Going off to college is a huge step for a young adult. This is often where people learn how to be more independent and responsible for themselves. Moving to a college in a different city or state can be terrifying but also an amazing experience. A simple gift can have a big impact on a college student, especially if they are moving far from home.
Great Gifts for College Students
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
A must-have item for any college student is a good laptop. I think the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a great pick because of its flexibility and features that come along with it. This laptop is definitely the most expensive item on this list and is not for everyone. This laptop has plenty of power to do almost any assignment with ease. I really like the flexibility the Surface Pro has with the touch screen capability as well as the detachable keyboard.
1001 Things Every College Student Needs To Know
There is so much to learn before going to college and what better way to give your college student a head start than with the 1001 Things Every College Student Needs To Know book? This is a great way to teach basic tips and tricks to young adults that they may have not learned while they were in school or from their parents. I know when I left for college I had no idea what I was doing at all. This would be a great place to start to learn about being independent and how you can best prepare for college.
Easeland Mattress Pad
A quick and easy way to upgrade the dorm room bed is with the Twin XL Mattress Pad. Beds in dorm rooms are not the most forgiving typically. This topper provides a college student with a much more comfortable night of sleep as well as being a breathable fabric. I know I had a mattress topper when I was living in a dorm room and it was a lifesaver for me.
Bedsure Comforter Duvet Insert
Another must-have item for a dorm room bed is this Duvet Insert Comforter. This duvet is very plush and soft and is great at providing warmth throughout the night. I had a cheap comforter in college and really wish I would have upgraded to something like this duvet. I also really like that there are pockets in the corner of the duvet that help to keep it from slipping off of the mattress.
Blue Ribbon Snacks Pack
You cannot go wrong with snacks! All of the late nights studying (or at least telling your parents you were studying) will always bring the munchies along at some point. This Snack Gift Basket is sure to be appreciated by any college student. Care packages like this one are a great and easy way to show your appreciation and how proud you are of your college student, even if you can’t be with them in person. I also love that this snack bundle includes both salty and sweet items for any kind of craving.
Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook
A great alternative to a classic notebook or binder is the Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook. Many students would love to have notes available digitally but do not like the idea of writing on an iPad or tablet. This notebook provides a great way to write handwritten notes that are also going to be available digitally. I really would have benefitted from a device like this back in college.
Lasko Oscillating Tower Fan
When temperatures start to go up, this Oscillating Tower Fan does a great job of cooling down any room. Sometimes roommates may not be able to agree on a temperature and this fan can help keep you cool. This fan also has a soothing sound that can be used as a white noise while sleeping to drown out any outside noises.
Schwinn Wayfarer Bike
A great way to get across campus quickly is with the Schwinn Wayfarer Bike. This bike has a classic retro look to it and also adjustable gears. This bike provides a smooth ride as well and is perfect for traveling to and from class.
Water Resistant Backpack
An everyday essential that is likely one of the first items thought to bring to college is a good backpack. This Travel Laptop Backpack is a great option that combines functionality with style and comfort as well. This bag will give plenty of room to bring all of the student’s everyday items such as textbooks, writing utensils, and their laptop. The built-in charging capability is what really sets this backpack apart. The last thing any college student wants is to have a dead phone. This will provide them with the convenience of always having some extra battery life wherever they go.
ROKU Smart TV
Watching TV shows and movies can be a great way to take a break from studying or wind down from a long day. The ROKU Smart TV is a great choice for a cheaper TV that has great features built into it. I love that this TV has built-in ROKU which makes streaming much easier. This is also the perfect size of TV for most dorm rooms and apartments. This TV can also be a great use for a gaming console as well as a computer monitor if extra screen space is needed.
Apple Watch Series 3
The Apple Watch Series 3 is a great gift for an active college student. This device will keep them connected with their phone while also being very stylish and trendy. This is one of the more expensive gifts on this list but would surely be appreciated by any college student greatly. I like that this version is one of the cheaper Apple Watches with comparable features.
Haundry Shower Caddy
Using a shared bathroom in college can be a bit of a chore at times. A Shower Caddy Tote is a great item to have when constantly going back and forth from the bathroom back to the dorm room. A bag that has sections like this one is great for transporting all toiletries and keeping them accessible by hanging them with the built-in hook. I really like that this is made of a mesh material so it will dry quickly and can get wet without any issues.
