10 Actually Useful College Grad Gifts Perfect for Your Daughter (Or Any Other Grad!)


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When your daughter graduates from college, you know that it is quite an accomplishment. It may seem like yesterday she was just a child, but once you see her walk across the stage in her cap and gown, you know she’s a young adult that’s ready to make her way in the world. This is an exciting time, and graduating from college is definitely a big deal. From here she’ll need to decide whether she’ll pursue additional schooling, start her first job, or travel before she settles down.

So many decisions can be overwhelming, but as her parents, you know that no matter what path she decides to follow, she’ll figure out how to succeed. So what do you get your daughter when she graduates from college? Glad you asked because we have a lot of gift ideas she’s sure to love, including:

  • Gift cards to help her along the way
  • Sentimental gifts she’ll treasure
  • Helpful gifts to get her started off on the right foot

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Amazon gift card

Your daughter can find all kinds of things she may need at Amazon

Text an Amazon gift card

One of the most useful college graduation gifts for your daughter are gift cards, especially those to stores you know she is going to use. Amazon is one of the largest stores around, and they’re bound to have anything your daughter could need. Whether she’s getting her own place and needs silverware, rugs, sheets, and plates, or she’s planning a trip before she starts her new job and would love new travel clothes, a camera, and shoes, Amazon can help her with that. This is a great gift to give to your daughter because it shows that you trust that she knows what she needs and can easily find it on Amazon.

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Sentimental jewelry

Get her something beautiful that will help her remember this specific time in her life

One of the top gifts you can get your daughter for her college graduation is a personalized memento of this time in her life. She’s only going to graduate from college once, so why not make it extra special with something she can proudly wear for years to come? This lovely necklace would be a great gift, and it comes in three different colors and a variety of necklace lengths. It features a graduation cap and her name underneath it.

You want to make sure your daughter feels special after graduating from college, because it’s kind of a big deal! Becoming a college graduate opens up so many doors for opportunities, and it’s definitely something that’s worth celebrating. She’ll be able to wear this necklace for years to come, and whenever she looks at it she’ll be reminded of how proud you were of her of this accomplishment.

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Books for this time of life

Give her the gift of advice and motivation to reach her goals and chase her dreams

Everyone has an opinion on what type of book is good for a college graduate, but as her parents, chances are you know what might pique her interest the most. Your early twenties are all about finding out who you are and where you want to go, or at least aim towards. There are a variety of subjects that would be much appreciated by a college graduate, including information on money, finding happiness, and learning how to figure out the work world. But don’t rule out fiction books that might just have a story that they need to hear!

We have a few recs right here:

  • Finance. No one needs a get rich quick scam, but most college graduates could use a little help when it comes to money. Whether it’s saving, investing, or paying down debts, there’s always something that college graduates could learn more about. Pick them up a book like Get Good with Money by Tiffany Aliche to help them out.
  • Wisdom. When you’re embarking on a new part of your life, it’s always a good idea to get some advice and wisdom from those who have already gone through it. Whether it’s Barack Obama or Gloria Steinem, Carpe Every Diem by Robie Rogge is a great place to get little tidbits of wisdom and different ways to look at the world.
  • Happiness. Happiness is something everyone strives for, but it seems to be elusive or misrepresented in the modern world. Give your college graduate a book about real happiness, and how to best cultivate it like The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama who believes that the natural state of humans is to be happy—and he offers glimpses of how we can find it ourselves.
  • Cooking. Cooking for yourself is an essential life skill that a lot of college graduates don’t have a lot of practice with. Get them a cookbook like Start Here by Sohla El-Waylly that not only gives them tips on how to cook, but helps them understand how cooking really works and how to make it a part of your routine.
  • Love. Like happiness, love is something that all humans need and want, but sometimes get stuck looking for it. Remember Love by Cleo Wade is a great place to learn how to love yourself, others, and remember that it’s ok to stumble along the way.

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New set of luggage

If she’s moving to a new city or school, she’s going to need some new luggage!

A lot of college graduates take the time after their graduation to take a gap year, or at least go on a longer trip that they may never have the time to do again. If your daughter isn’t starting a job or more schooling, then perhaps she’d like to travel somewhere that’s always interested her? Whether it’s backpacking in South America, touring the capitals of Europe, or going on an adventure in the Australian outback, she’s going to need some kind of luggage to get there.

