Graduating from college is one of the most significant and memorable milestones in a person’s life. It’s such an exciting time that celebrates all of the hard work, determination and focus that the graduate put in over the years. As with most celebrations, it’s common to give the graduate a gift to acknowledge their accomplishment and let them know how proud of them you are.
No matter what the occasion is, shopping for gifts can be difficult and stressful. This is especially true when shopping for men. It can be overwhelming trying to decide what a young man who just graduated college would like or use. To help inspire you and make it easier, here are 25 gift ideas that your graduate will love. For more gift ideas, check out our article 15 best gifts for brother-in-laws and 23 best gifts for doctors.
Best College Graduation Gifts for Him
If someone is graduating college they need some nicer clothes to start working. The first thing I did when I graduated college was buy some office clothes - 6 dress shirts included.
This classic, slim fit dress shirt features blue speckled interior inspired by clouds in the sky. For an extra touch of class, it has a semi-spread collar and silver buttons down the front and on the cuffs making it the perfect work and grad gown attire.
It’s made from durable 100% cotton that keeps you cool and dry all day. Here's a guide to best no sweat dress shirts if you live in a hot and humid area. Plus, as a bonus, this dress shirt also comes with complimentary, metal collar stays.
This is perfect for any young professional. It’s a durable, metal business card holder that holds approximately 20 business cards. The hinged lid is quick and easy to open and close, keeping everything secure and organized.
“Goal Digger” is elegantly engraved on the front, helping your graduate will feel inspired and motivated to keep reaching for the goals.
As graduates enter the workforce, they need to learn to dress the part and look sharp. Knit ties are the perfect mix of casual and classy. The knit texture gives the fabric dimension and style, and the rich burgundy color really stands out in a crowd. This slim style tie is noticeably skinnier than traditional ties, giving it a sleek, modern look ideal for casual and business casual settings.
You can find our top ranked ties here.
Nothing says “professional” quite like a tie clip. They may seem small and minute but they’re actually very useful. They keep you looking put together with your tie in straight and in place all day long.
This sturdy tie clip is made with durable copper a with a silver finish. It features a simple, minimalist design making it compatible with any outfit - dressy or casual. You also receive a free linen drawstring pouch adorned with a Harajuku-inspired wave design.
Give the gift of music, Amazon Alexa and more with this Echo Smart Speaker. This speaker is small but powerful with Dolby 360° audio. Once Alexa has been properly set up, you can use voice control to control your music, turn light off/on, make announcements and more. This speaker is compatible with all devices and music streaming services.
Choose from a variety of colors and fonts to personalize one of these high quality tumblers for your graduate. These are perfect for keeping hot beverages hot for up to 12 hours and cold beverages cold for up to 24 hours. Made from rugged stainless steel, these tumblers are long lasting, sweat-resistant and fit in most cup holders.
This is a thoughtful gift that will remind your graduate of this proud day and happy memories. It’s embroidered with the quote, “Remember the Memories Behind Us the Friends Before Us and the Dreams Before Us.” You can also customize it with the year and message up to 30 characters. The 100% cotton pillow case is removable and machine washable.
A watch is a great gift that’s both functional and stylish. This stunning watch features sleek gunmetal on the hands, markers dial and strap. The second hand and sub dials are a bold blue that really makes them stand out and creates beautiful contrast. Three subdials in the middle include a 30 minute timer, 60 second timer and 24 hour clock.
A simple cuff bracelet is a great accessory for graduates with style. This is a silver or black, stainless steel cuff that adds the perfect touch to any outfit. It has an open enclosure and is made from an adjustable, semi-flexible material, ensuring it will comfortably fit all size wrists. This cuff looks great on its own or as an accompaniment to a watch.
10. Tile Mate
Life is about to get real and your graduate can’t afford to spend time looking for their lost phone or keys. Tile Mate hooks onto your important possessions and helps you find them instantly when you’ve misplaced them.
