hours of battery life and they’re equipped with an Apple W1 chip that delivers one-touch pairing with other Apple devises and Siri integration.
Crosley CR8917B-wb Voyager Vintage Portable Turntable
Vinyl records are still a popular form of music media, so if you know a grad who could use a record player, this vintage-style Crosley Bluetooth turntable is a thoughtful gift item that can be treasured for years to come. It’s also available in a bunch of different colors. See more record players and turntables here.
Open Story Commuter Backpack
For the new grad who’s going places! This durable commuter backpack from Target is equipped with padded shoulder straps, a padded laptop pocket, heavy-duty zippers and a water bottle pocket. The bag is available in lilac, black and taupe. Want more variety? Click here.
Traveler’s Choice Pagosa Indestructible Hardshell Expandable Spinner Luggage
Know anyone who needs a nice luggage set? The Traveler’s Choice Pagosa 2-piece hard-shell luggage includes a 26-inch expendable spinner luggage, and a 22-inch carry-on. The smaller luggage features a built-in USB port, type C port and an interior power bank.
Fitbit Versa 3 Smartwatch
Smart watches are a dime a dozen, but it’s nice to know that you can find a reliable and durable device for under $200. The Fitbit Versa 3 can go from the gym to the office with ease. It features an always-on display and built-in voice control that allows you to check the weather, set reminders, speak and receive text replies, etc. It can also measure your heart rate, sleep time, and control Spotify, Pandora and other apps. Plus, you can make purchases from the watch and the battery can last you up to six days or more.
Personalized Graduation Blanket
Personalized gifts are the absolute best! This comfy blanket is available in 30 different colors and designs and in five different sizes. The blanket pictured above measures 30 inches x 40 inches.
Echo Dot (4th Gen.) Smart Speaker With Clock
More than 100 million Alexa-enabled speakers have been sold since 2018, so it’s safe to say that the Echo Dot should be on your gift list. The Echo Dot 4th generation smart speaker/clock maintains the signature compact design and delivers crisp vocals with balanced bass, and it’s compact enough to fit on a nightstand.
Marshall Emberton Bluetooth Portable Speaker
If you’re shopping for a go-anywhere, handheld speaker, try out the Marshall Emberton Bluetooth Speaker. Experience rich, immersive sound in the form of a 1.5 pound, water-resistant speaker equipped with 20+ hours of portable playtime on a single charge.
Unstable Unicorn might just end your friendships — but who needs friends when you have unicorns?! The goal of this strategic card game is to be the first person to collect seven Unicorns in your stable. Use Magic, Instant, Upgrade, and Downgrade cards to stop your opponents and win the game.
Find Your Happy Place Scented Candle
Finding your “happy place” can be a lifelong search, luckily this scented candle might just deliver a hit of euphoria. Under the Starlight is beautifully scented, single-wick candle that provides a room-filling fragrance of chamomile and sandalwood. Click here for more products from Find Your Happy Place.
Graduation Signature Board
The nice thing about this graduation board is that it works as a party favor, a personalized grad gift or a fun alternative to the typical graduation book. The board measures 11 inches x 17 inches and at only $10, you’ll have room in the budget for a second gift.
I Graduated Can I Go Back to Bed Now? T-Shirt
It’s not easy crossing the finish line. Gift your grad with a funny T-shirt that expresses just how it feels to pass all of your classes and walk the graduation stage. This cotton tee is available in 10 different colors and in sizes ranging from S-3X Large.
Nike Blazer Low ’77 Shoes
Cant go wrong with a new pair of kicks! The Nike Blazer Low ’77 sneakers are one of the top gift items on the brand’s website. The retro-style shoes is available in multiple colors and in men’s, women’s and kids sizes in low, mid and high-top designs.
Marc Jacobs Tote Bag
The Tote Bag by Marc Jacobs has an adjustable strap providing convenient carrying capabilities for the roomy canvas tote that folds flat for easy storage or travel. This tote is available at Nordstrom in black and tan. Find additional colors and sizes at MarcJacobs.com and Amazon. Need something more budget-friendly? This Adidas tote is on sale for $22.50.
Yes, it might seem odd to gift classes to a new graduate, but this isn’t your average course! Choose from over 150 classes in categories that include music, wellness, sports & gaming, writing, science & tech, business, arts and entertainment. Mariah Carey, Gordon Ramsay, Gloria Steinem, Hilary Clinton, Bill Nye, and Lewis Hamilton are some of the popular Masterclass courses available.
MacBook Pro 13-Inch
For the post-grad in need of a new computer, MacBook Pros are among the best. This sleek laptop is equipped with a 13-inch display screen and the Apple-designed M1 chip offering a faster and more improved CPU, GPU and machine learning performance. On a tighter budget? This 14-inch HP Chromebook is one sale at Target for $240.
Galaxy S22, 128GB
If you happen to know a grad who needs a new smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S22 is worth every penny. The S22 is ultra-slim, with an excellent camera that has three lenses (12mp, 50mp and 10 mp) and exceptional video that records virtually blurless and stable content, even if you’re on the move. Click here for details on how to get the S22 for free and here for deals on iPhone 13 and more. Another popular phone that doubles as a grad gift: Google Pixel 6.
Vivi Electric Bike for Adults
Electric bikes became a hot commodity in the early months of the pandemic and the popularity hasn’t died down. With Memorial Day right around the corner, the unofficial start of summer is closer than you may think, so why not give a grad with a new e-bike?
GTXRacing Gaming Chair
Having the right equipment can improve your game. This GTR Racing gaming chair is one of the more affordable options in the brand’s extensive collection. It features an ergonomic design with a strong metal base, adjustable armrest and seat height, a removable headrest pillow and a weight capacity of 350 pounds.
Speaking of gaming, perhaps you know someone who wants a new Playstation? There’s no denying that the PS5 is one of the hottest consoles on the market and with chip shortages and supply delays, they’ve become increasingly hard to find. If you don’t want to take your chances on a PS5 restock, you can get a console at Walmart, Amazon and other retailers, but expect to spend at least $700. Find more PS5 retailers here.
LG 43-Inch LED 4K UHD
For those graduates who are thinking about moving out or upgrade their home theater, electronics are a welcomed gift option. This LG UHD features Ultra High Definition in a 4K display, and a powerful processor that enhances color, contrast, and clarity.
Keurig K-Duo Single Serve Coffee Maker
But first, coffee! For the grad who needs a cup of joe before heading out on the daily grind, the Keurig K-Duo Single Serve and Carafe Coffee Maker has thousands of positive reviews. Use ground coffee or Keurig K-cup pods to make the perfect brew in six, eight, 10 or 12-inch cup sizes. An included 12-cup glass carafe and heating plate are perfect to keep your java hot and the pause and pour feature makes serving easy and convenient. Want a more intense single cup? Use the Strong Brew button.
Cheman Mutlifunctional Air-Fryer
Air fryers, indoor/outdoor grills and cookwear are nice gifting options for new grads. This multifunctional 10-liter digital air fryer with rotisserie and dehydrator function handles cooking, baking, air frying and over a dozen preset options. Highly efficient rapid air technology and high-speed convection system, means that users get even, crispy fried texture using little to no oil.