27 A+ Gifts For College Students In 2022

Article by Christine Williams. Last Updated: Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022.

College is a magical time in any young person’s life, and signals the transition to adulthood. It can be a rollercoaster of amazing fun, stressful studying, forming lifelong friendships, and all sorts of ups and downs. Finding the right gift for a college student can be a real challenge, especially if it’s been a few years (or more) since you were that age. Luckily, there are a ton of great gifts for college students no matter the occasion.

Whether you’re shopping for a College Student’s Christmas Present, Birthday Present, or any other, we’ve got you covered. Our list of College Student Gift Ideas will help you brainstorm and find the perfect item.

The Best Gifts For College Students

From the practical, to the frivolous, to the stress relieving, our overall favorite gifts for college students are:

  1. A Spacious Laptop Backpack
  2. The versatile SwissGear SA1923 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack is made for convenience and functionality and is loaded with features. Starting with ScanSmart technology, this backpack comes with a laptop-only computer compartment that is airport and classroom friendly.

  3. Amazon Prime Membership
  4. An Amazon Prime Membership can be a great choice for a student leaving the nest. You can gift them with a membership for 3 or 12 months, that will give them access to free shipping, movies, and tons of other great benefits.

  5. A Care Package Gift Box
  6. Nothing beats a heartfelt gift basket full of yummy snacks for those late night cram sessions. This particular set includes tons of great name-brand cookies, crackers, chips, and candy to help keep their spirits high and their belly full.

  7. An Adjustable Laptop Bed Table
  8. This awesome portable standing desk and bed table is a perfect way to help them stay comfortable during long study sessions. It's great for use while relaxing in bed, or to help you stay active by raising up a normal desk to a height where you can use it while standing.

  9. A New Laptop Computer Stand
  10. A new laptop is a staple of college life, and an awesome stand with good ventilation is a fantastic way to compliment that. It's perfect for helping them maintain good posture on those late night cram sessions!

  11. Painting & Writing Board with Bamboo Brush
  12. Finding time to relax between classes is key for stress relief, and this is a great way to reach zen. Simply fill the stand with water. Then dip in the bamboo brush (included) & start drawing, painting & writing. They'll create soft, beautiful images with a rich, inky Japanese look. Appreciate your creation in the moment, and then as the water evaporates and your masterpiece slowly fades away, practice the art of letting go.

  13. Dorm Room Essential First Aid Kit
  14. You never know when trouble will strike - whether it's cuts and scrapes, the flu, or something worse. Whatever the case, this Pharmacist Designed College First Aid Medical Kit will have them covered. It includes 125 Pieces ranging from over the counter medicines to first aid bandages.

  15. A Quality Electric Toothbrush
  16. One of the things that comes with the transition to adulthood is the realization that dental problems are expensive. Help them avoid costly procedures down the road by giving them a leg up with a high quality, dentist recommended, electric toothbrush!

  17. An LED Desk Lamp
  18. Avoiding eye strain on those all nighters is a great thing for any student. This awesome LED lamp contains USB ports, a pen and pencil holder, and a clock! It looks great on any desk!

  19. The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook
  20. Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you have to eat like it. Healthy cooking expert and cookbook author Pamela Ellgen brings you the latest in college cooking with The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook―the simplest college cookbook yet. By sticking to 5 easy-to-find main ingredients per recipe, The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook makes it easier than ever for students to cook tasty, high quality, healthy food for themselves.

  21. A Leather Pencil Pouch
  22. This Vintage Style Pen Pencil Case Leather Pouch is a great daily use item for any student. Keeping pens and pencils organized and easy to find is clutch, and this case looks great too!

Gifts For College Girls

If you’re shopping for a college age girl, some incredible items you might consider are:

  1. A Vintage Writing Journal
  2. Taking time to capture your thoughts and feelings in a writing journal can be extremely therapeutic, and make the transition to college life a little less stressful. This beautiful leather journal (or one like it) makes a great gift for the College bound!

  3. A New Lunch Bag Tote
  4. Taking lunch on the go is a great way to save money on a college budget! This lunch bag looks small but with large capacity, it could perfectly fit your lunch box, snacks, and even protein shake bottle.