You can use this feature to make your lost phone ring, even if its set to silent. If something is lost but is still nearby, you can make it ring. If you lost something a little further away, Community Find uses location updates from other tile users to help you locate your belongings.
This classic, portable notebook can be used for work projects, journaling, lists, planning and more. The cover is soft, yet durable, with rounded corners that keep it protected while you’re on the go.
The paper is acid-free and a soft, ivory color that’s gentle and pleasing to the eye. It also features an inner pocket on the back cover that expands to hold cards, loose note or other keepsakes. It’s available in a variety of colors, so you can pick the one that best fits your graduate’s personality.
Give the gift of warmth, comfort and style with this luxurious cashmere scarf. Made in Nepal by local artisans, this scarf has stunning metallic detailing that makes it ideal for either day or night, and it can be worn casually or with professional attire. It’s available in either ivory, red or charcoal.
T-shirts are always an easy and useful gift. Although this shirt is meant for birthdays, it’s still a great idea for graduates because you can customize the year on it to fit the graduation year. This comfy, classic black t-shirt is made from 100% cotton and comes in sizes M to 3XL.
This lightweight camping mug is an excellent gift for graduates who love the outdoors. It’s composed of cold rolled steel and coated with durable enamel that will allow it to stand up to the wear and tear of nature’s elements. The front of this mug features a decal with the quote, “The Adventure Begins,” which is perfectly symbolic of them entering their next phase in life.
These would be a wonderful gift idea for a graduate who plans to do some post-college travelling, but they’re also great for everyday use. Wireless headphones give you the freedom to comfortably move around without having to deal with cords and wires.
These wirelessly connect to your devices via Bluetooth so you can listen to music and talk on the phone. They fully charge in just 1.5 hours and provide you with 3 hours of talk time. The carrying case also doubles as an extra power bank.
This box set of pure cotton hankies offers a variety of patterns that can be worn as an accessory with any outfit. In addition to adding some style and flare to any look, a hanky is also just really useful to have on hand.
These hankies measure 16in X 16in and are machine washable. The cotton fabric is strong and durable, meaning they’ll be long lasting even after many washes.
A masculine fragrance is the best way to finish off any professional ensemble. This particular fragrance is an eau de toilette, meaning it isn’t as overpowering as an eau de parfum.
When working in an office setting where many people are in a closed off area, aggressive smells can be unpleasant, so this is a great gift for a graduate that’ll be going to work in an office after graduation.
Here’s another great gift for any graduate that plans on doing some travelling. It’s also a useful bag for anyone living in a big city where they might encounter thieves or pick-pocketers. This bag is stylish, roomy and built to last.
It’s theft protection features include slash-proof zippers, locking zippers, slash-proof straps and RFID-blocking to protect your electronics and credit card info. It’s constructed with heavy-duty cotton with elegant suede accents and includes a key click with an LED light for extra safety.
If your graduate lives in a cold climate or will be traveling to one, this beanie with built-in wireless headphones will be the perfect gift to keep them warm and entertained. It pairs in to any Bluetooth device in just seconds and stays connected for up to 30 feet away without losing signal.
The battery holds up to 20 hours of play time, which is over 3x longer than other wireless headphones. The speaker quality is excellent and a user-friendly control on the right side of the hat allows you to control music and make calls.
This a practical gift that anyone can use, and they get to carry on their school pride for years to come. This machine washable laundry bag is made from durable cotton/poly blend and uses a drawstring closure.
The front of the bag can be customized with any initial and a personal message up to two lines long. You can also choose the appropriate color of the lettering to celebrate your graduate’s alma mater.
This digital projection alarm clock isn’t just useful, it’s amazing to look at. It features a 180° projection of the time an FM radio that allows you to save up to 60 channels. The sleep timer is a great option if you like to listen to the radio while falling asleep but don’t want it to be on all night long.
As far as alarm functions, you’re able to set 2 different alarms at once and choose from 7 different alarm tones and snooze as much as you want to. One of the best things about the alarm clock is the USB charging ports located on the back.
