Holiday gifts for college kids at all different prices—from cheap gifts college students will love (and actually use!) to practical Christmas presents college kids really want, our holiday gift guide college edition and presents wish list has useful gifts for students that fit your budget level! Ultimate holiday gift guide for the best gifts for college students, recent grads, and upcoming graduates, or even a new college student!
Holiday Gifts For College Kids That They’ll Absolutely LOVE (Best Christmas Gift Guide)
Useful gifts for college students don’t have to be boring or super expensive gifts! If you’re wondering what is the best gift to give a college student, we’ve got you covered with holiday present ideas (that work just as well for birthday gifts for college students, too!).
Here are fun ideas for your favorite college student and best what to get for Christmas for college kids…
What should a college student get for Christmas?
What To Buy College Students For Christmas:
- Bedside bunk tray / bed shelf caddy
- Rokid Air AR Glasses
- Portable Bluetooth Speaker / portable speaker
- Cookies Chips Candy Care Package / Sampler Pack
- Personalized college ornament
- Cool dorm room decor / apartment decorations / items that will help in a small dorm room
- Small air fryer
- Charging kit / portable charger for phone
- Extra long power cord with phone
- Tablet portable charging ports and USB ports
- Noise cancelling headphones / AirPods / Bluetooth headphones
- Coffee maker
- Amazon Echo / Echo Dot (a best seller and favorite!)
- Movie night popcorn set with streaming movie subscription service (paid service after free trial at no extra cost to them)
- Mini video projector
- Apple watch
- Nintendo switch and video games
- The best pillow you can find
- Monogrammed toiletry bag (if you’re looking for personal items)
- Eggs maker / breakfast sandwich maker (add a dorm cooking cookbook!)
- Ring light kit for TikTok challenges and influencer videos / social media
- New laptop / Google Pixelbook Go
- Team spirit mug or water bottle
- Mini refrigerator (a must for late night study sessions)
- Theft-resistant backpacks
- Laptop locks
- Weighted blankets
- New cell phone
- Alarm clock
- Funny gifts like word socks
- New comforter set
Want to make it a holiday to remember for your college kids? Keep scrolling for the full list of unique ideas on what to give college students for Christmas and gifts college students actually want for the holidays! A top Christmas gifts for college girls and guys wish list guide — including Christmas gifts for college students for every budget!
SEE BELOW for separate gifts for college students girl and boy student gifts — even a great option for gifts for any time of year or a head start for graduation gifts!
Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide College Edition: Best Christmas Gifts Wish List
Need affordable gift ideas or best gift ideas for college students? What is the best Christmas gift to a college student?
You’ll love our first two gift guide sections for gift and present ideas for your college student this holiday season that won’t break the bank.
We have gifts for every budget — perfect gift ideas from thoughtful gift ideas / self-care gift ideas (pampering gift ideas for college students) to practical gift ideas to stylish gift ideas to best tech gifts for college kids and even best comfy gifts according to college students.
Here’s what college students want for Christmas and gifts that college students will actually appreciate and use — not just the perfect Christmas gift, but useful presents.
Great way to help out young adults venturing out on their own!
NOTE: Prices listed at time of publication and may be subject to change.
Let’s start with small gifts for college students and a cheap price range because — good news — you don’t have to spend a lot of money for good gifts!
Best $5 Gifts For College Students
If you’re looking for the best cheap gifts for college students (even gifts under 5 dollars), then gift cards are your friends… yes, even $5 gift cards.
Think: Starbucks / favorite coffee shop, bookshop, local restaurant, or even fast food restaurants.
To a college student, a five dollar gift card (or a bunch of different $5 gift cards) are worth their weight in gold and an easy way to help college kids — and they can even use them with their college friends for coffees, hot drinks, or cold drinks on the way to their early morning classes!
It’s one of the most useful and best inexpensive gifts for college students!
(Then they won’t have to put those things on a credit cards / debit card.)
If you’re wondering about gifts that college students actually want, gift cards are it! These small items are perfect gifts!
(It’s a good idea and then you don’t have to stress about Christmas shopping for the right gift!)
Other Fun Gifts Under 5 Bucks:
- Cute make-up bag / multipurpose bag
- A box of blessings
- Bag of their favorite snacks or candy (late night school work study pick me ups!)
- Box of granola bars or protein bars
- Face masks for sleeping better
- Portable Foot massager to use while sitting at their desk
- Back scratchers
- Water drink flavorings
- Bring Me Some Tacos socks (a little over 5 bucks)
- Make It Happen! list pad
ALSO CHECK OUT: What does every college student need?
Fun Cheap Gifts For College Students ($10-$20 Gifts)
Cheap Christmas Gifts For College Students:
1. GIFT CARDS
Amazon gift cards make some of the best Amazon gifts for college students because they can be used for a variety of things (even food!) and can be combined for bigger purchases. Or, you can get a variety of gift cards to different places!
2. RAMEN COOKER
It sounds ridiculous, but a Ramen Noodle Cooker with some packs of Ramen is actually a really good gift for college students (and it’s a budget-friendly gift!).
For under $20 you can get the cooker and several packs of noodles, perfect for those late-night study sessions!
A multitool is so handy and college because random things come up that you need to fix, but students don’t have room for a toolbox or random tools.
4. GROW A BONSAI TREE
This can add a fun twist to a dorm room or apartment!
5. LUXURY TEA BOX
If you have a student who loves tea, definitely try this luxury tea set for different kinds of teas.
Great for colder months, too!
(Want to bump it up? Add a cool tea cup and a this amazing dorm room tea kettle for a great idea!)
