Great Graduation Gift Ideas

Great Graduation Gift Ideas

The end of each school year produces a new group of freshly minted graduates eager to move on to the next phase of their life, either at college or in a career. You’d love to give them a gift that will simultaneously convey your pride and celebrate all their achievements. But we can probably all agree that finding the perfect graduation gift idea can be quite a challenge.

Just remember, a little extra effort on your part will be truly appreciated by your grad. So whether you’re celebrating a high school or a college graduation, here are some great graduation gift ideas from the gift-giving experts at American Greetings that will surely be treasured for years to come:

  • Handy reference library: In today’s world, a grasp of the written word makes you stand out in the crowd. Consider offering the grad a great reference material, such as a letter writing manual, resume guidebook, or (career-depending) an updated copy of the AP Stylebook.
  • Help them along their way: A gift card with a specific intention in mind will show how much you care about their needs. Gas and grocery cards for essentials, or even a department store card for new shoes or an interview suit, will help them toward a successful future.
  • All eyes on the prize: Offer to have the graduate’s diploma or degree professionally matted and framed. Or create a shadow box to display it with their mortar board and tassel. It’ll be the finishing touch on an outstanding accomplishment and something they will treasure and display.
  • Get crafty: Create a scrapbook of the graduate’s school years, incorporating all their important milestones and achievements. Leave a few blank pages for graduation party guests to write in their words of congratulations and encouragement.
  • Make a personalized correspondence kit: The new grad may find him/herself in need of sending handwritten notes, so putting together a set of stationery, stamps, and a return address embosser will help them to create a professional and memorable impression.
  • Offer them an experience: Some of the most memorable gifts that can be shared are gifts of experiences. Whether it’s concert tickets, cooking classes, or even just a fun evening out, giving them a unique adventure will create lasting memories.
  • Customize a popular gift with a personal twist: Many graduates are greatly in need of extra money to help them along the way. But you don’t have to sacrifice a personal touch with this gift. Pair it with a unique money holder and include a heartfelt message of congratulations.

If you’re unsure what they need the most, don’t hesitate to ask for help. If the graduate is too shy or humble to tell you themselves, oftentimes parents and siblings may already be clued into their desires.


Tips for Graduation Party Season


Summertime is in the air…along with graduation caps at high schools and colleges all over the country! It’s graduation season again, which means announcements in your mailbox, invitations on your calendar and graduation cards on your shopping list.

So once you find the perfect card for the proud grad, how can you put your worldly wisdom into just the right words? Sometimes starting with a great line from a great mind will help you come up with your own idea. Here are some examples of how to combine a few popular quotes with a personal message:

  • Graduation is proof that “if you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”  ~William Arthur Ward. This is just the beginning of the incredible things you can do. Congratulations!
  •  Congratulations on your graduation! From today forward, anything is possible. 
  •  “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ~Les Brown 
  •  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” And you have what it takes to do wonderful things. Congratulations!
  •  The tassle is worth the hassel!  You did it!  Congrats.

 Now for the gift… 

While money is the most common (and welcome) gift for grads, there’s often some questions about the appropriate amount. Of course your financial situation is the biggest determining factor, and most people give more for college than high school, but if you still want a ballpark figure: $25 tends to be on the low end while $75-100 is generous for a close relative. Yet, any amount is fun to receive when presented in a creative way…

  • Roll the money into a scroll and tie it like a diploma.
  • Tape the bills together to be pulled out of a tissue box decorated in their school colors.
  • Visit the website of their future college and get a gift card from the campus bookstore. 
  • Personalize and send an ecard with a digital gift card to one of their fave places to shop.

Graduation season is an exciting time for students, but it’s important for all of us to remember that “in real life, every day you graduate.  Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference.” Arie Pencovici