30 Holiday Gift Ideas for College Students

gift ideas for college students

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year.  It’s the time of year that families gather for fellowship and great food.  This includes your child who’s away at college.  You’re excited that you will be able to spend time with your entire family.  So far, everyone has given you their Christmas wish list.  Except the college student.  Unfortunately, thinking about anything except finals is more than their brain can handle.

So, to take the worry off you I put together a list of items that every college student can use.  Most of the items I sent to my own daughter throughout her four years of higher education.  All were appreciated.  Here’s a list of holiday gift ideas for college students:


  1. Gift/Gas Cards – All college students can use a gas and a special gift.  So, gift cards make a perfect gift.
  2. Snack Items/Cookies/Drinks – Next, chips, cookies, energy drinks and bars are always welcome.
  3. Instant Soup/Cans of Tuna/Chicken – Cans of tuna and chicken are great ways for protein.   Instant soups are perfect for a quick meal on a cold day too.
  4. Plates/Forks/Spoons/Bowls/Microwavable Dishes – These items will come in handy when ordering pizza, making sandwiches or eating salads in the dorm room.
  5. Paper Towels/Napkins – No matter where they are, there will be spills.  College student or not, they still need to wipe their mouth and hands.
  6. Keurig/Coffee/Coffee Mug/Tea/Honey – My daughter wasn’t a coffee drinker, but she loves honey and tea. The Keurig was perfect for making individual cups.
  7. Highlighters/Mechanical Pens/Notebooks/Folders – These items come in handy.  Eventually, highlighters dry up or get lost.  Also, folders bend and notebooks get used. Each semester brings a new need.
  8. Wrinkle Releaser/Febreze – Wrinkle releaser is perfect for those mornings when you don’t have time to iron.  Your college student will appreciate both.  Especially, Febreze on those days when they want to wear those jeans one more day before washing them.
  9. Tooth Paste/Floss/Waterpik/Mouth Wash – Taking care of your teeth is important at home and school.
  10. Shampoo/Conditioner/Flat Iron/Curling Iron/Detangle Comb – Students still like to look good.
  11. Body Lotion/Razors/Shaving Cream – Keeping the skin hydrated and smooth is still important.
  12. Loofah/Spa Items/Body Wash – To a college student, these are luxury items.  So, be generous.
  13. Bath Tissue/Air Fresher/Disinfectant – Next, having individual items can be heaven sent.  There’s no arguments about who used the last roll or emptied the last can of spray.
  14. Printer Cartridges/Compressed Air to Clean Keyboard – When your taking care of business, printer cartridges and computer cleaning products are always needed.
  15. First Aid Kit – Unfortunately, accidents happen.  It could be a cut, scrape, or burn.  Being prepared is important.
  16. Rolls of Quarters/Detergent/Dryer Sheets/Laundry Basket – Doing laundry doesn’t end because you’re in college.  Washer and dryers take quarters.  And, clothes can’t be cleaned with detergent and dryer sheets.
  17. Bed Sheets/Comforter/Pillows – Having a nice, clean bed is essential in getting a good night’s sleep.  This applies to dorms or apartments as well as home.  So, fresh sheets, a plum comforter, and heathy pillows are essential.
  18. Towels/Washcloths –  Towels and washcloths are essential items for a college student.
  19. Picture Frames and Photo Albums –  Making memories in college is important. I remember my daughter wanting special frames to house her dance team photos.  Additionally, specials nights out with friends, and with the love of life who is now her husband.
  20. Subscription to Netflix, Hulu etc. –  Cable in college is a luxury.  However, subscriptions to Netflix or Hulu is a perfect gift.
  21. Footbath/Nail Polish/File/Clippers/Manicure Items – I remember my daughter and her roommates giving each other manicures and pedicures.  They enjoyed painting each other nails and experimenting with makeup.
  22. Shower Caddy/Shower Cap –  Holiday gift ideas for college students should include shower storage items. A means to store shampoo, conditioner and body wash is important.
  23. Diffuser/Oils –  I replaced burning candles with essential oils, and I love them.  They’re great for relaxing, keeping calm and staying centered.
  24. Duct Tape/Screw Driver/Pliers/Wrench –  Although we may not want to think about things coming apart, they do.  Throw in some nails, picture hangers and screws too.  These are holiday gift ideas for college students that they won’t think of.
  25. Charging Station –  Charging Stations are great for charging a phone, tablet, Kindle or other items in one place.
  26. Fire Stick/Smart TV/Printing/Media Streaming Device
  27. Bed Pillow For Support While Watching TV or Studying
  28. Storage Crates – Great for  storing movies, papers or using as a table.
  29. Ironing Board/Iron – Purchasing an ironing board that can be used on a bed or table is a good idea.
  30. DSR Camera – Capturing memories throughout college years is important.  It only happens once, so encourage your son or daughter to capture as many memories as possible.

Finally, we hope you found our list of holiday gift ideas for college students helpful. Pick a few items from the list, and I guarantee your college student will be happy.  These items make great care packages throughout the year too. You may also like How to Decorate a Dorm Room On a Budget.




Speak Your Mind