The 31 Best High School Graduation Gift Ideas
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High school graduations mark more than just the end of 12th grade — for many kids, graduation marks their first steps into true adult life. Some will move out and head off to college, while others will look for jobs closer to home. Still, others will pack two pairs of socks and a water bottle to embark on a six-month journey to find themselves in another country.
To assist your grad gift search, we’ve compiled a high school graduation gift guide that includes versatile electronics for study or play, dorm room kitchen essentials, space-saving organizers, and more to mark the occasion and celebrate their first steps into adulthood!
Inexpensive High School Graduation Gifts Under $50
1. Desk Lamp/Speaker
Price: $32 at Urban Outfitters
Set up for those late-night study sessions with a combination desk lamp and speaker from Urban Outfitters. Your fledgling adult will enjoy the flexibility of a wireless lamp, and the included phone stand means it’ll be easier than ever to keep an organized space.
2. Words of Wisdom Personalized Jar
Price: $22.99 at Personalization Mall
We get it — teens aren’t always ready to listen to advice right when you want to share it. With a personalized Words of Wisdom jar, though, they can take the family’s heartfelt encouragement and advice on the road. Leave this out at a party or prepare notes beforehand so they’ll know where to look during those tough times.
3. Magic Bullet Mini Blender, 7 Piece Set
Price: $34.97 $24.98 at Walmart
The Magic Bullet Mini Blender from Walmart is great for morning juices or after-gym smoothies. It can also whip up a mean salsa or guac for an afternoon get-together. This blender comes in two cup sizes (the smaller size is especially useful when on the go). And its compact design won’t take up space in the kitchen or dorm.
4. Heart-Shaped Peridot Pendant
Price: $69 at Zales
We had to look up what peridot was — in retrospect, it does sound a lot better than “light green gemstone." Give your August baby the perfect gift with their birthstone set in a heart-shaped pendant.
5. Men's Black Chain Necklace
Price: $49 at Zales
Every outfit can use an accent piece — start your graduate off right with a stainless steel chain from Zales. Its understated black finish will bring a nice touch to their look, and the ion-plated black means that this chain will last long beyond their college years.
6. Primula Classic 8-Cup French Press
Price: $26.99 at Kohl’s
Making coffee is easier with this 8-Cup French press made by Primula. Just pour in the desired amount of coffee grounds, add hot water and wait a few minutes for the coffee to steep. The best part? No filters are necessary, and clean-up is a breeze.
7. Floral Print Belted Dress
Price: $36 $21.25 at SHEIN
Celebrate summer with a beautiful floral printed dress from SHEIN. The included belt gives this dress a cute, complete look without much work — just choose between four colors and complete the look with a few accessories.
8. Whitmor Junior Under Bed Bag
Price: $24.99 at Kohl’s
Closet space is hard to come by for college freshmen. This storage bag is made to fit underneath the bed and is perfect for clothes, towels, or extra bedding. The dual front-facing handles make it easy to pull out, while the viewing window helps your grad remember what’s inside!
9. Simply Herringbone 20-Pocket Over The Door Shoe Organizer
Price: $39.99 at Kohl’s
Next on our space-saving college tour is this over the door shoe organizer. Your grad will be able to hold up to ten pairs of shoes without having to sacrifice precious closet or bedroom space. It’s also an effective way to keep every shoe in one place (as opposed to scattered across the floor).
10. Synthetic Wool Socks, 2 Pack
Price: $19.99 $17.99 at Carhartt
Prepare your grad for one of the few insects that can survive any climate or environment — the travel bug. If the dreaded travel bug’s bitten your graduate, it’s likely that normal socks won’t cut it where they’re headed. Make sure they’re prepped to go with a comfy two-pack pair of synthetic wool socks from Carhartt. You’ll likely still worry about them, but at least you’ll know their toes are nice and toasty.
11. Project Source 19-Piece Tool Set in Bag
Price: $24.98 $15.98 at Lowe’s
You may garner a few eye-rolls upon presenting, but your grad will thank you the first time a screw comes loose or they want to hang up a picture. Sold at Lowe’s, this 19-piece tool set from Project Source has all they need for any simple DIY project, including a 6-in-1 screwdriver, 12-oz fiberglass hammer, scissors, measuring tape, pliers, adjustable wrench, and six metric hex keys (also known as Allen wrenches).
