Gifts That Make the Grade
Caiaimage/Sam Edwards / Caiaimage / Getty Images CC

33 Great Gifts for College Students

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Gifts That Make the Grade
Caiaimage/Sam Edwards / Caiaimage / Getty Images CC

Gifts That Make the Grade

Remember your cash-strapped college days, when you would have killed for extra goodies from home? Well, today's students — for all their sophistication and technical wizardry — are kind of the same. So if there's a college student on your holiday-shopping list, plan to make their holidays — and next semester — smoother (and more fun) than the last with one of these gift suggestions that range from the thoughtful to the plain old fun. (Here are 50 Discounts That Students Don't Want to Miss.)

Prices and availability subject to change.

Magic Chef Retro 0.7 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave
Home Depot

Magic Chef Retro 0.7 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave

Buy on HomeDepot  $74.99

Price: $75 from Home Depot 
Buy It
Microwaves and dorm rooms (or first apartments) just go together — no one's making gourmet meals on a regular basis. We love the retro look of this unit, but it's also quite functional with seven power levels. Well-reviewed, it comes in three colors, though we love the mint green.

Netflix Subscription
wutwhanfoto/istockphoto

Netflix Subscription

Price: $9 to $16 per month from Netflix 
Buy It
All work and no play … you know the rest. Every student needs a break and while we're not encouraging slacking off, having a streaming service available will help them decompress — and keep up with their favorites to boot. Who knows, they might even watch something educational.

Presto PopLite Hot Air Countertop Popcorn Machine
Home Depot

Presto PopLite Hot Air Countertop Popcorn Machine

Price: $20 from Home Depot 
Buy It
If they're going to be watching movies, then they'll need some popcorn. Encourage healthy snacking any time with this easy-to-use air-pop model that's compact and stylish. Don't forget to buy some kernels, too. They can also try these 50 Ways to Get Creative With Your Popcorn.

Hanes Socks for Men
Kmart

Hanes Socks for Men

Price: $8 from Kmart 
Buy It
You know fellas and their laundry. It gets done when there are no more clean socks — at least hopefully, then. Help them along the way with a ready supply of cushion crew socks, which come six to a package and fit sizes 6 to 12.

Mesh Shower Tote
Bed Bath & Beyond

Mesh Shower Tote

Price: $10 from Bed Bath & Beyond 
Buy It
Functional might not always mean a fun gift — but you can bet your student will use this well-reviewed expert pick that comes in multiple hues. Capable of holding full-size shampoo and other toiletries for that walk to the communal shower, it even has a smartphone pocket. Oh, how the times have changed…

Women's Cozy Robe
Target

Women's Cozy Robe

Buy on Walmart  $34.14

Price: $30 from Target 
Buy It
When making that hallway walk to the communal showers — or just for post-shower lounging in her room, step it up from a basic T and sweatpants with this plush robe from Stars Above.

Women's Dearfoams Sweater Knit Clog Slippers
Kohl's

Women's Dearfoams Sweater Knit Clog Slippers

Price: $23 from Kohl's 
Buy It
Concrete dorm room floor or hallway? Keep her cozy with these slippers that feature clog styling and faux fur accents. And the thermoplastic rubber outsole will come in handy, as you just know these will be worn to the dining hall.

Cabin Fleece Throw
Eddie Bauer

Cabin Fleece Throw

Price: $70 from Eddie Bauer 
Buy It
Perfect for a chilly evening studying or an afternoon football game, this reversible throw features "cozy patterned fleece on one side and ultrasoft Sherpa fleece on the other." Available in multiple patterns making it a unisex pick.

Textured Dean Backrest Pillow
Bed Bath & Beyond

Textured Dean Backrest Pillow

Price: $25 from Bed Bath & Beyond 
Buy It
Yes, we know there was a time when women going to college were actually thought to really be there to find a husband. Thank goodness for progress — but why not buy them a "husband" for old time's sake? The "husband" pillow is now called a more politically correct backrest pillow — but it still allows gals (and guys) to study, read or watch TV in bed with ample support.

