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What Is The Best Gift To Celebrate a Graduation?

Are Graduation Gifts A Thing?

Whether it’s from high school or university, a student's graduation is a major milestone that marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. But do you need to give your child a gift for their graduation to show your pride and support? Or is the diploma enough of a reward for their hard work?

A Graduation is the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. And for both the college or university and parents, the ceremony is a proud moment to celebrate and commemorate this achievement.

It's also a celebration for parents to enjoy the relief of no longer paying university fees or an allowance anymore!

FromHighSchooltoUni has the information right here for you to decide on the most appropriate form of recognition for your graduating student.

Do You Need To Give Someone a Graduation Gift?

Some parents feel that the university degree or college diploma is the reward for their child's hard work and dedication and that a graduation gift is unnecessary.

Others, however, see it as an opportunity to express their pride and commemorate the occasion. 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 from university - is a proud moment and one to be cherished.

Student receiving award at University Graduation ceremony
My proud moment as a Mom for my daughter's graduation. (C) 2023 FromHighSchooltoUni

Why Offer a Gift as a Form Of Recognition?

Graduation is a momentous occasion that marks the end of one phase and the beginning of another. Whether it’s high school, college, or graduate school, graduating is a major achievement that deserves to be celebrated.

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. So how do you choose the best graduation gift for your loved one?

What Graduation Gift Should You Give?

The best graduation gifts are not just thoughtful and meaningful, but also practical and useful. They can help the new graduate transition into the next chapter of their lives, whether it’s pursuing higher education, entering the workforce, or traveling the world.

Two high school students at graduation ceremony. FromHighSchooltoUni

Consider the total cost of the graduation process

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 can become quite costly!

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.

Choose a Meaningful or Practical Gift

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.

Don't Overlook a Simple Gift for Graduation

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.

FromHighSchooltoUni's Graduation gift guide: 8 ideas to inspire you

If you're short of ideas, here are FromHighSchooltoUni's ideas for graduation gifts:

What Graduation Gift Would Make The Most Sense?

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether parents should give their children a graduation present. It ultimately depends on your point of view, your financial situation, your family environment and your experiences.

Some of the questions you can ask yourself to choose the perfect gift are the following:

  • What memories do you have of your graduation?

  • What message do you want to give your child?

  • What gift would make them happy and useful?

The most important thing is to celebrate this important milestone with love and pride, and to support your child in their future plans.


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 FromHighSchooltoUni 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 FromHighSchooltoUni website and download our free resources! Our complete essential guide for students is available on Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository.

Image of a student graduate with their certificate in hand


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