No matter if they’re finishing high school or college, graduation is a massive accomplishment in the life of any student. It’s been years of dedication to get to the finish line, and it’s almost time to throw those caps high in celebration of their hard work. But before you watch those tassels soar into the sky, you might be thinking of the perfect gift to give your grad to mark this monumental occasion. 

While cash may be king when it comes to graduation gift giving, our expert editors have put together a list of gifts for your grad that are equal parts trendy and practical. These gifts will not only help them as they move into the next phase of adulthood, but they’ll be cool enough to make them actually want to put them to use. 

From a hip pair of Nikes to a practical laundry backpack, our editors have rounded up the best graduation gift ideas of 2024. Our eclectic mix of graduation gift ideas spans a wide range of interests and budgets, so you’re sure to find something your grad (and your wallet!) will love.

A Retro Mini-Fridge

For the college-bound grad, this Frigidaire Mini Fridge makes a fun gift that is also incredibly practical. It can hold six cans and only weighs three pounds. It has a retro design that would look great in any dorm room. Get it on Amazon for $30.

Pillow Slides

Another great choice for the college-bound grad are these 32 Degrees Pillow Slides. Not only will they make great shower shoes, they come in a variety of colors and two different trendy styles, which make them appropriate for everyday wear as well. Get them at 32 Degrees for $12.99 per pair.

A Gratitude Journal

The transition from high school to college can be filled with lots of emotions, questions, and uncertainties. A journal like the Five Minute Journal will help allow your grad to get into the practice of expressing gratitude and staying present during this transitional time in their lives. Get it on Amazon for $28.99

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera

You can help your grad capture all the core memories to come by gifting them this retro-inspired Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera. This camera produces instant photographs and comes in a variety of trendy pastel colors. Get it for $74.99 at Amazon

Ninja Blast Portable Blender 

This Ninja Blast Portable Blender is a great gift for soon-to-be college students to help them stay healthy on the go. This portable blender fits in most standard-size cup holders and comes with a USB charging cable and a sip lid with a handle. It allows you to blend smoothies or protein shakes on the go. Get it at Kohl’s for $70.

lululemon Dual Pouch Wristlet 

The lululemon Dual Pouch Wristlet is a popular choice for young adults who might not want to bring a full bag with them everywhere. It comes with two zippered pockets to help keep small items like cash, cards, or keys secured while you’re on the go. It’s available in ten trendy color schemes. Get it at lululemon for $48.

Boba Tea Kit 

If your grad is a boba tea connoisseur, then this J WAY Instant Boba Bubble Pearl Variety Milk Fruity Tea Kit would make a super fun graduation gift. It comes with ten servings of four different boba flavors they can make at home.Get it for $20.54 at Amazon

Homesick Candle 

These popular Homesick Candles have a line of candles specially designed to capture the essence of each state. If your grad is headed out of state for college, then a candle from their home state would make a sweet reminder of all the people back home who care about them. Shop the collection at Homesick Candles.

Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker 

Coffee will be an absolute necessity when your grad heads off to college! The Keurig K-Mini is sleek and slim enough to be stored in their dorm room, so they won’t have to make the long journey to the dining hall to grab a cup of joe.Pick one up at Amazon for $89. 

Apple Air Tags 

A pack of Apple Air Tags will certainly come in handy to help your grad keep track of all their valuables during the chaos of shuffling from class to class. Get a 4-pack on Amazon for $79. 

Coach Wristlets 

A wristlet is a practical (and cute!) gift for soon-to-be college students. It’s a great way to store essentials like their school ID and credit cards or cash to take with them from class to class. We love these Coach wristlets and can often find them on sale for under $30 shipped. Check them out at Coach Outlet.

A New Pair of Nikes 

If your grad is a sneakerhead or a fashionista, then they will surely appreciate a fresh pair of Nikes, especially the popular Nike Dunk style. With a variety of colorways to choose from, you’ll surely be able to find a pair to match their style. Prices range from $115-$130 at Nike

Stanley Quencher H2.0 FlowState Tumbler 

On the off chance that they don’t already have one, a Stanley Quencher tumbler is a great gift for your grad. You can grab them one of the latest shades, like Matcha Cream or Peony, in either a 30-ounce or 40-ounce size to help them hit their hydration goals.Get them for $35-$45 at Stanley. 