Go Confidently Artisan Journal
Peter Pauper Press

Go Confidently Artisan Journal

Price: $11 from Peter Pauper Press 
Buy It
College days — and nights — are filled with memories, dreams and sometimes, just plain old to-do lists. Make keeping track of it all easier for your student — and give a bit of inspiration along the way — with this hardcover, 176-page journal emblazoned with the Henry David Thoreau phrase "Go Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams."

Flowfold Crossbody Bag
L.L.Bean

Flowfold Crossbody Bag

Price: $89 from L.L. Bean 
Buy It 
Leave the flimsy totes behind with this smart and funky bag. The Made in the USA construction features ultralight performance fabric that's waterproof and a large main compartment will get them to class or library in style. (Here are another 56 Gifts That Are Made in America.)

Monopoly
Target

Monopoly

Buy on Target  $11.99

Price: $12 from Target 
Buy It
Students can take a break from studying — or even go all out by hosting a board-game night — with this Hasbro classic that has entertained generations. Of course, it's also imbued with some life lessons on strategy, greed, and more.

Fujifilm Instax 9 Mini Camera Bundle
Bed Bath & Beyond

Fujifilm Instax 9 Mini Camera Bundle

Price: $71 from Bed Bath & Beyond
Buy It 
Selfie, schmelfie — encourage your collegians to go even more old-school with this retro-chic camera that provides photographs you can actually hold. Like right away! And it comes in funky colors such as Flamingo Pink, Ice Blue or Lime Green. Say cheese, everyone.

Mighty Bright MiniFlex Book Light
Barnes & Noble

Mighty Bright MiniFlex Book Light

Price: $10 from Barnes & Noble
Buy It 
For those rooming with a light sleeper, this mini book light — in blue or silver — will cut down on the arguments over who's keeping who up.

K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker
Keurig

K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker

Price: $65 from Keurig
Buy It 
For those who can't start the day without their caffeine fix, make it easy for them with this single-serve coffeemaker that's as sleek as it is practical. This is one stylish-looking java maker, available in matte black, oasis or studio gray that will likely also make your student very popular with his or her friends.

L.L. Bean First Aid Kit
L.L.Bean

L.L. Bean First Aid Kit

Price: $25 from L.L. Bean
Buy It 
Too many trips to the med center for a simple cut? Offer some down-home basics — and instill a sense of safety — with this workmanlike product that can also be taken along on weekend getaways.

OEMTOOLS Premium Auto Safety Bag
AutoZone

OEMTOOLS Premium Auto Safety Bag

Price: $28 from AutoZone
Buy It 
This gift does double duty — it provides your young driver with basic safety tools such as jumper cables and you with a little peace of mind. Can you say win-win?

Pinch Provisions 'Adulting Kit'
The Paper Store

Pinch Provisions 'Adulting Kit'

Price: $24 from The Paper Store
Buy It 
For those away from home for the first time, this handy little tin is filled with advice when you're not nearby. Among its features? A mending kit, laundry tips, a lint brush, thank-you notes with envelopes — and a decision coin.

Sony On-Ear Wired Noise Canceling Headphones
P.C. Richard & Son

Sony On-Ear Wired Noise Canceling Headphones

Price: $50 from P.C. Richard & Son
Buy It 
A noise-canceling design allows a student to focus in on what they want to hear — an online class or some studyin' music — not what's going on around them.

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker
Walmart

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Price: $25 from Target
Buy It 
For those students who perennially sleep through breakfast — they can make their own any time with this clever appliance that cooks up a hearty sandwich with all the fixings in minutes.

Beach Day Flying Disc
Catch Surf

Beach Day Flying Disc

Price: $15 from Catch Surf
Buy It 
There probably isn't a college campus where you won't see at least a few students letting off steam with a little recreation outside the dorm or on the campus green. Have disc, will make friends.

Canvas Laundry Bag
Customized Girl

Canvas Laundry Bag

Price: $20 from Customized Girl
Buy It
Are they still mixing their darks with their lights? For those students who somehow just can't get the hang of doing their own laundry, this practical gift offers a step-by-step guide that concludes with the not-at-all-subtle "While folding, call your mom."

