Gift ideas for post-secondary students

Post-secondary education is the natural next step for many graduating high school students.

In 2022 there were 17.9 million students enrolled in degree-granting colleges and universities in the U.S., according to Best Colleges. Many other students began their college careers in the fall 2023 semester, joining the ranks of people working toward their degrees.

Holiday gifts that aim to meet the needs and interests of students can ensure the presents will be enjoyed and utilized. Modern college students likely can use a few things to simplify life on campus.

Laptop or tablet: Gone are the days when students primarily use pen and paper for school assignments. Students are often introduced to tablets and other digital devices to complete assignments and take notes as early as elementary school. This reliance on paperless communication continues at high school and university levels. Most, if not all, assignments are posted online and then completed and submitted through various portals or cloud services. Therefore, college students will require a laptop or high-functioning tablet with the right processing speed and memory capacity to handle the demand.

Student card funds: Colleges utilize different programs for paying for meal plans and incidentals purchased on campus. This likely involves funds linked to a proprietary card that functions similarly to a debit or credit card. Savvy gift-givers can deposit funds into students’ accounts so that they’ll have a little extra spending money to put toward books or that mocha latte at the campus coffee shop.

Parking pass: Although freshmen may be restricted from bringing cars to campus unless they are commuter students, sophomores and upperclassmen may be able to park in campus lots. Parking typically is an extra cost for students, meaning friends or relatives can gift the cost of annual parking passes to the college students in their lives.

Dorm gear: College students who opt to live in campus housing often want to make their dorm rooms a home away from home. They will need to outfit these tight quarters with items that won’t take up too much space. Small pod-type coffee pots, compact microwaves, mini-fridges, under-bed storage shelving, area rugs, cozy comforters, and bathroom essentials can make college kids’ dorm rooms feel more like home.

Event tickets: Not every moment should be spent in classrooms or residence halls. College students may want to venture away from campus, and what better way to enjoy the sights and offerings of what nearby venues have to offer than by attending various events? Gift-givers can offer tickets to art shows, music festivals, comedy club nights, amusement parks, or other events in college towns.

Travel assistance: Attending college far from home means that students will take planes, trains or automobiles to return home for holidays and other special events. Gifting college students airline or train fare, or providing gift cards for gas station fill-ups, means students will be able to afford trips home when needed.

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