New graduates learn quickly that life after college can be stressful and exhausting. This doormat features two footprints to help bring a little piece of paradise right into their home. They can take a deep breath and imagine a happy place.
The mat itself is made from durable 100% coir and the design is made with vegetable based ink. It’s very simple to clean, all you have to do is pick it up and give it a few hard shakes -- any dirt build up will fall right off.
A briefcase is one of the essentials when it comes to being a professional businessman. This one is made from genuine South American cowhide that is extremely durable and long lasting. It has a traditional look but still feels very modern, so it’s a perfect choice for any style.
It features several pockets, a zipper top, a fan file divider, and a padded laptop compartment. The adjustable strap can be removed if desired and it can be carried from the top handle.
Give the gift of coffee. This single cup brewer instantly brews a perfect cup with the touch of a button. It’s compact design allows it to fit comfortably in any size kitchen without taking up too much room.
You can use pre-measured k-cups or make coffee the traditional way. It also has an Auto-clean function making it low maintenance and easy to use.
Graduating college is often associated with becoming a man. Nothing says becoming a man like getting a credit card and customizing it for someone helps him with personalizing such an important item.
Gifts for Other Occasions
- Valentine's Day
- Birthday gifts for a guy
- High school graduation gifts for a teenage man
- 20 best gifts for grandpa
The Nature of Graduation Gifts
Graduation is the start of a new chapter in life. Commencement ceremonies celebrate the hard work and dedication necessary to meet the requirements for graduation. Commencement, meaning “to begin,” marks the end of the school chapter and the beginning of something new. Whether the student is graduating from high school or earning a college degree, this marks a momentous occasion.
A milestone like this is typically celebrated with a party, food, and gifts for the triumphant graduate. Gifts can vary from cash to something practical to help guide him towards his new beginnings.
There are many to-do’s and to-don’ts when it comes to gift giving for graduations.
Amount You Should Be Spending on Gifts
The amount of money you spend or cash you give can be a stressful thought, but it does not have to be. Consider graduation gifts like you would if this were his birthday or any other special occasion. How close are you to this individual? What is your relationship with him? These questions can help you pinpoint an amount that you feel comfortable giving.
Obviously, parents tend to splurge on big events, but you won’t be expected to do that. The standard suggestions tend to be that close relatives can safely spend about $50, close friends can spend around $25, and acquaintances or family friends can spend around $20.
These amounts are not set in stone and you are more than welcome to spend whatever amount you want to on the happy graduate. If you are on a budget, then feel free to spend whatever you can afford. At the end of the day, it truly is the thought that counts.
Can You Mail a Gift?
Mailing a gift is appropriate if you are unable to attend the graduation party. If you received an invite to the party, this means that the host holds you close enough to them to consider you a part of their social circle.
If you do decide to mail the gift, it’s important to keep in mind how long shipping takes. You may want to consider sending the gift a bit early along with a note instructing him to not open until the present until the big day arrives.
Another thing to consider when mailing a gift is to not send anything too fragile. Even when the package is marked “fragile” things can still happen and it can be dropped or squished in the process. So it’s best to send something soft or at least very durable if you must.
Be wary of sending money in the mail. If you’d like to give the gift of cash, it’s best to send it through a wiring service or in the form of an e-gift card. This way you know they will safely receive the money instantly.
What is Graduation Gift Etiquette?
There are some definitions to get out of the way here.
A graduation announcement is simply an announcement that someone is graduating and does not necessarily mean that you are invited to the commencement ceremony or the graduation party.
The commencement ceremony invitation means that you have been selected to attend the graduation event to see the student walk. These seats are typically limited and you will need to let the student know if you will be able to use your ticket or not.
An invitation to the graduation party is the event after the commencement ceremony.
It is customary that you bring a gift and a card if you have been offered an invitation to the party and you accept the invitation. These events are typically all about the graduate and may even involve the graduate opening gifts in front of all the attending guests. Graduation gifts are well-deserved for all the hard work and perseverance it took to earn.
If you received an announcement, etiquette does not obligate you to do anything. If you would like to send a card congratulating him on his big achievement, then feel free to do so.