  5. A Memory Foam Bed Pillow
  6. This Comfort Revolution 3 lb. density, premium molded memory foam bed pillow is perfect for any sleep position. It helps alleviate pressure points by conforming to every curve and contour of your head, neck and shoulders even resetting itself and responding to any changes in your position as you move throughout the night. The molded bed pillow comes in a pack of two for twice the comfort. The complimentary cover is engineered with 85 percent polyester and 15 percent spandex. The removable and machine washable cover is accented with a decorative satin cording.

  7. Rose Gold Wireless Headphones
  8. Fashionable and functional, these beautiful Beats Solo3 wireless headphones work just as well to complete an outfit as they do for rocking out to your favorite music. Keep her looking stylish and enjoying down-time between classes with these awesome Beats!

  9. A Handy Pink Tool Set
  10. Tools are not just for guys! This pink tool set contains the tools needed for most household repairs, and are a perfect gift for the college gal who's moving off campus. The pink theme is great for the aesthetics, and donations go to support breast cancer research.

  11. A Facial Cleansing Brush
  12. The revolutionary LUNA mini 2 sonic face brush eliminates blemish-causing impurities while remaining exceptionally gentle on the skin. All it takes is one minute twice a day for a fresh, clear and naturally beautiful complexion.

  13. A Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug
  14. From coffee and tea to good ol water, the Stainless Steel Vacuum-Insulated Tumbler from Thermos will keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours. This stylish stainless steel thermos features a double-wall construction and is corrosion-resistant for long-lasting use. You don't even have to remove the lid to take a sip simply push a button

  15. A Weighted Blanket
  16. Make restless sleep a thing of the past with the 12lb Weighted Throw Blanket from Tranquility. A soft material cuddles up to your skin for warmth and comfort, while glass beads and polyester weigh down the blanket with 12 pounds of pressure. This pressure aids in relieving anxiety, insomnia and more, helping you get a restful nights sleep and a clear head.

Gifts For College Guys

If it’s gift season for a college age guy in your life, our favorite items include:

  1. A Relaxing Hammock
  2. Perfect for taking a little time between classes to relax, these awesome hammocks are as sturdy as they are beautiful. They feature easy setup and tear-down, and make a great gift whether it's used for actually camping or just in the dorm or apartment!

  3. The College Man's Cookbook
  4. The College Man's Cookbook has 100 easy recipes for College Men to prepare on a budget, in tiny kitchens with dull knives and microwaves, and distractions while earning a degree! College Man's Cookbook provides recipes for every meal, plus midnight snacks and what to make for the parents when they come for a visit.

  5. A 160 Piece DIY Hand Tool Kit
  6. The Cartman 160pcs General Household Hand Tool Kit is the perfect go-to set for emergency DIY tasks around the dorm or apartment. Small jobs will be tackled easily, so they can get back to studying (or the party) ASAP!

  7. A Leather Journal Gift Set
  8. Memorializing the day-to-day fun and struggles of college life is a fantastic idea. It can help reduce stress, and is sure to be a fond memento to look back on one day down the road.

  9. Beats Solo3 Headphones
  10. This awesome black and red set of Beats Solo3 wireless headphones is a great way to show your college bound guy how much he means to you. The headphones feature top of the line acoustics, and a battery life that will sustain between classes with ease!

  11. A Fine Leather Toiletry Bag
  12. Perfect for the trek to the dorm showers, or for visits home to see Mom and Dad. A high quality Toiletry Bag (or Dopp Kit) makes a fantastic gift for any man as he leaves the nest for the great adventure of college life and beyond!

  13. Men's Pre-Shave Face Brush
  14. College is a stressful time in a young man's life, and that can go hand in hand with skin problems like acne. Using this electric face brush before shaving or bedtime will help him deep clean his pores to keep his skin clear (and boost confidence)! Check your favorite coupon sites, because this item often goes on sale for 5% off.

