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What to Give a Guy on Graduation Day…
Graduation gifts for him – 39 Pinterest worthy ideas that’ll get the job done no matter how big or small your budget is.
Whether you’re shopping for a son, nephew, brother, boyfriend or friend:
On this list, you’ll find suggestions that are appropriate for any type of relationship had with the special graduating guy.
- What’s the best gift for graduation?
- College graduation gift amount – how much do you give?
- Do boys get flowers at graduation?
- Inexpensive Graduation Gift Ideas
- Last Minute Graduation Gifts for Guys
- College Graduation Gift Ideas for a Son
- Graduation Gift Ideas for a Brother
- Graduation Gift Ideas for a Boyfriend
- Graduate Gifts for Him (Master’s Degree+)
What is the Best Gift for Graduation?
There is not a universal, catch-all “best” graduation gift for everyone.
What might WOW one guy, can be kind of underwhelming for another. It really depends on the giftee!
Considering the recipient’s interests, hobbies, career field, and lifestyle is a good place to start your brainstorming process.
But with grad gifts, ideally…
The present would be a combination of two things:
1 – It’s something that celebrates his hard work.
2 – It’s something that also brings more joy into his life.
A gift for graduation can be a little luxury for his transition into the “real world”. He’ll be leaving behind his broke college student days to go out into the world as a young, educated professional.
Putting yourself in his shoes and thinking about what you needed or wanted when you were the same age can help you with your decision.
Now, of course, simply asking him what he wants can take the mystery out of the whole gift-giving process.
Which is less than helpful…
So, if you aren’t super close with the soon to be college graduate:
You can always ask someone who knows him really well for ideas. You could even take a look at his social media accounts to get a better idea of his current interests.
The New York Times has some more advice when it comes to selecting a great gift.
How much is an appropriate college graduation gift?
Is there an amount that’s typical of graduation gifts from parents, relatives, or friends?
The short answer is – no. There’s actually no certain amount that you are expected to, or need, to spend.
But if you want a ballpark for a general range:
According to NRF’s annual survey, $105 was the average amount spent in 2018.
This article gives a wider range for the common gift-giving value, putting it somewhere between $20 – $500.
What it boils down to is how strong your relationship is with the graduate and how much you can afford to give.
When you’re trying to pinpoint the best graduation gift for a boy, simply being thoughtful when making your selection is the most important aspect.
Adding a personal touch, such as a handwritten note instead of a generic card, can make a world of difference.
Now you might have another question about what’s expected or not expected at college graduation, particularly –
Do you give boys flowers at graduation?
Quick answer – no.
Not to say that you can’t. In fact, if you know for certain that he loves flowers – I say go for it.
But, for the majority…
Even though giving flowers to girls at commencements is traditional, giving flowers to men is not. It may even cause some confusion.
It’s not that all guys hate receiving bouquets, but usually, they just don’t know what to do with them.
An appropriate alternative would be a Graduation Lei. They are popular with both college boys and girls.
They are a festive decoration to add over graduation robes before or after the ceremony.
Inexpensive Graduation Gifts for Men
Need some graduation gift ideas for friends and don’t really want to go all out? Or maybe you’re just not looking to spend a ton?
Save your budget and still impress with these cheap ideas that boys will like.
They all cost around $25 or less.
1. Graduation Year Penny Keychain
A personalized keychain with his graduation year is unique and while it’s inexpensive, it’s not chintzy.
This Graduation Year Penny isn’t girly or over the top. I think the simple style makes it more likely to actually be used by a guy instead of collecting dust in a box.
It can serve as a nice little reminder of his college years every time he gets a glimpse of it hanging from his keys.
2. Office Chair Cushion
Does your grad have an office job in his future?
A cushion for his chair can be a big help. It helps support a back and makes sitting more comfortable.
His butt will thank you!
3. A Cast Iron Skillet
Chances are that the boy you’re shopping for doesn’t really have much in the way of cooking tools.
Instead of gifting a whole cookware set that’s way over your budget, you could choose one item that has a variety of uses.
Such as a cast iron skillet! They have a raving fan base due to their durability and can easily last a lifetime of use.
4. Pair of Darn Tough Socks
The general consensus is that the older you get, the happier you are when getting socks as gifts.
Do one better:
And go with a pair of socks that has an Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee – like Darn Tough Socks.
5. A Nice Pen
Most college students have never used anything higher quality than a BIC pen.
Give your grad an upgrade by opting for a nice pen that delivers a smoother, and more enjoyable writing experience.
6. Small, Starter Tool Kit
When you don’t have a lot of money to spare, simple things like owning a tool kit go by the wayside.
That’s why it makes my list as a graduation gift idea for him. It’s bound to have its uses!
After college graduation, it’s time to start hitting the pavement.
Many interviews are in his future and having a business card holder will help him keep track of all those freshly printed cards.
6. Movie Tickets
Graduation gifts don’t have to be all business, though.
Movie tickets are a great option for adding a little fun into his life while still being easy on your wallet.
On that note:
Something like a Men’s Birchbox can also be fun because what’s inside is a surprise!
Each month has a different assortment of personal care items for him to try. You can just gift a month or two of boxes, no need to pay for a whole year’s worth.
10. Portable Charger
A portable power bank can keep his phone charged all day without the need to make any pitstops.
Last Minute Graduation Gifts Ideas
Sometimes you just need to get a present quickly.
We’ve all been guilty of waiting until the last second to shop at one point in our lives or another.
Down below you’ll find some suggestions for last-minute graduation gifts that aren’t just cash or gift cards.
