Seeing your child graduate should be one of the most joyous and memorable experiences of your adult life. Graduation season gives you the opportunity to reward your loved one for all their hard work and achievements. And there’s no better way to show how proud you are of the grads in your life than with college graduation gifts from parents they can take with them during this next chapter.

A necklace or mason jar of dollar bills is cute, but parents want more thoughtful ways to celebrate their graduate. If you’re unsure what to buy to commemorate your son or daughter’s big day, our guide to the best college graduation gifts should help you find the perfect “parent-approved” present!

suits on a clothing rack

Professional Wardrobe

After your college grad starts contacting recruiters, job interviews will come fast and furiously, so it’s important your child is organized and well-prepared. One of the best ways to get ready for a job interview is by purchasing professional clothing to help your loved one stand out for all the right reasons.

If you don’t have an eye for fashion and are worried about making the wrong choice, why not purchase a subscription to a professional clothing service? A great-looking wardrobe could be just the grad gift your child needs to land the job of their dreams.

Customized Diploma Frame

When celebrating a big milestone, a great college graduation gift idea to purchase for your child’s graduation is a customized diploma frame.

Whether it’s a campus photo frame, a diploma frame with tassel, or a double diploma frame, showcasing and preserving your child’s most treasured documents is crucial. These also make for perfect high school graduation gifts.

Not sure how to pick out the perfect frame for your grad? Let them design their own graduation frame with an eGift Card.

wine and savory snacks gift basket gift basket

Graduation Gift Basket

What college graduate doesn’t love a thoughtfully stocked gift basket? As their parents, you watched them grow up and know them better than most. So what better way to celebrate their huge accomplishment than with a handmade gift basket of their favorite goodies and treats?

These gifts for graduate students can be stocked with their favorite drinks, snacks, and products, and are very versatile. The graduation basket ideas are endless! Keep it classy with wine, cheese, and crackers, or go all out with various candies, chocolates, and baked goods. Either way, these personalized graduation gifts are sure to score big with your loved one!

preschool scrapbook page in custom shadow box frame

DIY Graduation Gifts

If you love arts and crafts, consider homemade graduation gift ideas that incorporate scrapbooking skills. When it comes to DIY graduation gifts ideas, combine free printable graphics, cherished photos, and childhood memories in a keepsake shadow box. Sentimental graduation gifts from parents showcased in a gift box like this makes for an instant family keepsake.

woman walking luggage at airport

A New Suitcase

If there’s one item that your child will need when entering into the working world, it’s a new suitcase. Whether they have to travel for business or leisure, a suitcase is a great gift that your graduate will use often.

Be sure to select a lightweight model that adheres to airline size requirements, as not only will it be easier on their hands, shoulders, and back, but it will also reduce fatigue and strain. Personalize with a beautifully engraved luggage tag they’ll treasure for always.

beard kit items

Self-Care Gifts

When heading to a job interview, your child needs to put their best face forward. To stand out from competitors and make employers take notice, self-grooming is key. Grad gifts like a high-quality shaving kit, a gift certificate to the local spa, or a beautifying skincare set can help relieve stress and provide your child with some much-needed pampering.

Or if you know your grad is going to be working from home for a while, you can tailor your gifts to their lifestyle. Consider a cozy weighted blanket or pair of comfortable house slippers that they can use at their desk. This can, in turn, help boost their self-esteem and bolster their confidence.

woman opening subscription box

Monthly Subscription Box

A subscription box is regarded as one of the best graduation gift ideas you can hand to college students. As a monthly treat, your child will have something to look forward to, and each time it’s delivered, they’ll be reminded of you. Whether it’s a meal kit, self care box, or craft coffee selection, you can find college graduation gift ideas that can be subscribed for both men and women with all sorts of products that your child can put to good use.

coffee maker on countertop

Coffee Maker

When transitioning into the professional world, many of us need a cup of coffee to wake us up for the working day ahead. If your child is now rising earlier than they’re used to, they’re sure to appreciate graduation present ideas like their very own coffee maker.