  15. Darn Tough Merino Wool Socks
  16. These socks won't stop global warming, but you might not mind quite as much. Coolmax yarns are engineered to move moisture away from your skin, to be fast drying and to enhance comfort. Legendary Darn Tough construction and performance fit assure that socks stay put and in place all day. No slipping. No bunching. No blisters. No hot spots. Guaranteed for life.

How To Pick A Great Gift For A College Student

College is a major milestone in a young persons life, marking the transition into adulthood. Leaving the nest for the first time can be daunting, and there are all kinds of items they’ll need to equip themselves for success. These can range from practical items, to frivolous, to items to help them relax and relieve stress. All of these make great opportunities for gifting at any occasion.

Whether it’s for a departing freshmen’s going away party, a trip home for Christmas, or a ‘just because’ gift to show you care, choosing a great gift can be fun and easy with our help!

College Student Gift Brainstorming Basics

When choosing a great gift for a student, these things might help you get the creative juices flowing:

1) Consider something practical…

Departing students need tons of practical stuff that they might not already have when leaving home for the first time. Consider items like clothing and accessories, a backpack, luggage and travel accessories, an electric toothbrush, etc. A good rule of thumb is, finding something they will use at least a few times a week if not daily.

2) Consider something frivolous…

Gifts don’t always have to be practical. If your student isn’t the type to spoil themselves, take an opportunity to do it for them! Good gifts in this category might be things like jewelry, nice fashion accessories, games, movies and other entertainment, etc.

3) Consider something to help them de-stress…

College can be a stressful time, and having a good outlet for that stress can make the experience far more enjoyable. Items like journals, painting kits, books, etc are all good options for stress relief that you might want to consider.

Our Time Tested Gifting Principles

Beyond the brainstorming basics, there are a few guiding principles you should keep in mind:

  1. Price isn’t everything - sometimes the best gifts are handmade, inexpensive, or free.
  2. Practical isn’t always best - treating her to something she may not buy for herself is always a good idea.
  3. Give from the heart - something that holds deeper meaning for her is sure to make a lasting impression.
  4. Be inventive - truly unique and creative gifts mean thinking outside the box.

Christmas Gifts For College Students

The trek home for Christmas can be a major highlight in a College Student’s year. Make sure they have a magical time with the perfect Christmas Present!

Our picks for Best Christmas Gifts For College Students are:

  • Fitness tech (e.g. fitbit)
  • Fashion accessories like jewelry or watches
  • A laptop stand or bed table
  • Video Games or other entertainment
  • A weighted or warm comfy blanket
  • A nice scarf for cold winter months
  • A new laptop bag
  • A warm winter coat
  • A new phone or tablet
  • Comfy slippers

Gifts For College Freshmen

Leaving the nest for the first time can be scary. Feeling prepared is important to reduce unnecessary stress, and a practical gift can help with that. There are tons of items students need so the opportunities are endless.

Our picks for the best gifts for College Freshmen are:

  • An electric toothbrush
  • A quality pillow like memory foam
  • A weighted blanket or down comforter
  • An electric face cleansing brush
  • Luggage and travel accessories
  • A new laptop or laptop accessories
  • A backpack or laptop bag
  • A nice water bottle or coffee tumbler
  • Wireless bluetooth headphones
  • A gift basket or care package

Birthday Gifts For College Students

College students might be having their first birthday away from home, and a heartfelt gift can be a real boost to morale. Finding the right gift for a young adult student can be tough, but we’ve got you covered.

Some of our favorite birthday gifts for college students are:

  • A new wallet or purse
  • A nice water bottle or coffee tumbler
  • A new watch or jewelry
  • Video games or movies
  • Phone or laptop accessories
  • Headphones or a bluetooth speaker
  • A leatherbound journal
  • College Sports Team merchandise

College Student Gifts Under $50

Finding the right gift for a college student doesn’t have to break the bank. There are tons of items on our list that come in under $50, and our favorites are below.

The Best College Student Gifts Under $50 are:

  • A cookbook of simple college friendly recipes
  • Some nice wool socks
  • A gift basket or care package
  • A vacuum sealed coffee tumbler or water bottle
  • A new wallet or clutch
  • A toiletry bag or dopp kit
  • A laptop stand
  • A leather pencil pouch
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