Ways to Pick the Gift He Will Love
Gift giving always seems to be a stressor for many people, but do not let this one get to you. In today’s world, there are so many options and we are here to help guide you in the right direction. Whether young or old, there are plenty of gifts that will make an impression on that special guy in your life who just achieved a major milestone in his life.
Many guys can appreciate a good edible gift, especially if it includes their favorite food. This can mean anything from a special home cooked dish that you know he adores or a box of his favorite snacks. If he loves a brand of chips that is only sold in his state and his moving away for a job or college, then gift him a bulk box of those delicious crisps so he can have a bit of home away from home.
Homemade cookies or even providing the cake for the party are a nice touch if you are unable to afford a pricey gift.
Cash and Gift Cards
All right, let’s be honest here. Who does not love having some cash around?
Cash lets him spend money without feeling guilty for dipping into his bank account. It ensures that he can spend a little bit of money on himself for something fun when he is out and about. If he is the practical sort, he can use this for gas money or even for tipping when he goes out for dinner or orders in for the night. Which brings us to gift cards.
Gift cards are great because they make them for everything, it seems. Restaurants and fast food places have gift cards. Online stores have even entered the gift card scene. If you know what his favorite food places and stores are, then you have an easy gift to give with a gift card.
If you want to be practical, you can always give him a gift card to a grocery store or where he plans on buying college textbooks.
Gift baskets come in all sorts of varieties.
Have you checked out the gift basket scene lately?
If the special graduate is getting their doctorate and they are into fancy wine, they make gift baskets for that. Check out local wineries for his favorite selections to see if they offer anything special.
Gift baskets that include all the necessities for a nice shower are perfect for the guy who likes to smell good and keep up with his hygiene. Standard gift baskets with an assortment of snacks and other goodies are also widely available. You just have to have an idea of what you are wanting and search for it.
Consider what the graduate is planning to do after graduation. Will they be travelling, starting an office job or continuing on with school? You can customize a gift basket with things that will be useful in their upcoming endeavors.
If he’s going to be doing some travelling, you can include things like a passport holder, a refillable water bottle or travel snacks. If you know he’s going to be starting a brand new job, you might include things like a customized name plate for his desk, office supplies or a custom mug. This is a great way to show your support and help them look forward to the future.
Personalized Crystal Awards or Diploma Frame
These tend to be for those graduating from higher education. Crystal awards come in many shapes like standard plaque, tower, obelisk, and many others. What makes these special is the personalization and the fact that they can bring these with them to their careers and display them proudly wherever they go.
Students tend to build a special bond with their alma mater, and these awards or frames only aid in solidifying that relationship. These gifts tend to feature the school logo, name, graduates’ name and class, graduation data, and whatever other personalization you want to include. Many people include their program, especially if they graduated from a master’s or doctoral program.
High School to College
This is a momentous occasion for a young graduate, and the gifts you can give are endless. Dorm or new apartment supplies are widely available and having some of this covered will help the family during the transition. Monogrammed laundry bags and organization totes and caddies are great ideas.
If you’re not sure what to get this young adult, a gift card or cash will always be appreciated and he can pick out exactly what he wants. He can get decorations or necessities for his new place or just spend it on doing something exciting to celebrate.
New headphones will definitely be required for the young music lover if they plan on having a roommate, they’re also perfect walking around campus or hanging out in between classes. With headphones, you can also throw in a giftcard for music and streaming services so he never runs out of music to enjoy.
College to Career
The adult who just graduated college and is in the transition phase to starting their career could do with several items. Imagine how stressed they must feel, despite how happy and proud they are of themselves. Supplies for his favorite hobby, a gift certificate for massage, tickets to his favorite game, gift cards to the movies, or any sort of entertainment so they can let loose a bit are considerate.
For those going into the corporate world, a leather portfolio or tablet cover can add confidence and an air of professionalism to their interview.