Community bathrooms are common in college dorms and a good pair of Shower Shoes is a must. This pair of shoes is great for going back and forth to the bathroom while protecting your feet from the dirty bathroom floors. These sandals also have holes along the sole and the top of the shoe to make the drying process much quicker than normal sandals. These shoes would also be good to travel to and from a pool or sauna.
Eureka Stick Vacuum
Keeping a dorm room or apartment clean is very important and doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. The Eureka Stick Vacuum is a great way to clean up carpets or hard flooring in no time. This vacuum is very lightweight which makes it easy to carry around and transport when needed. It is also very powerful and is able to get into small places with the flexibility of this vacuum. I like that it can be used as a standard vacuum cleaner as well as a handheld one.
Budget-Friendly College Cookbook
Meal plans can be expensive and get old very quickly. Knowing how to cook delicious food while on a budget and with limited equipment is what the Budget-Friendly Cookbook is all about. This is a great gift that could save a college student a lot of headaches. I really would have benefited from something like this when I was in college. Learning how to cook good food while on a budget is a skill that they will transfer into their lives after college as well.
Pro Chef Knife
A great way to encourage cooking rather than buying a meal is with a good Kitchen Knife. Providing a college student with a high-quality knife can help encourage them to explore more recipes and cook meals on their own. This is also a good way to promote healthier eating rather than them constantly eating out at fast-food restaurants.
Bed Risers with Electrical Outlet
This set of Bed Risers is a great gift for a college student moving into a dorm room. These bed risers create under-the-bed storage and they have outlets built into them giving more precious outlets to a college student. I think this is a great way to clear up any cluttered electrical outlets because the cords can now run hidden under the bed.
Gabrylly Office Chair
A good chair for long hours of working on homework and projects is a great gift idea that will be very appreciated. The Ergonomic Office Chair is a great pick for a college student. This chair is very supportive and comfortable while also being customizable. The armrests can fold up or down depending on personal preference and there is a mesh back, so they won’t get hot while sitting for long hours. This chair would have been much better than the small wooden one that was at my desk in the dorm room.
Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger
A great lamp is one of the many dorm room essentials. This Desk Lamp does a good job of combining a modern look with useful features. This is a lamp that provides different levels and colors to be able to use in any situation. I also like the charging features of this lamp because outlets can be scarce in dorm rooms.
Hand Tool Set with Case
Decorating dorm rooms often require college students to assemble the furniture, especially if it is ordered online. Having a Hand Tool Set is a simple way to provide the essential tools they would need for any furniture assembly. There also could be some minor repairs that they could fix themselves quicker than the maintenance team. The case is also a nice feature of this set because it is simple to stay organized as well as bring the set anywhere they could possibly need it.
Coomin Woven Coasters
A great way to warm up any coffee table or piece of furniture is with a set ofBraided Fabric Coasters. This is a simple gift that can protect furniture while also adding some decoration and personality to any room. I really like the braided look that these coasters have and the fact that they are not heavy like some other coaster sets are. It also comes in an assortment of colors that can make it easier to match a college student’s style.
mDesign Storage Tower
If more space is needed for clothing or other items, this Storage Tower is a great way to expand storage in a tight space. I like how this dresser has fabric drawers that look very nice while also being very lightweight and easy to move around. This is also simple to assemble and can quickly be set up in a dorm room or apartment space.
Faux Fur Saucer Chair
Furniture in a dorm room needs to be compact as well as comfortable. The Faux Fur Saucer Chair is a great way to add some personality to any room. I like that this chair is foldable so it can be put away whenever people are not over or just when more space is needed. This chair provides the perfect spot for watching TV or doing homework while staying nice and cozy.
ENO Camping Hammock
Getting out of the dorm can be a struggle sometimes. A great way to encourage more outdoor time is with a Camping Hammock. This hammock is easy to set up almost anywhere in no time. This would be a great change of scenery to do homework or just to unwind after a stressful day. This is also a great way to go camping almost anywhere.
String Lights Photo Hanger
No one wants to have a boring dorm room. An easy way to add some personalization and style is with the String Lights Photo Hanger. This is an easy and inexpensive gift that can add a unique touch to any dorm room or living space. I like the idea of using this as a night light or just having some alternative lighting while also showing pictures.
