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Are Graduation gifts a thing?

Do you give someone a gift for graduation? Graduation is an important milestone for any student. It is the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. And for parents, it's a proud moment to celebrate and commemorate this achievement - and enjoy the relief of not having to pay university fees or an allowance anymore!

So are parents expected to give their children a graduation gift?

Some parents feel that the qualification itself is the reward for their child's hard work and dedication and that a gift is unnecessary. Others, however, see it as an opportunity to express their pride and commemorate the occasion with a gift. Ultimately, the decision to give a graduation gift depends on the family's personal beliefs, financial situation and past experiences. Either way, seeing your child graduate - whether from high school or university - is a proud moment and one to be cherished.

Giving some sort of recognition is a way to celebrate this important life event and milestone, show love and support for the student and can help boost their confidence and self-esteem. It lets them know that you recognise how hard they have worked, and that their achievements are something to be celebrated. This can be particularly important for students who may be feeling insecure or unsure about their future after graduation.

The best graduation gifts can be used to help the new graduate transition into the next chapter of their lives.

2 high school students at graduation ceremony

It's important to consider the total cost of the graduation process. If you haven't yet gone through this stage, or even thought about it, believe me - it adds up! After the tuition fees, living expenses, exam fees, comes the graduation-related expenses including gown hire, the chosen outfit (a new dress or suit), shoes, hair and make-up (if you're really going all out!), official photos to buy after the ceremony, as well as the travel costs, hotel stay, fuel, etc. The costs can add up quickly.

Some parents opt for something meaningful, such as a piece of jewellery, a watch or a sentimental keepsake. These gifts can have great sentimental value for the student and serve as a lasting reminder of their achievements and the family's support. Passing on a piece of family jewellery item can be very significant for the graduate - perhaps Grandad's watch, to show that he is looking down with pride, if he has already passed away. A new piece of jewellery with the student's birthstone or initials is another meaningful keepsake. A practical gift, such as a new mobile phone or laptop, a car or even a holiday is another option chosen by some families. Whatever the gift, it should reflect the student's personality, interests and achievements.

A graduation gift doesn't have to be expensive or extravagant, however. Something as simple as a thoughtful card or a favourite book with a message written inside can be just as meaningful. One idea for a gift that ticks both practical and sentimental value boxes could be something like a professional briefcase or laptop bag - ready to start a professional career - and have it engraved with your graduate's initials or a meaningful message. Other ideas might be a subscription to an industry-specific magazine, a photo album with keepsakes and photos from birth to graduation age, or simply a personal letter capturing your favourite memories, which they can cherish. By combining practical and sentimental elements in your gift, you can show your support for your child's future as well as commemorate their past accomplishments.

Here is a graduation gift guide for practical graduation gifts, if you're short of ideas:

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether parents should give their children a graduation gift. It ultimately depends on your views, financial situation, family environment and experiences. What memories do you have of your graduation?

We hope you found this article helpful. If you know other parents who would benefit from our resources, please share this blog with them. And if you're interested in more resources and support for students, be sure to check out our Member Resources on We have specifically designed tools to help students prepare their transition from high school to university. These include essential packing lists, student budget calculators, tips on moving in and out of accommodation, food tips and much much more.


Don't forget to visit our website and download our free resources! Our complete essential guide for students is available on Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository.


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