Holiday Gifts for College Students: Some Suggestions

Last holiday season we made some recommendations for some gift book suggestions for college students — or about to be college students.  Some of these books will help them navigate into, through, and beyond college.  We still think that they are good suggestions for holiday gifts for your college student.  Some of these books are just for fun, and some provide plenty of helpful hints for surviving college.  They cover everything from general advice to cooking, money management and career advice.  Check out our Recommended List of Gift Books and find something for your student.

This year, in addition to our book recommendations, we’d like to suggest a few other possible gift ideas for about-to-be college students, current college students, or almost-graduate college students.  Of course, you know your student best, and you know what may or may not interest him, but here are a few ideas to stimulate your imagination.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon’s e-reader is one of the hottest items on holiday gift lists this year.  With over 750,000 books, plus newspapers, magazines, and blogs available for reading, your college student will be set for a while.  New models of the Kindle offer internet capability, a 6 inch reading screen, and thinner body than ever.  There is an improved PDF reader, no glare when reading in sunlight, global 3G coverage, and the ability to read ebooks on the iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, Android device, and BlackBerry using Whispersync technology. Order directly from Amazon here.

Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels

OK, this gift might be a bit silly, but it also might be just the thing for your college students who has a tendency to sleep through that early morning class.  Built on wheels, the little unit emits an R2D2-style beeping pattern whenever you set it to first sound off. Tailor the snooze feature for between 0 and 9 minutes, after which Clocky will beep again, roll off the nightstand, and start scooting out of reach. To turn it off, the reluctant riser has to get out of bed and chase it down, improving the odds of then staying awake. Sturdily built with a cute chunky shape, Clocky can survive a drop of up to 3 feet, travels on low carpet or hard flooring, and includes a backlit night display for easy reading. Fun! Order directly from Amazon here.

Dorm Vault

This powerful yet affordable security system helps keep valuables safe–perfect for college students living in dorm rooms. Its compact size maximizes tight living and storage space, plus offers students peace of mind–no need to worry about who’s in the room or if the roommate locked the door. Order directly from Amazon here.

Sunlight Desk Lamp

Not just an ordinary desk lamp, this lamp mirrors natural light — better for reading, and better for health — especially for students spending so much time studying at night.  Your student will appreciate this ”natural sunlight” lamp during the long winter months. Order directly from Amazon here.

Digital Picture Frame

Your college student will enjoy both pictures from home and pics of new friends and adventures at college.  Your student will enjoy being able to watch her favorite friends and family rotate through as she spends time in her room. Order directly from Amazon here.

Nintendo Wii

Get your student up and moving and spending time playing games with his friends.  With an ever growing array of options, this video gaming device will offer lots of options. Order directly from Amazon here.

Coffeemaker with Travel Mug

This will save your student the time and expense of stopping for coffee on the way to class or work.  Just the right size for one cup of coffee — brewed directly into a travel mug to be ready to go! Order directly from Amazon here.

Diploma Frame

If your student is getting close to graduation — either high school or college — give him a head start on the anticipation by giving him the frame to hang his diploma. Order directly from Amazon here.

High Quality Folder

If your student is getting close to graduation, help her prepare for those job interviews with a nice looking leather folder in which to carry her resume, contact information, and a pad to take notes.  Help her get a head start on looking polished and professional. Order directly from Amazon here.

Portable Hard Drive

Help your student be prepared to save all of those important college papers in more than one place.  She can easily drag and drop files onto this hard drive and have everything backed up. Order directly from Amazon here.


This one probably wins the prize for the silliest suggestion yet, but your student may have fun with it.  Most dorms don’t allow pets, but your pet-starved student can safely return to school with her own battery-operated pet turtle! Order directly from Amazon here.

Feel free to join the conversation and add suggestions if you have other ideas.  Happy shopping!

Note: Some links in our post are for affiliate products. If you use our links, College Parent Central receives a small percentage of your purchase price. This does not change the cost to you.  We think it’s only fair to let you know that.

Related Posts:

Gift Books for College Students: Some Recommendations

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2 thoughts on “Holiday Gifts for College Students: Some Suggestions”

  1. I’m a freelance writer for and would love to speak with someone at College Parent Central about this topic. Would it be possible to chat sometime this week or early next week? I tried using the contact form on your site but the captcha wasn’t showing. Thanks!


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