Carote Nonstick Frying Pan
One pan that is essential for a college student is the Nonstick Frying Pan. This pan has many possible uses and is great to have in a smaller kitchen. This pan is very simple to clean and cook with since it is covered with a nonstick coating. This could also encourage healthier eating rather than fast food if you know you have a pan that makes cooking easier at home.
Rapid Ramen Cooker
Ramen is a staple food for any college student. A quick and easy way to cook them in the microwave is a bonus! This Rapid Ramen Cooker is a healthy and easy way to enjoy an easy meal or snack. No need for a stove or boiling a pot of water with this gadget. I also like that you also can eat right out of the ramen cooker and use it as a bowl. This is great especially when short on counter or storage space.
Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker
Losing an item in college can be very easy. A great way to protect your items from loss or theft is with the Tile Mate. This tracker is small enough to fit on keys to be sure you never have to search for them again. This is also a great idea to put inside of a backpack. If you end up misplacing your backpack or it gets stolen, you will at least know where it is and should be able to track it down.
Amazon Travel Suitcase
College students often travel back home during breaks or a gap year and a suitcase is a great and easy way to transport clothes and other necessities to and from school. I like the Spinner Suitcase because it is at a good price point and is also the right size to carry on a plane. This is a gift that college students would not want to buy for themselves but will be grateful that they have it when the time comes to travel. This is also a great idea for students that decide to travel abroad.
Compact Travel Umbrella
Rainy days are great for sleeping in, but not for going across campus. Having a good Travel Umbrella can be a lifesaver when it is raining. I really like that this umbrella is small enough to fit in a backpack so no matter what, a college student will be prepared for some rain. This umbrella is also windproof so it will not go flying across campus if a gust of wind picks up.
Columbia Waterproof Jacket
Staying dry on the way to class can be a struggle at times. The Columbia Waterproof Jacket is a great way to keep a college student dry while also being very stylish. This jacket is made of breathable materials and comes in many different colors. This jacket is also very light and can be layered with other clothing underneath it for extra warmth if needed.
Pepper Spray Keychain
A great way to ensure that your college student is safe is with a Pepper Spray Keychain. For the protective parents or family members, this is a gift that can give them some peace of mind while their college student is away. This is also easy to carry around at all times because of how small it is.
Space Saving Clothes Hangers
Saving space, especially with a closet, is very important in college. This can be even more difficult if you have to share closet space with a roommate. The Space Saving Hangers are a great way to save space and stay organized in your cramped closet. I like how easy these are to use and really do a great job of saving space while being simple to use. This is great for someone especially that needs to hang up a lot of clothes but needs to keep them organized in a tight space. This would have been perfect for me to use for my “job interview” clothes that I would use maybe one or two times a year.
Rovsun Compact Refrigerator
If you are worried about roommates taking your leftovers, the Compact Refrigerator is a great way to keep your food and drinks safe. This small fridge is enough space to store your personal food, drinks, and leftovers. This fridge also has a very stylish red color and unique handles that give it a retro look. I also like that this fridge runs very quietly so it will not be a distraction if it is near your bed or bedroom.
298-Piece First Aid Kit
Being prepared in college is very important and can be overlooked at times. This First Aid Kit is a perfect way to be sure that your college student is always prepared for any injury, large or small. This is a gift that no college student would want to buy for themselves, but will be very thankful that they have it when the time comes to use it. I like that it comes in a convenient carrying case that can be easily transported into a vehicle or apartment/dorm. It also is organized in a way that you will be able to find what you need in a short amount of time.
Personal Air Conditioner
Dealing with roommates’ different preferences can be a challenge at times. This Personal Air Conditioner is a great gadget to have. This can act as a cooler, humidifier, air purifier, and night light as well. I really like how small and compact it is while also being very versatile. The air purifier feature can also be very important in keeping your college student healthy during allergy season.
Book Safe with Combo Lock
A great way to keep your valuables safe while living with other people is with this Book Safe. This is a perfect way to hide your valuables almsot in plain sight wihout anyone knowing that it is a safe. This would fit perfectly on a bookshelf or nightstand and can help to keep money or any valuables secure with the combination lock on the inside.
