High School Graduation Gift Alternatives

It’s high school graduation gift season! You are probably the kind of person who wants to get your graduate a gift they will enjoy instead of an ill-thought-out gift card. So I have compiled a list of great high school graduation gifts I would like to receive that are a bit outside the box.

1.  Campus Card Money– Many college campuses use some sort of campus card, which operates much like a debit card. Students load money onto the card and can use it for everything from drinks and snacks in the dorm vending machines to food at restaurants close to campus. Some campuses even allow businesses in the community (like grocery stores and such) to accept this “campus cash,” and now many dorm-room laundry machines take them.

2.  Quarters– Another way to avoid giving a gift card, but still remain useful and thoughtful, is to give your grad a few rolls of quarters. For those campuses that do not use campus cards, quarters are the way to get drinks and snacks and even do laundry.

3.  Making College Count— Yes, I do know that this is the website for Making College Count, but despite the self-promotion, if you are looking to give something useful for a student’s college success—this is it. More than essentials like towels and sheets that a grad could get from anyone, Making College Count helps students learn to set themselves up for success in college and beyond.

4.  Survival Kit/Care Package– Many companies provide students (for a fee of course) with a survival kit at critical portions of the year, or a one time care package. As your high school graduation gift, you present the graduate with a certificate of the gift, and it keeps on giving after the initial certificate is presented. The best way to give this gift is to get one that fits your student’s personal interests. One of my favorite ones is from Mental Floss magazine—really appropriate for the geeks out there! But there are many, many more. Do your research and find the one that is best for your grad.

5.  Key Chain– One of the best high school graduation gifts I received was a college-themed key chain. I put my room key on it. A great bit of advice I received was to keep your room key on a different key chain than the rest of your keys, so when you lock something like your car keys in your car, you might still be able to get in your room because your room key is not on that particular key chain. This is also good for those who have to use the bathrooms/showers down the hall. You will want to have your key with you when you go to take a shower, but you don’t want to have to take tons of keys with you. Also, you don’t want to be that kid running frantically to your resident assistant in nothing but your bath towel trying to get the spare key to your room.

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