Great Graduation Gifts Under $100
12. Anker PowerCore III Sense 20K mAh 20W PD USB-C Portable Battery Charger
Price: $59.99 at Best Buy
A portable charger will come through in a clutch for jam-packed days on campus or those spur-of-the-moment excursions. This charger from Anker can rapidly charge two devices at the same time and has a USB-C port to accommodate the latest iPhone and Android devices.
13. Instapot 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
Price: $98 at Amazon
Save your student from the horrors of dorm food with an Instapot. You can opt for a smaller one for single meals, but the 8-quart is amazing for meal prep or a quick shareable dish with friends. They might still take the risk on dorm food, but at least they won’t have to.
14. Aromatherapy Diffuser & Essential Oil Set
Price: $35 at Walmart
College can be stressful. Show your grad you’re looking out for their well-being with this diffuser and essential oil set. The essential oils and ambient light modes will help them to relax and soothe their mind, while the natural fragrances will work to freshen up their living space.
15. Hamilton Beach 1.7-Liter Electric Kettle
Price: $44.99 at Kohl’s
If your grad is about to embark on dorm life, there’s a good chance they won’t have regular access to a stove. This makes the electric kettle a crucial item for their culinary repertoire. The 1.7-Liter option from Hamilton Beach is an ideal companion to the aforementioned French press. It’s a must-have for brewing tea, too. And, of course, ramen noodles.
16. Echo Show 8 2nd Gen
Price: $129.99 at Amazon
Your high schooler isn’t the only one who’s been learning — Alexa’s been working on herself for over 20 years, and she’s more than ready to help out in the dorms. Stay connected without your outbound young adult with a Show 8 and send Alexa along to make sure they’re handling everything well. They’ll be able to set alarms, reminders, and weather updates on top of a host of other skills Alexa’s picked up over the years.
17. Altavida 12-lb. Ultra Plush Faux Mink Weighted Blanket
Price: $79.99 $39.99 at Kohl’s
According to Healthline, weighted blankets relax the nervous system by mimicking a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation. This stimulation can relieve pain, lessen anxiety, and improve mood. Since you can’t always be there for a tough situation, get this blanket to help support them through a temporary bout of stress or loneliness.
18. Tile Mate Essentials 4-Pack
Price: $79.99 at Amazon
If your high schooler is as forgetful as we were at that age, avert losing the essentials by gifting them a Tile Mate 4-pack. Stick one of these on a key ring, another in a backpack or wallet, and never worry again about adventuring too far from the essentials.
19. Wood Star Succulent
Price: $84.99 at 1-800-Flowers.com
College dorms can be pretty bland — spruce up the space with this succulent display set in a wooden star. Succulents are incredibly easy to take care of, so this is a great pick for those adults-in-training who love plants but don’t have the greenest of thumbs.
Useful High School Graduation Gifts Under $150
20. Kindle Paperwhite
Price: $139.99 at Amazon
More and more books are being sold in digital format these days, and the Kindle Paperwhite makes it easy to see why. With a backlight for nighttime reading and Amazon’s e-ink display that’s incredibly easy on the eyes, a Kindle is just what on-the-go grads need to keep their favorite books close at hand.
21. Instant Vortex Plus 10-Quart Air Fryer
Price: $149.95 at Macy’s
This one might be a bit too big for the dorms, but grab one of these for your favorite french fry fanatic. It’ll fit great in an apartment setting, and it’s a great way to capture the fresh, crispy taste of fried food without the hassle and health concerns of the oil-soaked alternative.
22. Bose Soundlink Flex Bluetooth Speaker
Price: $149.99 at Best Buy
This speaker is a surefire mainstay in any music lover’s everyday carry list. Weighing in at a measly 1.3 pounds, the Soundlink Flex packs a huge auditory punch in a neat little package. Your young adult can enjoy crisp, clear audio anywhere but the library, study hall, classroom… well, they’ll find somewhere to enjoy it.
23. Patagonia Women's Nano Puff Insulated Vest
Price: $149 at Dick’s Sporting Goods
Whether it’s a backpacking trip across Europe or a particularly chilly Wednesday on the West Coast, it’s always nice to have a warm vest or jacket to put on. The insulation will be great for morning jogs without being too boxy, thanks to the cut, and Patagonia is one of the best brands out there for long-lasting gear and travel apparel.
High School Grad Gifts Under $200
24. Super Dux Relaxed Fit Sherpa-Lined Jackets
Price: $159.99-$174.99 at Carhartt
Speaking of travel apparel, sometimes a sleeveless vest just won’t cut it. If your newly-minted grad is going to be facing the open road (or a camping site) regularly, make sure they’ll be warm out there with a sherpa-lined jacket. It’s so comfy we wouldn’t be surprised if they moved up into the mountains and built a cabin there.
