Smart Gifting: Creative Ideas for College Students' Essentials

Updated: October 10, 2023
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Smart Gifting: Creative Ideas for College Students' Essentials


Finding the perfect, unique gift for college students can be especially difficult. Here is an all-inclusive round-up of the best gifts for college scholars. 

Gift-giving can be tricky, but shopping for college students is an entirely different challenge in and of itself. It feels like the latest trends are constantly changing, which makes picking out the perfect gift for college students all the more stressful. What gift does your favorite scholar need, want, and will use?


To simplify things, we’ve rounded up the best presents for college students. From school necessities to study break must-haves, these practical and entertaining items can be used every day of the year. Rest assured, these fun, functional, and essential gifts for college students deserve an A+. Happy shopping!


Portable Speaker


As every college veteran knows, no party is complete without music. A portable Bluetooth speaker is a must-have college essential, and every scholar is guaranteed to get a lot of regular usage out of this versatile, gender-neutral item.


This gift can be used for parties, hanging out with friends, studying, and even in the shower. Many Bluetooth speakers are water-proof, perfect for accidental spillages (we’ve all been there).




Between making friends and getting good grades, there are many stressors that college students face every day, including finding ways to save money. Helping a student land a scholarship can go a long way in helping them save money on college tuition. 


While landing a scholarship takes time and effort, many easy online scholarships don’t require a personal essay. It is free money that students never have to pay back, so scholarships are well worth the grind of filling out simple applications.



While this may not feel as exciting as the latest tech gadget, assisting with scholarship applications will allow your scholar to dedicate their precious funds to passion projects and items of their choosing. So really, this might be the best present of them all!


Coffee Maker


If your loved one is a coffee fanatic, they will drink a lot of it during their college years. From early morning classes to midnight study sessions, coffee is every college student’s best friend. Buying your favorite scholar an affordable and easy-to-use coffee maker will save them dozens of Starbucks trips and a lot of money.



Whether you want to purchase a basic drip coffee maker or splurge for a fancy machine with all the bells and whistles, there are numerous coffee makers to choose from. If you want to take it up a notch, pick out a cute travel mug and add it to your gift basket. Your college student is sure to appreciate this personal touch.


Dorm Room Decorations


If there’s one thing college students can’t get enough of, it’s dorm room decor. Despite what movies have led us to believe, most college dorms are plain and simple. But for most students, an empty dorm room is an exciting opportunity for them to make their mark on their new home truly.



From cozy string lights and fake plants to band posters and framed photographs, your college student will love having something in their special space to remind them of you. No matter how big or small, this gift idea allows you to get creative and find something unique and unexpected for your scholar.


Water Bottle


While you may have already thought of this, this gift is foolproof. This simple but useful essential will remind your college students to stay hydrated throughout the day, even when they are overwhelmed by studying and final exams.


If you choose this gift, consider purchasing a striking stainless steel bottle to keep your beverage hot or cold for hours. Perfect for ice water or hot coffee, water bottles come in various patterns and colors, allowing you to pick a personal, one-of-a-kind bottle perfect for your loved one.


Essential Oil Diffuser


As we all know, college isn’t all fun and games. Learning how to balance your time between part-time jobs, school sports, studying, and socializing can get stressful and overwhelming. Thus, it’s ever-important for college students to carve out time to relax and focus on their mental health. 


That’s why essential oil diffusers make an ideal gift for college students. This trendy wellness device helps individuals unwind and find calm during a long day.  Not to mention essential Oil diffusers can also transform any cramped and stuffy dorm room into a place that feels more like home.


To go the extra mile, pick some aromatic oils you know your college student will love. Additionally, essential oil diffusers make a great alternative if a student’s school forbids candles for fire hazard reasons.


Popcorn Maker


After a long week of classes, sometimes you only want to curl up on your bed with a good movie. But what’s a home movie night without snacks? A popcorn maker is a must-have for a cozy college night. This crowd-pleaser is guaranteed to be loved by any college student and their roommates and friends.


To make this gift even better, include plenty of kernels and some tasty seasonings in your package.



Comfortable Bathrobe


When it comes to gifts for college students, you can’t go wrong with a bathrobe. From trips back and forth to the shower to lazy weekend mornings, college students could practically live in a bathrobe – as long as it’s stylish and comfortable enough. 


Take note of where your student is going to college. If they are studying in California, you probably want to purchase something more lightweight than you would if they were studying at a school in New England.


The perfect item to couple with this gift? A pair of matching slippers, of course!