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


Prices and availability subject to change.


RelatedUseful Gifts for All the Practical People On Your List

Cabin Fleece Throw
Eddie Bauer

Cabin Fleece Throw

$75 from Eddie Bauer 
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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.

Go Confidently Artisan Journal
Peter Pauper Press

Go Confidently Artisan Journal

Price: $11 from Peter Pauper Press 
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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."

Fujifilm Instax 9 Mini Camera Bundle
Bed Bath & Beyond

Fujifilm Instax 9 Mini Camera Bundle

$100 from Amazon
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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.

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

Magic Chef Retro 0.7 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave

$95 from Home Depot 
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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.

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker
Walmart

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Price: $25 from Target
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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.

'The Everything College Cookbook'
Amazon

'The Everything College Cookbook'

$13 from Amazon

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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.

Netflix Subscription
wutwhanfoto/istockphoto

Netflix Subscription

$9 per month and up from Netflix 
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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.

Mesh Shower Tote
Bed Bath & Beyond

Mesh Shower Tote

$10 from Bed Bath & Beyond 
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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

Price: $30 from Target 
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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.

Textured Dean Backrest Pillow
Bed Bath & Beyond

Textured Dean Backrest Pillow

$28 from Bed Bath & Beyond 
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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.

Flowfold Crossbody Bag
L.L.Bean

Flowfold Crossbody Bag

$79 from L.L.Bean 
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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.


Related: Gifts That Are Made in America

Hanes Socks for Men
Kmart

Hanes Socks for Men

Price: $10 from Kmart 
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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.

Monopoly
Target

Monopoly

$21 from Target 
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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.

K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker
Keurig

K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker

$80 from Keurig
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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.

OEMTOOLS Premium Auto Safety Bag
AutoZone

OEMTOOLS Premium Auto Safety Bag

Price: $28 from AutoZone
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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?

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
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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.

'1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know'
Amazon

'1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know'

Price: $7 from Amazon
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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.

H20 Fruit Infusion Water Bottle
Inspire Uplift

H20 Fruit Infusion Water Bottle

Price: $25 from InspireUplift
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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.

Home Spray
The Laundress

Home Spray

$12 from The Laundress
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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

$30 from Kohl's
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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.

Amazon Gift Card
Amazon

Amazon Gift Card

Price varies from Amazon
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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.