Off to College

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The decision has been made to go off to college. For parents, sending a child off to college for the first time isn't easy. It represents a change from life as it has always been. But for the student, it can be the most exciting time of his or her young life. Much planning and preparation is needed - new college bound students need stuff!

When considering a gift for the college bound graduate, keep in mind what their needs might be. Will they have a car? Will they live in a dorm? It is important to remember that children do not need to take all the comforts of home with them – the less taken, the less hassle moving in and out of dorm rooms and apartments – a lesson generally learned by their sophomore year.

For the college bound student, there are numerous gift ideas to consider in all price ranges. TIP – For help in choosing the right gift, check to see if your graduate has a Graduation Gift Registry. There you will find gift ideas that you know the graduate wants and needs.

Gifts for the College Bound

Money and Gift Cards


Money is always an appreciated gift for the college bound student. Most college students don't have lots of cash and must live on a budget. Any money saved beforehand is a plus. Even rolls of quarters are great for those who must use a laundromat.

Gift cards for local gasoline stations, restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores and movie theaters are thoughtful gifts and will not be wasted.

Technology Gifts

Gone are the days of the electric typewriter, window fans & hair dryers in circular carrying cases. Today's high school graduates carry more sophisticated electronics. Because kids will be carrying cell phones, tablets and laptop computers, they're never really out of touch. They are always accessible making the transition for parents and students much easier. Here are some of the most desired graduation tech gifts:

  • Smart Phone
  • Tablet Computer
  • HDTV
  • Netflix or Hulu Subscription
  • Bluetooth Speakers or Stereo System
  • Laptop Computer
  • Printer/Scanner combo and surge protector
  • iPod
  • Digital Camera
  • GPS for car

Practical Gifts

Consider something practical for the college bound. If you show up at the graduation party with a practical gift for the graduate, rest assured it will be put to good use. These gift ideas are especially useful for dorm or apartment living:

  • Alarm Clock
  • Microwave
  • Dorm size fridge
  • Full length mirror
  • Over the door hooks
  • Laundry bag or basket
  • Small white board or bulletin board
  • Shower caddy & rubber flip flops
  • Inflatable guest bed
  • Collegiate throw blanket
  • Mattress protector
  • Post-it notes and push pins
  • Bedside floor rug
  • Self Stick products for posters
  • Extra long twin sheets
  • Towels
  • Basket of toiletries
  • College cookbook
  • Indoor/outdoor grill

Gag Gifts

Gag gifts for the college bound students are fun to give and help to keep them smiling during their transition away from home. Below are some popular gag gift ideas:

  • CD Holder Wallpaper to cover the walls with their favorite music.
  • Fun Alarm Clocks: 'The Flying Alarm Clock' makes sure sleepyhead gets out of bed with the top soaring into the air beeping until it is retrieved. 'The Clocky Alarm Clock' assures that you get out of bed and chase it in order to turn it off.
  • Whimsical Lamps like Martini Lamps and Chinese take-out Lamps.
  • Student Decision Dice to aid in their decision making.
  • Humorous Door Hangers for communication between roommates.

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