Sky's The Limit Airplane Paperweight
UncommonGoods

Sky's The Limit Airplane Paperweight

Price: $58 from Uncommon Goods
Buy It 
If you worry about your student getting overwhelmed, perhaps a glance at this gift from home might turn things around — a simple-yet-straightforward bit of encouragement created by California-based sculptor Tamara Hensick out of lead-free pewter.

'1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know'
Amazon

'1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know'

Buy on  $2.55  $9.99

Price: $7 from Amazon
Buy It 
If the college student you're thinking of thinks they know it all, this may prove otherwise. Pick up this playful paperback by Harry H. Harrison Jr. to ensure they'll get their share of lessons.

Pinch Me Aroma Therapy Holistic Dough
QVC

Pinch Me Aroma Therapy Holistic Dough

Price: $23 from QVC
Buy It 
College can be stressful — from the course loads to the social situations. Offer some relief in a scented fashion with this therapy putty that encourages someone to "re.focus," "re.balance" and "re.store." Options range from ocean to spa to sun for the pliable material designed to be squeezed and shaped while offering that transporting aroma.

Noodle Set
Urban Outfitters

Noodle Set

Price: $16 from Urban Outfitters
Buy It 
Sure, you want to think your college student is eating healthy, but we all know that's not always the case. For ages, it seems, ramen has been a mainstay of those living on a student budget. Let them know you "feel their pain" and want to help out by adding a little class to their next noodle night.

H20 Fruit Infusion Water Bottle
Inspire Uplift

H20 Fruit Infusion Water Bottle

Price: $25 from InspireUplift
Buy It 
This exercise/study companion will keep soda guzzlers making a healthier choice by adding their favorite fruit (think strawberries or limes) to create a satisfying drink not laden with sugar.

Sticky Memo Notepad Ball
Urban Outfitters

Sticky Memo Notepad Ball

Price: $12 from Urban Outfitters
Buy It 
For the forgetful student, pick up this colorful addition for their desk and give them a fighting chance at remembering all those little tasks and chores. Test next Tuesday? Basketball game next Friday? Perhaps once they write it then post it, they'll be there.

'The Everything College Cookbook'
Amazon

'The Everything College Cookbook'

Price: $16 from Barnes & Noble
Buy It 
If your college student is bypassing the meal plan this coming semester — or settling into a new apartment, pick this up to keep them off the takeout trail. Rhonda Lauret Parkinson's guide features some 300 recipes, so they're bound to find something they like — and who knows, next break they may even whip up their new specialty for you.

Home Spray
The Laundress

Home Spray

Price: $10 from The Laundress
Buy It 
Help your student create — or maintain — a clean and fresh environment with this 8-ounce bottle of home spray that features a nontoxic formula with antibacterial properties, adding scent while removing odor. It just might make an appreciated stocking stuffer, especially if someone's roommate is a bit, shall we say, pungent.

Vornado Flippi V6 Personal Air Circulator
Kohl's

Vornado Flippi V6 Personal Air Circulator

Price: $24 from Kohl's
Buy It 
Some like it hot, but some just don't. If there's going to be a roommate fight over the thermostat, have this fan on hand to cool things down. It's compact, comes in four colors and can maybe even offer relief to those sweating over a big paper that's due in the morning.

Black and White Dotted Picture Frame
Pier 1

Black and White Dotted Picture Frame

Price: $10 from Pier One
Buy It 
Being away from home can sometimes get a bit lonely. College students can fill and then integrate this whimsical 4-by-6 frame into their décor to remember a special day with friends, a vacation moment — or maybe even just a portrait of the family they really do miss (even if they don't admit it).

Amazon Gift Card
Amazon

Amazon Gift Card

Price: $1 to $2,000 from Amazon
Buy It 
Still not sure what to get — or want your recipient to have the fun of choosing their own gift? Well, you know most anyone would be able to find something they want through Amazon, so if you opt for this, you know your student will pick out something he or she really needs … or simply wants.