Traveling is a lot easier when you have the right luggage, whether it’s a carryon that stows everything she needs, a backpack that’s lighter than it looks, or a large suitcase that will keep all her items safe while en route, luggage is a great graduation gift. Because it can get pricey, this is something lots of folks don’t think to buy for themselves, which makes this a great gift for your daughter!

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Calm gift card

Give the gift of soothing meditations for when times get hectic

Email a Calm gift card

Starting a new phase of life is scary, and graduating college, while it is very exciting, comes with a sense of the unknown. This can understandably throw lots of people off their center of balance, which is why it’s essential to have a grounding practice like meditation to help. A gift card to Calm means you’re providing her with the tools to take charge of her mental health so she can take on whatever life throws at her with confidence.

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Appliance/furniture for a new apartment

If your college graduate is moving into her first apartment, help her furnish it!

Is your daughter planning to move into her first apartment after graduation? If so, that’s great news, as this is definitely one of the definitive steps to adulthood. While having her own apartment is amazing, it may be a little tough filling it up on a small budget. You can definitely help her out with this by offering to help her furnish it with a useful appliance or piece of furniture. Since this is her first adult home, chances are she’ll want a little upgrade from what she was used to in college, so consider opting to pay for an item that might otherwise be out of her reach:

  • Fancy coffee/espresso maker
  • Sous vide or air fryer
  • A couch/loveseat set
  • A bed and mattress
  • Dining room table and chairs

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Wardrobe help

This is her first time in the real world, so help her spruce up her wardrobe

Starting a new job after college is scary enough without having to worry about what you’re going to wear everyday! This is especially important if she’s starting a job in an office or professional setting where she’ll need to adhere to a specific dress code. Help her stock her wardrobe with a variety of items she can get a lot of wear out of, and mix and match with (think neutral colors like black, white, brown, navy).

If she doesn’t have a job just yet, this could also be a great time to purchase her first suit for her. This is a great piece to have in her closet for interviews, job fairs, or other events when she wants to put on a professional appearance.

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A trip or experience

Give the gift of a wonderful trip or unique experience

Now that the stress of college is over, it’s time for your daughter to figure out what’s next for her. If she doesn’t have it all mapped out, not a problem, she is still figuring out what’s right for her. Perhaps a trip (either solo or with friends) is something she needs to figure out what path is best for her? You could help fund all or part of this memorable trip for her.

Or perhaps there is something she’s always wanted to do, like attend a specific concert or show? You could help her get tickets to that as a graduation present.

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Gift box

Create a customized gift box, or find one made for graduates!

While you may have sent her care packages at school, graduation from college is a great time to get her a gift box of items that are both useful and sentimental. You could include some of the items on this list, like a book, a piece of jewelry, or tickets to a show along with some things you know she’ll need like a new blanket, a candle, or her favorite set of tea or coffee. This can be super low key but something that’s customized to what she needs!

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Customized Visa gift card

These gift cards can be used for anything your college graduate might need!

Email a Visa gift card

Sometimes, a Visa gift card is the best gift to give your daughter after graduation. Why? Because she can use it for whatever she needs! Visa isn’t limited to one store, she can shop wherever Visa is accepted, whether that’s at her local coffee shop, a small business, or at her favorite online retailer!

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Those are our top college graduation gift ideas for your daughter

This is an exciting time in your daughter’s life, and after her college graduation she may be headed to another city, or onto her first job or apartment. That’s why it’s essential that you make sure she’s well prepared with one of these amazing college graduation gift ideas!

This article originally appeared on Blog.giftya.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who specializes in smart shopping, personal finance, parenting, and retail. Trae has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn and a top personal finance expert by GoBankingRates and Flexjobs. She is a contributor at Millie Magazine and CNN Underscored, and her writing and expert commentary have appeared in Newsweek, Woman's Day, Forbes, USNews.com, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, MSN.com, Yahoo Finance and numerous others. She has also appeared on TV hundreds of times; including Good Morning America's GMA3: What You Need to Know, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Inside Edition, CNBC and local network affiliates nationwide.