21 Best Ideas for College Graduation Gifts for 2024 Grads

College graduation is one of life’s happiest and most exciting milestones, but possibly one of the hardest to find an appropriate gift. The gifts we get our young adults and their friends will vary according to the kids themselves, but rest assured, we found things that everyone would be thrilled to receive. Here are some of our favorite graduation gift ideas.

We are a reader-supported site and receive compensation from purchases made through some of the links in this post. 

Great College Graduation Gifts

1. Cuyana Classic Leather Tote

Your daughter will love this leather tote with room for everything, including her laptop. The leather is lusciously soft but lightweight. Several great colors to choose from, and get it monogrammed for an extra personal touch. This would be a good graduation gift for a new job.

2. The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them by Dr. Meg Jay

Defining Decade

In this riveting book, Dr. Jay explains that the twenties are the most defining years of adulthood. These transitional years should not be squandered because this is the decade to get things done; the things not accomplished will have far-reaching consequences — your twenty-something NEEDS to read this. This is one of the best graduation gifts we have on our list!

NEW, updated, and revised. (March 2021)

Watch why 4 million people have downloaded this Ted Talk by Dr. Jay.


3. TAKEYA Cold Brew Coffee Maker

cold brew coffee

Is your soon-to-be grad a cold-brewed coffee lover? This reusable, at-home cold brew maker has a 4-cup capacity and produces smooth, well-balanced, concentrated coffee. Save money and the environment, and enjoy delicious coffee. This would be a perfect graduation gift, especially if they move into their first apartment.  

4. Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)

AirPods Pro

If you are looking for a tech gift that your son or daughter will use (and thank you for) EVERY DAY, this is it. Apple AirPods Pro are wildly popular and have fantastic functionality. They have noise-cancellation capabilities, an upgrade from earlier models, which can be very helpful in open offices. This device has practically become a necessity for our young adults, and if they have an earlier generation, they will love the new model.

5. YETI Tumbler

Yeti with collegiate logo

YETI is a legendary brand, and your son or daughter would love to have a travel mug to keep their coffee hot all morning. Personalize it with their initials or their alma mater’s logo, and they will use this — and thank you — daily. YETIs are good graduation gifts known for durability.

6. Tile Pro

Seriously, we have yet to meet a teen or young adult who doesn’t need this. This Bluetooth tracker, durable, water-resistant, and loud, will help them keep track of all their things. Can’t find your phone or keys? Well, as long as you have your Tile, you’re golden.

7. lululemon Backpack

The lululemon aptly named “Everywhere Backpack” is perfect for life on the go, from work to the gym and everywhere on weekends. With plenty of pockets, including an exterior for a 16″ laptop and inside ones for the rest, this smart-looking bag comes in several sleek colors. A new backpack is a handy gift and one they would love.

8. Leatherology Passport Holder and Luggage Tag

If your grad is eager to travel the world, this leather passport holder and luggage tag set is a fantastic gift. This passport holder has enough space for credit cards or cash; both pieces can be personalized with a monogram. Available in nine colors, including bright ones that can help your young adult more easily spot their luggage if they check it. Don’t forget to add a note reminding them of how proud you are of them.

9. Panda Planner


Are you always trying to suggest novel ways for your young adult to be better organized or to set goals? If you are, this is the gift idea for you. It’s a daily planner for six months. It has a nifty daily view, allowing them to organize daily life.

An end-of-the-day review helps them focus on everything they have accomplished that day.

10. Meet 100 People by Pat Hedley

Meet 100 people

Young adults can learn the art of meeting people to expand their network of professional contacts, a skill that will enhance their professional development and career prospects. Pat Hedley has written THE book on the topic.

11. GMorning, GNight: Little Pep Talks for You & Me by Lin-Manuel Miranda

No one in the universe may inspire more admiration than Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical Hamilton. But before creating that mega-masterpiece, he posted daily tweets to inspire his followers. This New York Times Bestseller is a collection of his very best and would be a great gift

Best books for college students

No one in the universe may inspire more admiration than Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical Hamilton. But before creating that mega-masterpiece, he posted daily tweets to inspire his followers. This New York Times Bestseller is a collection of his very best and would be a great gift

12. The Last Lecture By Dr. Randy Pausch

Best books for college students


In one of the most famous lectures ever given, Dr. Pausch imparts wisdom, humor, and inspiration; all reprinted in this slim volume on every new grad’s bookshelf. Facing a terminal diagnosis, computer science professor Randy Pausch gave his students (and all of us) a true gift when he shared his life advice while dying. This is a must-own title that young adults will reach for again and again when facing the real world.

13. Cutting Board

This cutting board is both beautiful and functional. Made of walnut, cherry, and maple, it is reversible and has a built-in well to make it easy to chop and sort ingredients. Beautiful to use when you young adult wants to serve charcuterie to their guests.

14. Leatherology Slim Wallet

If your son could use a more conventional wallet with room for all ID, insurance, and credit cards, consider this slim bifold wallet from Leatherology. Add initials and choose from 10 different colors. Available with RIFD (radio-frequency identification) blocking, too. Slip in a gift card to Starbucks or a favorite retailer for an added treat.

15. Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro Bundle

Graduation calls for memorable moments, and Kodak Instant Camera and photo printer could be a wonderful gift for your grad BEFORE the big day. Taking and printing photos means pictures with friends and family can be tangible beyond just a phone.

After taking an incredible shot with this KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro, you can print or cancel it, a benefit that other Polaroid cameras do not offer. Connect to any mobile device through Bluetooth to print straight from the photo gallery.

16. Everlane for Gifts and Apparel

Everlane jacket for him

We are big fans of Everlane and think that just about ANYTHING you find your grad on their site will be a welcome and stylish gift. They have modern and versatile apparel, shoes, and accessories and would be an excellent site for more grown-up outfits looking for job interviews and suitable for any work setting.

17. Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Bose 700

It was not just the dorm or college apartment that was noisy for your grad. Open office floor plans or working from home with roommates(!) are all distracting and loud. These wireless headphones are excellent and would be a very welcome gift.

18. Tumi Continental Dual Access 4-Wheeled Carry-On

This Continental Carry-On meets the carry-on size luggage requirements for travel within North America. It includes a built-in USB port and a separate garment sleeve for a suit. In addition to being an incredibly functional suitcase, it is extraordinarily well-made. It’s such high quality that your recent grad will tire of it long before they need to replace it. Perfect for leisure travel or business trips!

19. Riedel Wine Glasses

If your new grad likes entertaining, they will love this eight-glass-shaped Riedel wine glasses set.

20. Yurman Cable Classics Center Bracelet

We love David Yurman jewelry, including their beautiful necklaces and earrings, but this sweet bracelet caught our eye, and we guarantee your graduate will love it.

21. Cosori Air Fryer 

Make cooking much more accessible by getting your graduate an air fryer. It heats up within seconds and can cook almost anything — salmon, chicken, tofu, french fries, vegetables, and much more. 

Still Looking for More Graduation Gift Guides:

Great Graduation Gift List

About Lisa Endlich Heffernan

Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan is the co-founder of Grown and Flown, the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author.
She started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and is co-author of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

Read more posts by Lisa

Don't miss out!
Want more like this? Get updates about parenting teens and young adults straight to your inbox.