A close runner-up to cash, all gift cards are not created equal. A gift card too small to buy something without additional money is not practical.
- Coffee shop gift cards are popular. Even kids who dislike coffee will hang out there on occasion, and a gift card will be handy.
- Gasoline cards will always be used. Even a student without a car can help pay for fill-ups for road trips.
- Sporting goods store cards, unless they are high value, are not a great idea because they may be out of the student’s normal price range. However, a large enough amount designated for a specific item (sneakers, skateboard, or jacket) will be quite appreciated.
- Bed and bath store cards and big-box store cards are useful. The grad can furnish their dorm room, buy personal items, and stock up on coffee and snacks.
- Certificates for nail salons, grocery stores or fast food restaurants that are close to the college are always welcome.
- Avoid cards to swanky restaurants. For mid-range franchise restaurants, give enough for the student to bring a friend or date.
- Cards to on-line stores are terrific for buying books and entertainment.
- And finally, Visa or American Express prepaid cards can be used virtually anywhere. Keep in mind that they do have service fees for that convenience.
Amazon Student Membership
Amazon Prime Student is a Prime membership program created for college students. As a Prime Student member, you receive a six-month trial that includes Free Two-Day Shipping on over 50 million items, unlimited streaming of Prime movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos, exclusive deals and savings, and more! After your six-month trial ends, your Prime Student membership makes you eligible to receive 50% off Amazon Prime, and includes access to all Prime benefits. Join Prime Student today!
Dorm Room Furnishings
Certain big-ticket items can make dorm life more comfortable.
- A comfortable desk chair can last the grad for four years and beyond. Find a model that can be kept in a box and assembled on site. (Verify that the dorm does not already have nice swivel chairs.)
- A small refrigerator or a microwave oven will be used daily. Check with the parents to avoid duplicates. But if they already have one…
- A rolling cart that holds the refrigerator and has a few mesh shelves to hold snacks and plates and napkins is a sensational gift.
- A flat screen TV is practical because it will save precious space. Check to be sure the dorm room can accommodate this.
- If the dorm room beds can be lofted, get a futon for under the loft. Sometimes local companies will construct the wooden futon in the room on opening day; they will know the correct dimensions for your dorm. Add bedding if you can afford it.
Portable iPhone chargers are extremely practical for busy college students. People like to choose their own phones, computers and tablets. Compact docking stations and wireless speaker sets make great gifts. Digital photo frames are a space-saving way to keep favorite photos on display. A new (unbroken) Xbox could be welcome.
College students still like the feel of paper and pen, if only for the novelty factor.
- Beautiful pens, especially from special relatives, are meaningful and will be enjoyed. Go for excellent writing quality; include refills, too.
- Permanent markers in multiple colors are fun for making posters and marking possessions.
- High-quality journals and hard-cover notebooks are perfect for artists, poets, and note-takers. Make it meaningful; go for a recognized brand name.
- Envelopes and postage stamps are practical and fun. College kids love to receive mail; help them send letters to friends in other schools.
One of my favorite gifts to receive while in college was a care package full of my favorite snacks. CarePackages.com offers an assortment of gift options to fit every budget and event. Packages start around $25 and up. A special team selects the perfect products to ensure that every package is one that the most important people in your life will be happy to receive. Help your college student feel right at home while away from home with a special gift!
Beef Jerky Flower Bouquet
Beef Jerky is one of the top snacks for college students. When I send college gift baskets, I always include some because it’s delicious and stores well. Send hand-picked care packages that are not only tasty but fun to display. The petals are made with 100% beef and the stems are a mix of beef, pork, and spices. They are one of the tastiest college students gift ideas, too!
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