25. SanDisk 1TB External SSD
Price: $309.99 $179.99 at Amazon
With the world moving so much of its interaction online, it’s more important than ever to have a place to keep all those memories. Whether it’s an album of summer photos with the family, a collection of digital textbooks, or their secret vault of TikTok videos that will never again see the light of day, SanDisk’s external solid state storage will keep that data safe for years to come.
26. Foreo Luna 3 Facial Cleanser
Price: $199 at Foreo
Give your grad a way to keep that youthful glow and get a nice, cleansing massage at the same time with Foreo’s Luna 3 cleanser. Users love picking this up as part of their skincare routine or after a workout to keep their skin clear of sweat. Choose different variations based on skin type to make sure they’ve got a comfortable, convenient way to clear up their skin.
27. iRobot Roomba 692
Price: $299 $203.99 at Amazon
Roomba’s got some pretty advanced models out there, but their entry-level units are cheaper than ever. If a clean room seems like an unattainable goal, let a Roomba get started on the floors. A helpful app lets users schedule their cleaning times, so they can set the bot to clean during class or study sessions and come back to a clean carpet.
Best Tech Gifts Under $500 for High School Graduates
28. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Price: $299.99 at Verizon
Spiderman’s foes might hold the power of the sun in their hands, but your grad can harness the power of a Galaxy on their wrist with a Samsung smartwatch from Verizon. The Samsung wearable is packed with features, and it looks great too. If you’re an Android family, Samsung watches are arguably the best out there in wearable tech.
29. Creality Ender 3 3D Printer
Price: $399.99 $289.99 at Amazon
This is definitely not a dorm gift, but if your high schooler loves to create, consider springing for an entry-level 3D printer from Creality. The Ender 3 is one of the top 3D printers out there for hobbyists and new designers. So get them started and ready yourself for everything from the silly and strange to the truly incredible to start popping up in the house.
30. Apple AirPods Max
Price: $549 $499.99 at Best Buy
If great audio quality and the ability to shut the world out with the press of a button sound like they’d appeal to your young adult, Apple’s AirPods Max are an amazing solution. We’ve tested these in some pretty noisy environments, and their noise cancellation tech is ridiculously effective. Pick these up for an extravagant gift and hundreds of nearly uninterruptible study sessions.
31. Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Price: $349.99 at Best Buy
You can probably imagine (or remember) what it’s like trying to focus in a crowded library or a noisy dorm room. These wireless noise-canceling headphones from Sony are perfect for listening to music or silencing the surrounding hubbub, and their 30-hour battery life can handle those all-night study sessions.
Easy Graduation Party Food and Decor Ideas
Congrats Popcorn Tin
Price: $27.99-$44.99 at Popcorn Factory
Get the party poppin’ with a truly enormous popcorn tin from Popcorn Factory. Each bucket comes with 3 flavors of popcorn to please the partygoers and enough of each to feed a small army. All you’ll need is a bunch of chairs, a heartfelt (but slightly embarrassing) slideshow of your grad and you're all set to party!
One of a Kind Bouquet
Price: $44.99-$99.99 at 1-800-Flowers.com
If your soon-to-be graduate appreciates flowers, consider a one-of-a-kind bouquet arranged personally by a local florist from 1-800-Flowers.com. No two bouquets will look alike, and they’ll be a beautiful addition to all those pictures you’ll be taking.
Celebration Cheesecake Bites
Price: $44.99 at Shari’s Berries
You know what they say: You can’t spell “celebration" without “cheesecake!" As it turns out, you definitely can spell it without cheesecake, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying these cheesecake bites from Shari’s Berries. These only come in batches of 9, so make sure to save this one for the afterparty.
Cheerful Sweets Fruit Bouquet
Price: $44.99-$54.99 at FruitBouquets.com
Who says you can’t play with your food? If flowers aren’t your graduate’s speed, get them an edible assortment of delicious fruits and not-as-delicious decorative kale and lettuce. Better yet, you can reuse the melamine container afterward for a potted plant or a change jar.
Personalized Garden Flag
Price: $19.99 at Personalization Mall
Don’t keep your celebration a secret — set up a garden flag in your yard and get the whole neighborhood in on the fun! Choose from 15 background and accent colors for over 200 possible ways to publicly display your pride.
Looking for even more party ideas? Stop by Vistaprint and enter code “GRADUATION" at checkout for up to 25% off signs, banners, and everything else you need to celebrate your new graduate.