A Planner

With college on the horizon, there are going to be lots of assignments, events, and goals to keep track of. Gifting your grad an undated planner like this Purpose Planner is a great idea to help them keep everything organized. We like this planner in particular, because it encourages goal setting and will help them stay focused on the bigger picture. Get it at Amazon for $29.87. 

Beats Studio 3 Headphones 

A pair of noise-canceling headphones, like these Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones, will be a great gift to help your grad tune the world out to stay focused during study sessions. Get them at Amazon for $159.99.

Weighted Blanket 

Being away from home for the first time can be a little anxiety-inducing, and a weighted blanket may help new college students calm down to get a good night's sleep. This Tranquility Temperature Balancing 12lb Weighted Blanket is a great pick that’s antimicrobial and easy on the wallet.Get it for $24 at Walmart.

Bluetooth Speaker

A high-quality Bluetooth speaker, like this JBL FLIP 6 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, is a great gift for any grad who is into music. They can listen to their favorite tunes while studying in their dorm room or take it to the beach to jam with their friends. Get it for $99.99 at A4C. 

A Trendy New Backpack 

Chances are that their old high school backpack could use a style upgrade for college. Gifting them a high-quality backpack like this lululemon Everywhere Backpack will send them off to class in style. Get it at lululemon for $78.

A Combo Whiteboard/Bulletin Board

This combination Magnetic Whiteboard & Felt Bulletin Board will help students keep all their important deadlines and assignments front and center. It will also help them decorate their dorm rooms by allowing them to pin mementos and photos. Get it at Amazon for $32. 

Apple Watch

If you're in the market to splurge a little, an Apple Watch is a great gift for grads. They can use it to pay hands-free at the dining hall, keep track of their activity, and set important reminders for project deadlines. The latest-generation Series 9 Apple Watch starts at $329 on Amazon.

A Super Soft Throw Blanket

A super soft throw blanket, like these Barefoot Dreams CozyChic throws will help them stay comfortable in their new dorm environment. They usually sell for around $100, but we sometimes find them on sale for around $60. Check them out at Nordstrom Rack.

Laundry Backpack

Going off to college comes with the harsh reality of doing your own laundry. Lighten the load by gifting your grad this handy Laundry Backpack. It will make it much easier to haul their laundry to the wash instead of schlepping it in a big tote. Get it for $17 at Amazon.

A Cozy Pair of Slippers 

A cozy pair of slippers makes a great gift for just about anyone, but especially for college kids who want to stay comfy in their dorms. We like these Australian Shearling Scuff Slippers from Quince. They’re the closest dupe to UGGs we’ve found but cost half the price. Get them for $49.90 at Quince. 

A Custom Neon Name Sign 

One of these custom neon name signs will help your grad add some serious pizzazz to their dorm room. We recommend getting the 20-inch size which you can customize with up to ten letters. Get it on Amazon for $23-$51.

A Convenient Piece of Luggage 

With trips back home for holidays and potential opportunities to study aboard on the horizon, your crazy will surely appreciate a piece of functional and stylish luggage. Our pick is this Coolife Luggage Suitcase, which gives the look of higher-end luggage brands like Away but costs nearly $200 less. Get it on Amazon for $99.99.

A Plush Bathrobe 

A nice bathrobe is something your grad may not yet have, but will definitely appreciate when they’re out living on their own. We like this Amazon Essentials Waffle-Knit Robe because it has over 10,000 positive reviews and comes in a variety of trendy pastel colors. Get it for $35 on Amazon.

Rocketbook Smart Notebook 

This Rocketbook Smart Notebook is an awesome choice for college students to help them keep all their notes in one place. This hand notebook allows them to use the Rocketbook app to upload their handwritten notes to the email or cloud service of your choice. It’s reusable and comes with a pen and cleaning cloth. Get it on Amazon for around $30. 

A Chic Candle Warmer 

A stylish candle warmer, like this Vintage-Inspired Candle Warmer Lamp will allow them to safely enjoy their scented candles in their dorm rooms while adding a touch of glamor to their space. Get it on Amazon for $19.99. 

Gift Cards

For high school grads going into college, you could get them a restaurant gift card to their favorite restaurant. This will give them a few options once the dining hall food has lost its allure. Get a $200 gift card for $35 at Stacksocial. 


Let’s face it, college is expensive! When it comes to giving a gift to a recent graduate of either high school or college, you can be sure that your grad will likely appreciate any bit of cash they can get. 

To jazz up your gift, you may want to consider packaging it clippable pouch, like this lululemon Clippable pouch, or a wallet, like this Coach Compact Billfold Wallet.