7 Gift Books for Your College (or soon-to-be college) Student

Looking for a gift for your student in college or student who’s going to be in college soon is not always easy. What do they need or want?

There are a lot of possibilities. We’ve offered some gift suggestions for this year and we have a list of nearly 100 other suggestions.

But sometimes, what your student needs is a good read that will help them prepare for college, make the most of their experiences, and head down the road to success.  A little guidance from those in the know can go a long way.

We’d like to offer a short list of seven of our favorite books for college students. All of these books will inspire your student and help them get ready to make the most of their college years. Take a look at our reviews of these books, and gift a couple to your student. (And maybe read them yourself so you’ll have some topics to talk about with your student!)

Put College to Work by Kat Clowes

This book offers practical advice to students in a tone and manner they will read. It provides a great blend of the author’s personal experiences and her professional expertise to speak directly to college-age students about what mistakes to avoid and what opportunities to seize. Read our full review of the book.

The Naked Roommate by Harlan Cohen

This is a classic book of advice for college students. Readers will be entertained – and gather plenty of good advice along the way.

Straight A’s Are Not Enough by Judy Fishel

The book is intended to help students study better, and smarter, to be able to move beyond simply grades to a true education.  The author leaves students with six strong study habits and the admonition that “There is always hope.” Read our review of the book.

Collegiate: Seven Big Ideas to Make College Awesome by Nick Salyers and Caleb Stevens

The authors express their hope “that these ideas will help change the way you think about college. Because college is too important to get wrong, and it’s too short to squander.” We think the book has the potential to do just that. Read our full review of the book.

College Secrets of Highly Successful People by Lindy Schneider and Tom L. Schneider

It is the stories that make this book compelling. There are important and valuable lessons included, but they are woven throughout the stories about famous and not-so-famous people. And the authors often craftily tell the story before revealing who the celebrity, or politician, or CEO is. It’s an entertaining and educational read. Read our full review of the book.

There Is Life After College by Jeffrey J. Selingo

This book helps students, parents, and faculty/administrators, see the thread of preparation that runs from high school through college and early career. The time to read this book is well before college – but it’s never too late. Read our full review of the book.

It’s the Student Not the College by Kristin M. White

According to the author, “the message at the heart of this book (is) that success is within a person’s own power and will not be determined by the college (a student) attends.” Read our full review of the book.

If you have an adult in your life who might need to read about the college parenting experience, here’s a list of books for them, too. (Or buy one or two for yourself!)

8 Summer Reading Recommendations for College Parents

Happy reading!


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