2012 Gift Guide For College Students
December 7, 2012

Finding the perfect gift for anyone in our lives can be a struggle, but a satisfying one when you finally nail it. Buying for a college student presents an extra challenge; students have always been strapped for cash, but with outrageously high college tuitions and the accompanying student loans, student borrowers are compelled to be even more thrifty than ever. So as Christmas approaches, it’s a great opportunity to help a student out by giving them a gift that will further them along the winding road to higher education. Here are a few gift ideas perfect for your fledgling scholar this Christmas.

1. Shop For Scholarships

There are loads of scholarship opportunities out there. A lot of them are very specialized scholarships, meaning they revolve around a certain area of interest, one particular academic area or even a hobby or extracurricular activity. Because of this, often the trick to finding the best scholarships is all about having an intimate knowledge of the student for whom you’re shopping. What do they like, what do they excel at and what are they into? Knowing the answers to these questions will set you on tract to finding the perfect scholarship and will also make the gift more personalized.

2. Gift Certificates To School Book Stores

School books are pricey and they are a necessity of college life. When you’re looking to get a gift card for a college student, do not go for a big chain bookstore. What you’ll want to get is store credit at a bookstore that is affiliated with the school, which is where students are required to buy course books. An average bookstore doesn’t stock that kind of stuff and even if they do, it’s likely to be cheaper (and often even available used) from the university bookstore. For extra gift giving credit, you can slyly find out what courses the student is signed up for next semester and buy the required reading for them.

3. The College Necessities

There are a million and one things college kids need at school, stuff that drains your wallet and is no fun to buy for yourself. Here’s a list of some of the top needs for college life:

  • Mini Fridge for Dorm Room
  • AAA Membership
  • Laundry Hamper
  • New Sheets
  • Coffee!
  • Pens, Pencils and Office Supplies
  • Bathrobe
  • Dorm Slippers
  • Thumb Drive
  • Study Lamp
  • Speaker System
  • Laptop Lock
  • Noise-Canceling Headphones
  • Digital Camera
  • Holiday Gift Basket

You’ll notice some of these will help with studying and some are just for fun. It’s often a mixture of the two that make for the best college student gifts. Another great way ease your student’s mind about finances this Christmas is to steer them towards student aid organizations who can help students manage their debt.