If they are moving out and getting a new place of their own, it might be a good time to get them their upgraded home goods and kitchenware as well. Gift cards to furniture and home stores are perfect so that they can pick out the things they need.
Ideas on What to Write in a Card
It can be difficult to get some quality time with the busy grad to let them know how you really feel. They’re busy taking pictures, shaking hands and just basking in the glory of accomplishment. A special message in a card gives you the opportunity to let them know how you feel.
Cards are your time to shine and tell the grad whatever little tidbit you want. Whether you hop right in with something humorous or stick with imparting life wisdom, the graduation card is the perfect keepsake place to do that. Let them know how proud you are of their accomplishments and congratulate them.
Reassure them that their future is bright and you are excited to see what the next chapter of their life has in store for them. New beginnings are always scary, so encourage them on their continued success through the next chapter in their life.
If you’ve known him since he was a youngster, it’s always fun to throw in a few memories of him in his younger years. Looking back at where he started and reminding him how far he’s come in life is definitely something to celebrate.
When it comes down to it, you know the graduate’s personality and what will really be the most meaningful message to them. They might be very serious and straightforward, sentimental or maybe they’re a big goofball. Tailor your message to fit their personality and they’ll love it.
If your actual gift has a special meaning behind it, a card is a great place to add some context and explain your reasoning behind it.
Congratulations to the Graduate
It is easy to grab a card off the shelf, scribble your name down, and send it on through the mail. But, it takes some effort to come up with that perfect personal message. It can be well worth the effort when that message makes the special graduate smile, laugh, or even shed a tear.
Some examples of what you can say are below:
- Congratulations on graduating. As one door closes, another door opens leading you further down this road of success. You have made us so proud.
- Your efforts have not been made in vain, and through all the hard work and tears, you have achieved what we all knew you could. Congratulations on graduating.
- Your passion and willingness to succeed has taken you so far. One hurdle after another – nothing seems to be able to stop you. Congratulations on leaping over this hurdle, Graduate.
- All those late nights, the lack of sleep, and dedication to work have paid off. Your future is here. Congratulations, Graduate.
- You chased your dreams down and tackled them. They didn’t stand a chance. Congratulations on achieving your goals.
- Learning is a never-ending process. Always seek out the truth and continue following your dreams. Happy graduation.
- What a grand day to wear a silly hat after working so hard for so many years. You deserve the hat and every bit of congrats you’re receiving today. Happy graduation.
- You are brilliant and have gained the proper experience to level up. Congratulations on your achievement, Graduate.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much money do you give for a college graduation gift?
The ideal amount of money to give for a college graduation gift is $25 as a friend or $50 if you are a close friend or family member. If immediate family then $100 may be more appropriate. However, giving cash as a college graduation gift is relatively impersonal and it is better to give a more personal gift with more thought.
2. Whats a good graduation gift for your boyfriend?
There are a lot of good graduation gifts you can give to your boyfriend, including dress shirts, watches, shoes, wallets, and more.
3. Are gifts expected for college graduation?
There is an etiquette fallacy that says you must give a gift when you receive a graduation announcement. Notifications are not invitations to attend. You are not required to provide a gift, but you may if you wish. Whether you bring a gift or not, a card or message of congratulations is always appreciated.
4. Do guys get flowers for college graduation?
Men receive flowers at graduation? You can undoubtedly surprise your graduate with a colorful bouquet if he is a gentleman. Men appreciate thoughtful gifts, and flowers evoke sentimentality and devotion. White flowers can symbolize your affection and respect for your graduate.
5. How much money do you give for a college graduation gift?
Bright Hub estimates that the average college graduation gift is between $100 and $500. Parents usually pay between $50 and $100 for a two- to four-year degree; advanced degrees cost around $100 each.
Buying a graduation gift for him does not have to be a stressful event, especially with today’s market and the wide availability of anything and everything. Depending on if he is graduating from high school or college, you may want to consider buying something practical that he can carry with him and use in the next chapter of his life. Of course, you can never go wrong with money and gift cards. Graduation is a huge occasion and the happy graduate deserves to be celebrated.