College Graduation Gifts from Parents

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As a parent, seeing your child graduate should be one of the most joyous and memorable experiences of your life. Graduation season gives you the opportunity to reward your loved one for all their hard work and achievements. If you’re unsure about 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!

Western Governors Tassel

Customized Diploma Frame

When celebrating a big milestone, a great gift 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. Not sure how to pick out the perfect frame for your grad? Let them design their own graduation frame with an eGift Card.

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Professional wardrobe

Professional Wardrobe

After your college grad starts contacting recruiters, job interviews will come fast and furiously, so it’s important that your child is organized and well prepared. One of the best ways to get ready for a job interview is by purchasing professional clothing that can 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 what your graduate needs to land the job of his or her dreams.

Amazon marketplace

Amazon Gift Card

If you’re struggling to find a gift that your graduate will love, you can’t go wrong with an Amazon gift card. Whether it’s used to purchase books, clothes, or furniture for their new place, an Amazon gift card can come in handy for college graduates. If the main aim of an Amazon gift card is for your child to buy new furniture, they may want to check out Amazon Warehouse, which offers cheap deals on a daily basis.

personalized wallet

Personalized Wallet

Once they enter the “real world,” it’s important that your child keeps their bank cards and cash safe. What better way to add a personal touch than with a Swanky Badger customized wallet embossed with their name or initials? When going for job interviews or attending client lunch meetings, a professional wallet can make them be taken more seriously. 


Scrapbook of Childhood Memories

If you’re a DIY enthusiast and love arts and crafts, a handmade scrapbook of childhood memories is a great sentimental gift for graduation. As a parent, you know only too well how quickly time flies. Filling a scrapbook with photographs from their birth until their graduation will create a keepsake item that your child is sure to treasure. 

Travel suitcase

A New Suitcase

If there’s one item that your child will need when going 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, as not only will it be easier on their hands, shoulders, and back, it will also reduce fatigue and strain.

Shaving kit

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. 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. This can, in turn, help boost their self-esteem and bolster their confidence. 

monthly gift subscription

Monthly Gift Subscription

A subscription box is regarded as one of the best gifts that you can hand to recent graduates. 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. You can find options that can be gifted for both men and women, with all sorts of products that your child can put to good use. 

Coffee maker

Coffee Maker

When transitioning into the professional world, many of us need a cup of coffee to get us prepared for the working day ahead. If your child is now waking early, they are sure to appreciate their very own coffee maker. With just a push of a button, they can enjoy a welcome burst of caffeine before heading out the door. Since coffee makers are portable, they may want to pack it when heading out on a business trip.

Autograph frame in bedroom

Autograph Photo Frame

If you’re planning a graduation party for your child, consider purchasing 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. Best of all, you can include a photograph of the graduate in this archival-quality, framed keepsake.

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Gym membership

Gym Membership

If your child is into health and fitness and enjoyed the free exercise facilities that their college campus provided, purchasing a gym membership may be the perfect gift. 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 can only be a good thing for their general health and well-being.

Klean Kanteen

Stainless-Steel Water Bottle

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated throughout the day, so if your child is going to be commuting to and from their first job, gifting them a stainless-steel water bottle will ensure they’re kept well hydrated. Many graduates don’t have a ton of money, so rather than splashing the cash at a local Starbucks on a hot coffee, most stainless-steel water bottles keep drinks hot or cold for up to six hours. Klean Kanteen, however, boasts insulated bottles that will keep drinks cold for close to 135 hours and hot for up to 38 hours.



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

Throw blanket

Throw Blanket

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

Key chain


A stylish keychain can hold all the major items your child needs to use on a daily basis, such as house keys, security devices, transit passes, membership IDs, car keys, and the all-important USB drive for work. An attractive keychain holding all of the keys to their new post-college life will remind them of all the goals they’ve accomplished over the years and just how far they’ve come.

Inspirational 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 reduce the risk of your child 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 great books out there to consider from authors such as Nancy Barry and Grace Helbig.

USB Drive

USB Drive

A USB drive is a perfect gift for grads who like to be organized and in control. The main purpose of a USB drive is to help keep your grads’ reports, samples, presentations, and resumes in one convenient location, meaning they can access any important documents with a click of a button. USB drives come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and sizes, so while you may be tempted to opt for a flashier USB drive, there are lots of serious options that you should consider too.

Professional photography session

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!

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Webcam for Video Interviews

In the past, graduates would have to travel and attend job interviews in person, but now more and more businesses are taking advantage of technology and holding video conferences to conduct interviews. To give a polished first impression to employers, purchasing a high-quality webcam can help your child stand out from the crowd.



There are tons of different tablets on the market today in a range of price points. One of the main advantages of a tablet is that they are functional and portable, meaning your grad can take it with them no matter where they are in the world. If you want to buy a gift that’s invaluable for young adults who are entering the workforce for the first time, a tablet will give them the tools they need to search for jobs, write resumes and cover letters, and get work done remotely once they land the new job. Some of the most popular tablets that you can purchase include Apple’s iPad, Kindle’s Fire, and Microsoft’s Surface. 

Gas station gift card

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 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.

Tamu diploma frame

Find the Perfect Grad Gift!

With graduation right around the corner, you want to set them up for the future with a useful gift 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 perfect gift for your graduate. 

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