Thoughtful & Useful Gift Ideas for College Students

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Starting college is exciting, but unfortunately, it’s also expensive. It can be difficult to balance all your school expenses, from tuition, textbooks, and room and board to parking passes, laundry, and transportation. Here are some thoughtful and practical gift ideas for college students.

1. A College Backpack

A backpack is one of the most significant back-to-school purchases because it will carry everything you’ll need most of the time, such as a laptop and textbooks.

2. Back to School Box Kits

A back-to-school box kit can be extremely helpful in building a library at college. Inside the kit is a wide selection of textbooks, binders, notebooks, loose-leaf paper, printer paper, and more.

3. School Supplies

Post-it notes are a simple gift that has unlimited uses. They are small, light, and can be used as bookmarks and reminders. Alternatively, you can get them personalized notepad sets to keep them organized at school. Though note-taking has become more digital, there are some college students who still prefer taking notes by hand. 

4. USB Flash Drive

A USB flash drive is a quick, easy, and convenient way to store any document or file you’ll be working on throughout the year. It’s also a great backup place for any pictures, videos, or music you might create during your college career.


image source: AdobeStock

5. Portable Charger

Portable chargers are beneficial to students keeping their phones charged. They can charge cell phones, mp3 players, and even your computer. One of the most popular is the iMac which can charge any device with a USB port and has custom nylon lanyards online on the cord so that it can be strung around your neck when not in use.

6. Water Bottle

Water bottles can be an excellent gift for a busy college student. It’s easy to keep them clean and refill them, and they’re much more convenient than constantly purchasing bottled water from vendors.

7. Wrist Watch

A wristwatch is a necessary part of life for any college student. They help keep track of critical times, such as class assignments or appointments with professors or other students.

8. Electric Kettle

An electric kettle is a great way to heat coffee or tea and is essential for making hot chocolate and other drinks. They are also perfect thermos bottles, so you can easily keep your hot beverages warm throughout the day.

9. Laptop Cooling Pad

A cooling pad is a must-have item for any college student on a tight budget. It’s a perfect gift for students because it is portable and has a USB port for connecting devices.

image source: AdobeStock

10. Desk Lamp

A desk lamp is a perfect accessory for students who study in their dorm rooms at night. The lamp also has a USB port for charging and wireless; they are way better than traditional light bulbs.

11. Cord Organizer

An electrical cord organizer is a perfect gift for college students with high technology-based lives. It provides a convenient storage place that reduces tangled cords in the dorm.

12. Night Light and Alarm Clock

A night light and alarm clock are great gifts for students who work on their laptops at night. They’re also excellent gifts if you’re looking for a gift for a dorm room dweller. No student can sleep well without the bright blue light of an alarm in the morning.

13. Mini-Fridge

A mini-fridge can be a great way to keep your drinks cool and your snacks cold. A mini-fridge is good for dorms, helping the student’s storage needs.

14. Laptop Case

A laptop case can be an excellent gift for any student who needs to protect their laptop. They’re also an excellent accessory if you’re looking for a dorm room gift, as most rooms don’t come supplied with a special place to store computers.

image source: AdobeStock

15. Smart Lock

A smart lock is an excellent gift for any student living in a dorm room who needs to keep their things safe. It’s also a perfect gift for anyone who lives in an apartment or has roommates.

16. E-Reader

If your college student loves reading, a kindle is a perfect gift. They are lightweight and easy to carry around, making them the perfect way to keep up with your daily reading without having to bring several heavy books around all day.


Looking for back-to-school gifts can be difficult, so these incredibly thoughtful and helpful gift ideas for college students are a great place to start. It’s essential to think about your loved one’s interests and the things they struggle with while at college.


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