Courtesy of Shari Maurer
15 Graduation Gifts That High School Seniors Will Actually Be Grateful For

It's graduation season which means your upcoming weeks may be filled with ceremonies and parties. These celebrated grads might be your own child, a close relative, or even your boss's kid — either way, it feels good to show up with a fabulous gift. These kids are just starting out in their adult life. And whether, come fall, they'll be living at home or heading off to college, there are tons of things they could use. These gifts for the high school graduate will surely be put to use this summer, fall and beyond.

If the grad is going to college, they'll love anything that has the college name, logo, or mascot on it. You can find throw pillows, phone cases, travel mugs, and pompom hats blazoned with the school's colors. The college bookstore probably has a website where you can get something shipped in time for the party. Not sure what to get them? Try a gift certificate to the actual bookstore (because books are really expensive and it's always nice to get one more t-shirt) or a restaurant in their college town.

As crass as it sounds, you can't go wrong with cold hard cash. But if you want to be able to wrap something up and tie it with a big bow, here are plenty of ideas that are guaranteed to please.


College Trucker Hat

College Trucker Hat, $30, My Sister's Spangle

Pick your college and your color combination when you order one of these hats. They will print any school name or phrase you want. For example, you can go with "Bama" or "Roll Tide" or any other short phrase that comes to mind.


Photo Printer

Polaroid Zip Mobile Printer, $104, Amazon

Even though it's easy to enough for them to keep all their photos on their phone and scroll through whenever they're missing their friends, a photo printer is still a nice gift that will surely get used. This one is nice and compact and they can print whatever photos they want to hang up in their room (or keep tucked under their pillow).


Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Card

Gift Card, Multiple Denominations, Bed Bath & Beyond

Yes, it sounds kind of boring, but the cost of sheets and bedding (not to mention lamps, bed risers, and fuzzy rugs) can get crazy. Bed Bath & Beyond is a great go-to store because you can shop online or go to one of their stores. Their "Pack & Hold" program is fabulous for anyone who is heading to a college that has a nearby BB&B because they can order everything at a local store, have it shipped to the closest BB&B to campus, and it'll wait there until the customer is ready to pick it up.


Practical Advice Book

Do Your Laundry Or You Will Die Alone, $13, Amazon

No matter what the grad's plans are after high school, they need to know the basics, like how to do their own laundry, balance a checkbook, and sit up straight.


Wireless Headphones

Beats Solo Headphones, from $168, Amazon

If you're splurging, a pair of headphones are great for drowning out a noisy roommate or for walking from class to class. Any grad (or any person for that matter) would be thrilled to receive these and they come in 15 different colors.


Personalized Water Bottle

Personalized Swell Bottle, from $35, Swell

Your grad can be eco-friendly while always having cold water or hot coffee with them. These amazing bottles keep liquid cold or hot for hours so they can travel to class or anywhere else your grad may take them. They come in lots of colors and the personalization makes them special. Swell gives students 20 percent off so try to borrow the grad's .edu email address to get the discount.


Fun Flip Flops

Havianas Flip Flops, from $26, Havianas

These sandals, which come in many colors and prints, can be used for summer beach fun or as shower shoes in the dorm. There are tons of colors and pattens you can choose from.



Rebecca Minkoff Leather Wristlet, $48, Rebecca Minkoff

This wristlet has just enough room for keys, ID, a phone, and lip gloss. It comes in many colors and patterns and can be worn on the wrist for nights out or thrown into a backpack for everyday use.


State Necklace Charms

Tom Design State Necklace Charms, from $22, Etsy

Get them their home state, their college's state or both. It's always great to support the artisans on Etsy.


Portable Phone Charger

Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger, $30, Amazon

Their phones are their life, so help them out by making sure the phones never die with a portable charger. There are so many different ones to choose from. This model is smaller than a deck of baseball cards and provides three and a half iPhone charges and two and a half Samsung Galaxy charges.


Socks With A Message

Notes to Self Socks, from $11, Notes To Self

These socks are comfy and they have great messages. Choose from ankle socks or crew socks. Positive messages include, "I am awesome," "I am smart," "I am crushing it," and more.


Microwave Popcorn Popper

Microwave Popcorn Popper, $13, Uncommon Goods

Who doesn't love popcorn as a late night snack? This is cheaper and healthier than prepackaged microwave popcorn — well, depending on how much butter they add to it.


Monogrammed Tote

Personalized Classic Canvas Tote, $188, Parker Thatch

They can go anywhere with this tote that can be personalized with their initials and it comes in tons of different color combinations. It's perfect for overnight trips or hauling books around campus.


Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity, $25, Amazon

This is a fun game they can play with family and friends, new and old.


Grubhub Gift Cards

Grubhub Gift Card, multiple denominations, Grubhub

What do all grads love? Late night eats. These Grubhub gift cards can be used for late night snacks, study breaks, or when they've just hit the wall and are sick of dorm or mom's food.