Creative Gift Ideas for College Students

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By Wadav Editors
Last updated: September 30, 2021

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 is a gift that your favorite scholar needs, wants, and will actually use?


To make things easy for you, we’ve rounded up the best presents for college students. From school necessities to study break must-haves, these practical and entertaining items are things that can be used every day of the year. Rest assured, these fun, functional, and completely essential gifts for college students are worthy of 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, which is perfect for any 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 it does take some time and effort to land a scholarship, there are many easy scholarships available online that don’t even require a personal essay. This 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, then they will be drinking 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, as well as a lot of money down the line.

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 out there to choose between. 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 that 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 truly make their mark on their new home.


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 gives you a chance to get creative and find something unique and unexpected for your scholar.


Water Bottle

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


If you decide to go with this gift, consider purchasing a snazzy stainless steel bottle that will keep your beverage of choice hot or cold for hours on end. Perfect for ice water or hot coffee, water bottles come in a variety of patterns and colors, which allows you to pick out 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 at the end of 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 out some aromatic oils that you know your college student will love. Additionally, if a student’s school forbids candles for fire hazard reasons, essential oil diffusers make a great alternative.


Popcorn Maker

After a long week of classes, sometimes the only thing you want to do is 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 in. This crowd-pleaser is guaranteed to be loved by any college student, along with their roommates and friends.

To make this gift even better, make sure to 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!



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