Whether you're looking for a useful gift to up their adulting skills or something thoughtful that says proud parent, these unique gift ideas for college graduates will set them up for success.

By Karen Cicero
May 18, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

After a year with Zoom classes, quarantines, and routine COVID-19 tests, the Class of 2021 deserves so much pomp and circumstance! Spoil your graduating son or daughter with any one of these thoughtful college graduation gift ideas.

Related Items

Rifle Paper Co. journals
Credit: Rifle Paper Co.

Five Year Keepsake Journal Set


Grads can record memories and goals in this beautifully designed Rifle Paper Co. set that has a ribbon bookmark and gold accents. Each journal starts with space to write down their big dreams, prompting grads to explain how they’ll accomplish each one. There are also pages to list “Moments Celebrated,” “Movies Watched,” and “Books Read” before the pages for daily journaling begin. Because the journal pages are labeled as “Day 1,” “Day 2,” and so forth rather than calendar-style, grads can use the set right away.  

Modern Grey Diploma Frame
Credit: Amazon

Modern Grey Diploma Frame


Don’t let their very important (and expensive) certificate get wrinkled! Grads can pop in their diploma, and then mount the frame on a wall or keep it on their desk. Either way, it will attractively display all their hard work!

Ninja Foodi SS101
Credit: Amazon

Ninja Smoothie Bowl Maker


Help grads adjust to not having a meal plan! They can make awesome smoothies and thick acai bowls with this countertop appliance that’s powerful than a regular blender. Just think of all the money they’ll save on takeout! Pair it with a gift card to local supermarket.

Baked by Melissa Evergreen Congrats gift box
Credit: Baked by Melissa

Congrats Gift Box


Surprise a grad with a box of 24 mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa in appealing flavors like cookies and cream, deconstructed cookie dough, and S’moreo. A delicious vegan assortment is also available. The packaging is Insta-worthy!

Amazon Gift Card in a Congratulations
Credit: Amazon

Amazon Gift Card


Make a gift card more fun by sending it along in an adorable gradation cap. Amazon doesn’t charge you extra for the cap box, and you may score free one-day shipping even if you don’t have Prime.

Pandora Jewelry Timeless Elegance Stud Cubic Zirconia Earrings in Sterling Silver
Credit: Amazon

Square Sparkle Halo Stud Earrings


A timeless piece, these sterling silver earrings from Pandora are perfect for job interviews—whether they’re in person or over Zoom. They also look cute for just a night out with friends.

Bed Bath & Beyond
Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

Haven Wave Organic Cotton 6-Piece Towel Set


It’s time for grads to recycle those well-worn towels from their college days (and laundry mishaps!) Help them start fresh in a new place with this set that’s part of a new spa-inspired line from Bed Bath & Beyond. It includes two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths that have a ribbed texture for extra absorbency. Plus, they feel plush! They come in five colors, including Harbor Mist and Celestial Blue. Pair them with a spa gift card, which will be much appreciated after finals week!

TravelPro luggage
Credit: TravelPro

TravelPro Luggage


Invest in a suitcase that they’ll have for years to come. The TravelPro X Travel + Leisure collection includes a sleek carry-on spinner with an extension option for extra space. It’s also a dream to roll! You could also check out the brand’s new Platinum Elite Hardside collection, which is available in a great color: Dark Sky Blue. All TravelPro luggage includes a limited lifetime warranty.

Coway Airmega
Credit: Amazon

Coway Air Mega 150


A practical gift for their first apartment—especially if it’s in an older building—this air purifier blends in beautifully with any mod décor. The HEPA filter removes more than 99 percent of odors, viruses, pollens, and pollutants. Easy to remove washable filters make it a breeze to maintain. It’s available in a variety of colors, including peony pink (swoon!)

Farmgirl Flowers
Credit: Farmgirl Flowers

Just Right Burlap Wrapped Bouquet


Brighten a grad’s day by sending them Farmgirl Flowers. The company upcycles biodegradable coffee bags to hold the blooms. This chic pick features 25 colorful assorted flowers plus foliage.

KODAK Smile Classic Digital Instant Camera
Credit: Amazon

Kodak Smile Classic Digital Instant Camera


Retro design meets modern technology in this gift that’s sure to be used often. The camera includes a 10-second timer and automatic flash. It prints 3” by 4” photos—larger than many other instant camera options.   

Nest Bedding
Credit: Nest Bedding

Nest Bedding Complete Set


Now that Twin XL bedding is hopefully a thing of the past, a new duvet and sheets are in order! You can't go wrong with the soft, eco-friendly Nest Complete Set. It’s available in white and slate and includes top and bottom sheets, pillowcases, and a duvet cover.