6. RECHARGEABLE NECK FANS
OK, you might think this is ridiculous, but hear me out:
Dorms and apartments can get hot, so I love these rechargeable neck fans that can not only be worn during tailgating or hanging on the commons, but also can be twisted around to sit on a desk or worn while studying on the bed.
(We have these and they put out a surprising amount of air and actually cool you off! My daughter said they fought over hers at camp with no air conditioning!)
THESE CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDES WILL ALSO HELP COLLEGE STUDENTS:
Gifts For College Students Under 25
1. SMOOTHIE BLENDER
If your kid at college loves their morning smoothie, then this affordable smoothie blender can actually save them a lot of money.
This one is not only a space saver and doesn’t take up a lot of room, but after blending you cap it and use it as to-go, travel smoothie drink bottle!
2. GAMING COASTER SETS
Have a student gamer? These gaming coaster sets are neon and appear to light up — perfect gifts for gamers!
3. BEDSIDE CADDY
At bedside caddy is awesome for dorm rooms because students can have all the stuff at their fingertips when they’re studying in bed or hanging out.
Practical Gifts for College Students / Unique Gifts for College Kids
Presents for college kids that they can actually use don’t have to be boring!
Check out these college gift ideas and presents for busy college students:
1. AMAZON PRIME STUDENT MEMBERSHIP
Did you know that Amazon has a Student Membership where college kids get 50% off the Prime Membership and extra savings and exclusive student discounts on all kinds of things like books, movies, music, food, and MORE!
This is one of the BEST college student gifts and a super kind gift!
2. EXTENSION CORDS
An extension cord?
Seems boring to you, but when a college kid is trying to plug in a laptop, phone charger, tablet charger, light, fan (and more!), they’ll be super appreciative of this thoughtful gift.
Why not also add a useful multi-charging port, too?
3. NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES
Studying at college (especially in the dorm or with roommates around) can sometimes be challenging. Why not help out college students with cool noise canceling headphones?
(Just make sure they work with whatever device your college kid has…)
4. DORM ROOM SAFETY LOCKS
Some useful gifts for students in this category are also safety items:
- Portable door lock for dorms, hotel rooms, AirBnB and more
- Refrigerator lock (great if they’re gone over winter break!)
- Portable Safe
- Door stop alarm (great for college dorms!)
- Laptop lock (be sure to check for compatibility – important if they have an active social life with people coming in an out of their college dorm room or college apartment)
5. SNACK BOX DELIVERY
A one-time snack box gift or even a monthly food box delivery not only boosts morale for your college kid, but can also help them save money.
6. STUDY DESK LAMP
Study desk lamps are a must, and we love this one because it also charges the student’s phone!
7. ANTI-THEFT BACKPACK
This is a great college backpack because it includes a password lock and anti-theft zippers to keep college laptops, tablets, phones and more safe!
Going away to college is a perfect time to grab one of these back packs and it makes perfect Christmas gifts for students!
8. LED PORTABLE PROJECTOR
Many college students may not have a TV, especially if they live in a dorm.
Most kids at college just watch movies / stream shows on their laptops.
An LED projector hooks right to their laptops and allows them to watch movies with their friends… without a TV!
One of those great student Christmas gifts!
Personalized Gifts For College Students
Looking for personal student gifts Christmas?
- My First Christmas in College ornament
- Personalized gamer light
- To My Son braided bracelet / dog tag
- Why I’m Grateful fill in journal
- Personalized Search and Find (this is a kids’ book, but I think it would be a hysterical college gift idea!)
- Personalized flip-top beverage bottle
Funny Gifts for College Students
College is a the perfect place to have some funny items in their space while living the dorm life and having best time of their lives!
These are fun student gifts for Christmas (especially if they say that have no idea what I want for Christmas!).
What are good gifts for college students who love laughs?
- Bob Ross Bobble Head (we gave this as a gift and it was a HUGE hit!)
- Pick Your Nose pencil sharpener (you’re welcome…)
- Instant Underpants – just add water (for when they can’t get home to do laundry)
- Squirrel In Underpants air freshener
- Bottle opener dart board game
- Blinged out car cup coaster
- Light Up chopsticks (great gift for students Christmas if they love Ramen!)
- Do Your Laundry Or You’ll Die Alone advice book
- Call Mom! pillowcase
- Drunk Stone or Stupid party game
- Chicken Flickers (you’ll just have to trust us on this one for student holiday gift ideas…)
(We received requests for what to get college students for Christmas who are female and what to get male students, so that’s why we added these two sections separately of things actual college students will love. You can also ask them for their wishlist Christmas ideas / ideas of gifts for Christmas them if you don’t want to separate them into guy or girl gift ideas Christmas / want unisex gifts!)
Cool College Girl Gifts / Young Women
Whether you’re looking for gifts for freshman girl in college or students graduating, you’ll find something on this gift list!
- Mermaid Tail blanket
- Oversized hoodie blanket sweatshirt (perfect gifts idea Christmas for studying!)
- Aromatherapy shower steamers with collapsible shower caddies
- Quick release pepper spray
- Magnetic poetry kit, college edition
- She Believed She Could So She Did travel coffee/drink tumbler
- Heated fingerless gloves
- Oil diffuser with essential oils
Awesome Gifts For College Guys
Fun Christmas wishlist for college dudes:
- Portable table tennis (set up anywhere!)
- Breakfast sandwich maker
- Touch screen winter gloves
- Wall ring toss
- Mega water balloon launcher
- Burt’s Bees lip balm
We’d love to hear your great gift ideas and fun ideas for things to buy college students for Christmas!