Do Or Drink Party Card Game
A board game that is perfect for a college student is Do Or Drink. This game is sure to be a hit when having friends over or at a party. This game is a great way to make new friends in college and to meet new people as well. I like that this game is specifically made for drinking and think it would be perfect for a college student looking to have a good time.
CASOFU Burrito Blanket
A gift that is sure to get a laugh is this Tortilla Throw Blanket. This blanket is great for any burrito-loving college student. Not only does this blanket look good, but it is also made of quality materials to stay warm.
Hamilton Beach Sandwich Maker
Breakfast is a meal that can easily be overlooked or skipped, especially when in a rush. A great way to have a delicious breakfast while on a tight schedule is with this Breakfast Sandwich Maker. This will give a hearty meal to start the day. This is also a meal that can easily be eaten on the go if in a rush.
FlexBrew Coffee Maker
Coffee is an essential for early mornings and late nights. This FlexBrew Coffee Maker provides flexibility to use either coffee grounds as well as coffee pods. This is great for getting a good cup of coffee in a short amount of time without having to make an entire pot. This is also a slim coffee maker that would fit in the tight kitchen areas of a dorm room or apartment.
Merelax Shaggy Rug
Adding some warmth to a dorm room is simple with the Shaggy Rug. I like how much difference a simple rug can make in a dorm room or apartment. This can help to give a more “home-like” feel and provide warmth and comfort as well. I also like how many different colors this rug comes in as well as how soft and plush it is.
Anker Portable Charger
A portable charger can be a lifesaver when out and about. This Portable Charger is small enough to bring with you almost anywhere to ensure your devices will always have some extra charges. This would be a great idea for someone who enjoys camping or someone who is not always wanting to rely on an outlet.
Fire TV Stick 4K
A great way to pass time in between studying or before going to bed is with a great TV show or movie. The Fire TV Stick is a great way to be sure that there is always something to do with downtime. I really like the voice remote feature that makes it simple to switch between shows with your voice.
Blue Sky Weekly & Monthly Planner
It can be very easy to get overwhelmed in college with the constantly changing class schedule. Having an organized planner like the Weekly & Monthly Planner is essential for staying on top of assignments. I know I try and put everything in my phone and end up losing track of some reminders or assignments.
Simple Houseware Desk Organizer
Staying organized in college is very important but can seem impossible at times. The Desk Organizer is a great pick to easily organize office supplies that will be needed for homework and projects. I like that this organizer is very compact but also can hold a good amount of supplies. I also really like that it has a drawer for easy access to smaller items.
BedShelfie Bedside Shelf
A great way to maximize space in a small apartment or dorm room is with the Bedside Shelf. This bedside shelf has multiple versions to fit on any type of bed frame. The shelf would be a perfect place to rest your phone while you are sleeping or a good spot to put your drink. This shelf looks very clean and simple while also being very useful. I would have really loved to have this in my dorm room because there was no nightstand that was right next to my bed.
Long iPhone Charger
A dorm room essential is a Long iPhone Charger. The outlets in some dorm rooms or apartments can be very limited and having a long cord can ensure that you will still be able to reach your phone while it is charging. It is also nice to have a longer cord when using a portable charger to provide more flexibility.
Onlyeasy Underbed Bags
Space is very limited in dorm rooms or apartments. A great way to save space is with some Underbed Storage Bags. These bags are great for storing clothes, blankets, or other items. I like how these bags act almost as drawers and have a nice look to them. The transparent top is also a great feature so you are able to see the inside of the bag without opening it.
The Instant Pot is a great way to make easy and healthy meals. There are tons of online recipes specifically for the Instant Pot and many of them come together very quickly. There is also the option to use it as a slow cooker which would be a great way to make sure that dinner is ready once you get back from class or work.
Jackery Portable Power Station
Power outages are no fun for anyone. A great way to ensure that your college student is always going to have power is with the Portable Power Station. This provides a power backup generator that can power many devices at once. This is also great for students that enjoy going hiking and camping. Having a portable generator would provide them with power wherever they go and would make camping and hiking trips much more convenient.
Hydro Flask Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is easy with a Hydro Flask Bottle. This bottle has a slick metal feel to it and does an excellent job of keeping drinks hot or cold. This bottle is great for always having water while on the go. It is also a great way to enjoy your morning coffee on the way to class.