Most coffee makers have the option to brew a single serving or a full pot, for the busiest work days. With just a push of a button, your loved one can enjoy a welcome burst of caffeine before heading out the door.

autograph frame and university of virginia diploma frame on wall

Autograph Photo Frame

If you’re planning a graduation party for your child, consider purchasing sentimental graduation gifts like an autograph frame that enables you, your guests, and family members to sign it with their own personalized messages.

Your loved ones can share their words of wisdom and favorite memories of your child, making this gift both deeply meaningful and personal. The best gift for a graduate is something practical that comes from the heart. Best of all, you can include a photograph of the graduate in this archival-quality, framed keepsake.

weight lifting gym

Gym Membership

If your child is into health and fitness and often utilizes the free exercise facilities provided by their college campus, purchasing a gym membership may be the perfect grad gift for them. After a long and busy day at the office, your new graduate may need some time to de-stress, so encouraging them to be active is a great thing for their general health and well-being.

When it comes to college graduation gift ideas from parents, encouraging your student to continue to take care of themselves is a great place to start.

man fastening watch


A college graduation is a major milestone, so you may want to mark this occasion with a piece of real jewelry for your child. Gift ideas for parents like a subtle gold necklace, handsome ID bracelet, fashionable wristwatch, or a set of pearl earrings are all elegant gift ideas that can be worn on job interviews. To make it even more sentimental and meaningful, you can engrave the jewelry with a personal message.

Or, if your child appreciates where tech meets fashion, consider gifting them an Apple Watch or other smart multi-functional device. Good graduation gifts, these wearables look sleek and can also help you keep in touch with your grad when they’re on the go in the working world.

woman in throw blanket

Throw Blanket

You can never have too many cozy throws or blankets, so if your child loves sleep, investing in a warm and fuzzy blanket could be the best gift for a graduate. Be sure to buy a stylish, machine-washable blanket that is durable enough to be used for picnics, beaches, football games, and while traveling. A cozy, multipurpose blanket is sure to conjure up tons of happy memories each time your child snuggles into it.

hands reading book

An Inspirational Book

We all know how stressful and daunting job-hunting can be, so if your child has recently graduated from college and is on the lookout for their dream role, providing them with words of wisdom and encouragement can go a long way.

Inspirational books can help reduce stress levels and feeling overwhelmed while scheduling interviews and calling recruiters. You can purchase books offering career advice or ones that distract them from the job-hunting grind. There are tons of books that make great graduation gifts from authors such as Nancy Barry and Grace Helbig.

hard drive plugged in to laptop

Portable Hard Drive

A hard drive or USB is a perfect gift for grads who like to be organized and in control. The main purpose of a drive is to help keep your grads’ reports, samples, presentations, and resumes. With important documents in one convenient location, they can access anything with a click of a button.

Drives come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and sizes, so you can cater the style of drive to match your graduate’s personality. These gifts for graduating seniors allow them to take all the hard work and college portfolios with them as they begin searching for jobs.

woman in yellow shirt smiling having professional photos taken

Professional Photography Session

While it may not seem like an obvious gift to hand to your child, when it comes to seeking employment, there are various websites such as LinkedIn that may require your grad to include a photo in their profile. With some job applications asking for professional headshots, it doesn’t hurt to shell out money for a photography session.

As a parent, it’s only natural that you’ll want to do all you can to help your child get their dream job, so in order to attract interest on the internet, having clear and professional photos is the way to go. Plus, you’ll have a stunning image of your child that you can then display on your desk in a custom photo frame, bonus!

blue gas pump in car

Gas Gift Card

We all know how ridiculous gas prices can be, so if your new graduate has their own vehicle and needs to drive a long distance for interviews or work, consider buying them a gas gift card.

Depending on how far they’ll need to travel, you may want to purchase gift cards for several different gas stations in the area. It’s a smart and easy way to help them keep more money in their wallet. When it comes to gas cards, these college grad gifts from parents will be well appreciated.

happy graduate holding diploma frame pointing at something ahead of him

Find the Perfect Grad Gift!

They’ll appreciate useful gifts from parents that will help them with their professional endeavors. Whether it’s tech-savvy work gear, an impressive degree frame for their office, or a professional-looking wardrobe, you’re sure to find the best graduation gifts for your graduate.

We hope these ideas for college graduation gifts from parents helped inspire you for the upcoming graduation season!

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