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Graduation Gift Ideas


A significant rite of passage, a graduation ceremony is a proud moment for parents and a new beginning for students. Early transitions, such as the shift from pre-school to elementary, might be as low-key as a party with frosted cupcakes and games, but they are also an opportunity to teach kids the importance of learning and achieving excellence in school. By the time students reach milestone graduations from high school or college, they will be well versed in the importance of education and good grades. From the signing of yearbooks and class rings, to walking across the stage to receive a diploma in a cap and gown, most ceremonies include many time-honored traditions- including gifting the graduate for his or her success! If you aren't sure what to give a grad, we have some suggestions that are sure to receive high marks.

Elementary School

Gift Ideas

  • Photostory Junior book kit
  • My First Lab Microscope
  • Collection of books from a favorite author
  • A day at the science museum or the zoo
  • Art caddy and supplies
  • A framed graduation picture
  • A gift set full of summer fun games
  • A scrapbook of elementary school keepsakes
  • Savings bond

Gift Certificate Ideas

  • Kids will love to pick a favorite game, toy or book from the selection at Barnes & Noble.
  • has a great new pair of shoes for the first day of Junior High.
  • Sponsor a graduation pizza party, delivered from Domino's Pizza.
Middle School/Junior High Graduation

Gift Ideas

  • Skateboard
  • Computer games
  • Clothing
  • Backpack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Bedroom décor
  • Sketch book and colored pencils
  • Bathing suit & beach towel
  • Photo album full of pictures with friends

Gift Certificate Ideas

High School Graduation

Gift Ideas

  • Digital camera
  • Watch
  • Sweatshirt from their college of choice
  • Car
  • Cell phone
  • Portable electronics
  • Shares of stock
  • Dorm room decor
  • Framed diploma
  • Picture frame with graduation picture

Gift Certificate Ideas

  • Let them fix up the old family car and make it their own with the right stuff from Express Auto Parts.
  • Do they need some work clothes for a summer internship? They'll find a great selection at Bloomingdale's.
  • If they're headed to college, they'll appreciate a certificate for books and supplies from Barnes & Noble.
College/Graduate School

Gift Ideas

  • Portfolio
  • Briefcase
  • Luggage
  • Watch
  • Clothes for the new job
  • Monogrammed personal accessory
  • Décor for a new apartment
  • Kitchen utensils and supplies
  • A frame for the new diploma

Gift Certificate Ideas

Frequently Asked Questions

Should a graduate gift always be education related?
While there are many traditional graduation gifts that do relate to scholastic achievement, the right gift is one that suits the graduate best. Perhaps the parents of a very young child will appreciate something educational, while someone finishing graduate school would love an indulgent and luxurious treat after several years focused on a weighty dissertation.

Graduates at my daughter's high school frequently exchange gifts between friends. Any suggestions?
Gift certificates are a great solution for gift exchanges between friends. Your daughter can select certificates that match her friends' specific interests or give them a SuperCertificate, redeemable at the many retailers on our Web site.

I'm attending the son of my good friend's graduation ceremony. Am I required to bring a gift?
You are not required although it would be a nice gesture. If you are restricted to buying something inexpensive due to budget, we suggest something small like a book that relates to their area of study. They should appreciate you attending the event and showing your support.

My daughter is graduating from Junior High and insists that kids graduating from Junior High now get gifts like High Schoolers. Is this true?
This is not the trend. Gifts are given for milestone years like turning 18 and getting a GED. If your daughter really wants a gift, and you're willing to get her something to encourage her to keep studying and progress in school - consider a series of encyclopedia books or a used computer to help her write papers in High School.

What am I supposed to give a person coming out of graduate school? If I buy them a book, it's likely they already own it.
They actually might like a gift certificate to a book store for a fiction read or something irrelevant to their course of study. Also, a gift certificate to a Hotel or airline credit would be great - so they can escape and relax after working so hard for that degree.

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