Surge Protector Power Strip
An easy way to make sure you have plenty of outlets while also protecting your electronics is with a Surge Protector Power Strip. These power strips come with USB ports as well which make it very simple for you to be able to plug in your phone directly into the power strip.
Music is a must when studying or just walking to and from class. AirPods are a great option that will be greatly appreciated by any college student. The convenience of not having any cords is amazing. They are also very comfortable to wear and can be a great way to drown out any outside noise while trying to focus.
Popup Laundry Hamper
This Popup Laundry Hamper is an easy way to transfer your laundry wherever you need it. It folds up very small for easy storage and is also very light. I like that it is a mesh material that lets your clothes air out as well as makes it easy to carry to and from the laundry room.
House Again Tea Infuser
For any tea drinkers, the Tea Infuser would be a great gift idea. This is an easy way for a college student to enjoy their favorite loose leaf teas without having to worry about anything melting or buying individual tea bags for each cup.
Costa Farms Aloe Vera Plant
A way to add a pop of color to any room or apartment is with a plant like the Aloe Vera Plant. This plant is a great pick because it is simple to take care of and only needs to be watered every few weeks. Low maintenance is very important for a busy college student and this aloe vera plant can withstand the longer breaks during school. This plant not only acts as a great decoration, but the aloe vera can also be very useful for any sunburns.
Tapestry is an easy and quick way to add personality to any room and clear up a blank wall. The Funeon Tapestry is a good way to add some simple color to a wall and a unique touch as well. I also like that it comes in a variety of different sizes depending on the size of the wall.
Blue Cedar and Cypress Cologne
A great gift for a college student looking to freshen up or impress someone is Blue Cedar & Cypress Cologne. This cologne does a good job of creating a great fragrance that isn’t overpowering. This would especially be great for a date night or when on a job interview.
JBL FLIP 4 Speaker
A great way to enjoy music on the go with friends is with a JBL Speaker. This speaker is great for any weather condition and is something that everyone will be able to enjoy. This speaker is also very loud for its size and can be taken almost anywhere.
Echo Dot (4th Gen)
The Echo Dot is a very useful device for any dorm room or apartment. This newer generation of Echo Dot blows any normal clock out of the water by combining a smart speaker with a clock as well. This version of the Echo Dot also brings a modern look that is very appealing. It can also be a great pairing with the Amazon Fire Stick and will allow you to control the channels and volume with your voice.
Homesick Scented Candle
A thoughtful gift that can make someone feel like they are at home is with a Homesick Candle. This candle can bring some comfort and remind a college student of home while they are away at school. The candle also has a very simple and minimalist look to it.
Ninja Personal Blender
A great way to enjoy healthy smoothies is with the Ninja Personal Blender. This blender has plenty of power to blend up frozen fruits and other foods and turn them into a healthy snack or meal. I really like that this blender also comes with some cups that make it easy to enjoy a meal on the go.
Green Lifestyle Towel Set
Towels are something that an average college student would get at the cheapest price possible. A Towel Set would be a great gift for a college student because it is likely something they would not want to purchase on their own. A nice towel can make a huge difference after getting out of the bath or shower and can be easier on your skin.
Layron Plastic Dinnerware
Having a cheap set of dinnerware in college can be very useful. I like this Dinnerware Set for this purpose. This is a set of dinnerware that has a nice look to it and is very easy to take on the go if it is needed. This is also a great set of plates, bowls, and silverware that would be perfect to take on a camping trip. This set is also microwavable and comes with a convenient carrying bag to take it on the go with ease.
Spotify Gift Card
Gift cards are always a great idea for a college student. A favorite pick is a Spotify Gift Card. Spotify is a great way for a college student to always have music at their fingertips. They can also use this with their Bluetooth speakers or Alexa devices.
Linenspa Pillow with Back Support
Working on your bed in the dorm room can be a little hard on your back if you are just leaning up against your headboard or the wall. The Shredded Foam Pillow is a great way to provide some back support while being very comfortable as well. This also provides a comfortable way to watch Television or while gaming. I would have loved to have a pillow like this when in college to make working on my laptop much more comfortable.
LED Strip Lights
LED light strips are an easy and fun way to add some color to any room. The LED Strip Lights are a great choice because of their low price and many features. These lights come with a remote control for easy color control as well as dimming the lights. The sticky backing on these LED lights provides an easy way to set up the lights on just about any surface. I would love to put these up in my dorm room on the wall for ambient lighting or on the back of the TV for a unique look.
Hexagon Cork Board
Customizing your dorm room or apartment is a great way to make it more your own. The Hexagon Cork Board is a creative way to add some decoration to any room. The hexagon shape is very unique and can be customized for different spacing arrangements. I like that it is made of cork material and includes both pins to attach pictures to the board as well as adhesive on the back for an easy install. This would be great for adding pictures to a wall in a trendy and unique way.
InnoGear Oil Diffuser
One way to add style as well as a great scent to any room is with the Essential Oil Diffuser. This oil diffuser has great ambient light to go along with the great smell as well. This is a must especially for living with a roommate.
Tervis College Tumbler
A safe gift to get almost any college student would be an Insulated Tumbler. A tumbler is always useful to keep any drink cold and accessible. I also like the customization that is available with tumblers and the variety of designs.
College Stud T-Shirt
A great way to give any college student a laugh is with this College Student T-Shirt. This shirt is a way to show your sense of humor as well as bring a smile to other students’ faces.
You’re Awesome Reminder Keychain
Sometimes a little inspiration or reminder is needed for a college student to continue to drive on. This You’re Awesome Reminder Keychain can be a great reminder of your support when they are away. This is also one of the cheaper items on the list that would still be a great idea for any college student.
How We Selected the Best Gifts for College Students
The first most important criteria when choosing a gift for a college student on this list was evaluating how useful a gift would be to someone who is in college. There is no sense in getting a gift that someone will not use and will just collect dust. It is also important to think about the need of someone who is going to or in college and what items they could actually use. There is often limited space when it comes to college living, so finding gifts that create more room or work in small spaces was also factored into this list.
Getting a gift that is simple but also useful was a goal for this list. Gifts that are more simple to use can be great for someone like a busy college student. They are not always going to want to figure out how to use something or put something together. I think it is important to keep gifting to a college student on the more simple side just so there is no added stress coming along with a gift.
FAQs – Gifts for College Students
What is the best gift for a high school graduate?
A great gift for a high school senior would be a laptop for them to use in college. They could use this laptop for both school use and personal use. Another great gift for someone who is graduating high school is the 1001 things Every College Student Should Know Book. This book does a great job of preparing recent high school graduates for college and could really help them to get a head start on what to expect. The backpack with USB ports is also a great gift idea for someone who is graduating high school.
What is a gift that any college student would like?
I think one of the safest gifts to get a college student is a gift card. Gift cards to their favorite restaurant or streaming service like Spotify will always be appreciated, especially by college students who are on a tight budget. The snack bundle in this list is also a very safe bet on a gift to get for any college student. Almost anyone would love to receive delicious snacks to help them get through their day. The candle in this list is also a good gift to get for almost any college student. Almost everyone in college could use a different scent to freshen up their space. A tumbler cup is another good gift for just about any college student. Bonus points if you can find one that has their school on it.
What is a good gift for a college girl?
The Homesick candle is a great gift for a college girl and comes in many different scents for everyone’s unique preference. I also think the Tmacker keychain is a great gift for college girls and providing extra motivation. The Hydroflask water bottle comes in many different colors and would be a great gift as well to get for a girl in college.
What is a good gift for a college guy?
The shower shoes are a great gift for a guy in college especially if he has a community bathroom. Cologne is a great idea to gift any guy in college and will come in handy for them on a night out or for a job interview. The double nest hammock is a great gift idea for a college guy that enjoys the outdoors.
What is a cost-effective gift to get for a college student?
The long phone charging cables are a great gift idea if you are looking for something that is easier on the budget but the gift will still be greatly appreciated. The keychain on this list is also one of the cheaper gifts in this list. The snacks, as well as the books in this list, are a cheap way to give a great gift to a college student. A gift card can also be a cost-effective gift for a college student. No matter the value of the card, a college student would love to have a free or at least a discount item or food. The towel set in this list is also a cheaper gift that can go a long way.