11. *Top Pick – HelloFresh Meal Kit
College grads always appreciate food – there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it!
A month or two of a meal delivery service (like HelloFresh) provides just that in addition to teaching him a new cooking technique or two. This gift idea requires no prior planning, but it’s sure to be a hit.
12. *Top Pick – Amazon Prime Membership
eGifts make great last minute graduation gift ideas because you don’t have to wait for anything to be delivered.
And I don’t know anyone who would be disappointed with receiving a year membership to Amazon Prime. You can’t go wrong with free 2-day shipping, access to a huge selection of free music and unlimited Prime Video watching.
13. Fireproof Box
Now that college is over, it’s time to start “adulting”.
That includes doing adult stuff, like keeping important documents in a Fireproof Box. You know, just in case.
These boxes are carried at most Walmarts making them a gift that you can easily pick up at the last minute.
14. A College or Favorite Team Hoodie
Opting for a College Sweatshirt or a hoodie with his favorite team is also a pretty good idea.
If you don’t have time to order online, it’s just as easy to swing by the campus store to pick one up.
A briefcase/laptop bag combo will help him transition into the professional workforce as a new graduate.
It’s great for both work and travel!
You can find one like this at a local department store if you’re super short on time.
Unique College Graduation Gift Ideas…
Here are some more ideas that’ll help answer the question of what to give a guy on graduation day.
…for a Son
16. *Top Pick – An Amazon Echo or Dot
A great graduation gift for him (and you) is an Amazon Echo.
I got all my extended family and relatives their own Amazon Dots for Christmas last year. Now we send each other voice messages all the time because it allows us to call hands free!
My parents and grandparents love them for this particular feature. And us younger kids love how easy it makes staying in contact.
Plus, these babies have tons of other features that any guy would appreciate.
17. *Top Pick – Free Grocery Deliveries for a Year
This is a top pick as a graduation gift for him because it’s just awesome!
You can help your son free up more time in his post-grad schedule by gifting him with a Shipt membership. They’ll deliver his groceries same-day in as little as an hour.
Delivery is free for members on orders over $35 – score!
Shipt has an option to gift a 12-month or 6-month membership, but you can get the yearly price for half off here.
18. A Diploma Frame
He worked so hard to get that diploma, now he needs something to display it with.
A Diploma Frame makes for a thoughtful and handy gift.
19. *Top Pick – YNAB Software
Learning how to be smart with your money early on is one life’s most valuable lessons.
Now that he’s graduated that means it’s time to start paying back loans and working off debt.
Escaping the endless debt is one of the biggest problems fresh grads have to solve.
A perfect gift for your son is good financial advice, and You Need a Budget’s software can guide him every step of the way.
20. Shopping Trip for a Professional Wardrobe
The time has come for your college kid to land a dream job in his chosen career field.
The only problem is…
That he doesn’t have many (if any) nice clothes to wear for interviews. He also likely doesn’t have a lot of extra cash to furnish a new wardrobe.
A fantastic graduation gift from parents to sons is simply a shopping trip to find him some professional clothing staples.
You can spend time with him and help with his future goals.
21. A Luggage Set
How many college students do you know that have luggage, much less a complete set?
Not many (if any) I’m sure.
Lots of college-age young adults do have aspirations to travel, which is why a nice luggage set is sure to delight.
22. A Skydiving Experience
Many young people highly value experiences over things.
A very cool graduation gift for your son could be the chance to skydive.
Granted he doesn’t have a phobia of heights that is. You could go do it with him if you’re brave!
Now that’s a fun way to bond post-graduation.
23. A YETI Cooler
Is your son an outdoorsy kind of guy?
YETI coolers are sought after by hunters, campers, fishermen, and those who like to just get out of the city.
This type of gift is sure to get a WOW and a big hug.
24. AAA Membership
You may not be able to give him a new car to replace his junker.
You can give him the next best thing – some peace of mind. Because car troubles or a flat tire always seem to strike at the wrong time!
AAA coverage can take a lot of the stress out of situations like that for a young guy.
25. An Instant Pot
When you have an Instant Pot, cooking is a lot less work. It takes hardly any cooking skills to operate it and that can encourage guys to spend more time eating in instead of eating out.
…for a Brother
Here are some cool grad gifts for your brother!
26. *Top Pick – A Bro Basket
As the name implies, Bro Baskets are gift baskets made for men.
They tout themselves as The Best Gifts for Men. Period. Sharing a cold one with your brother is a timeless way to celebrate a big life moment.
27. Custom Belt Buckle
Or a vintage one with his university’s name!
Grads who are fans of belt buckles or who may have country roots will enjoy receiving a unique gift like this.
28. A Supercar Experience
I’m pretty sure this idea would make you brother of the year.
What guy would turn down the chance to drive a supercar?
It’s a totally unique graduation gift.
29. A Brewing Kit
If beer is a passion of his, he’d probably enjoy learning how to brew a batch too.
You could even use a Brewing Kit together for some extra, post-college quality time.
30. Framed College Map Print
A map print of his college campus or college town would be a nice memento.
It’ll be some decor for his apartment walls. It’s a thoughtful grad gift and it’s even relatively inexpensive.
31. A Leather Portfolio
A Leather Portfolio provides utility and professional style.
If your brother is going into a business or legal sector he might appreciate accumulating items such as this early.
…for a Boyfriend
Graduation gifts for your boyfriend – these are ideas that will help express how proud you are of him.
Your significant other is special and he deserves some recognition.
32. *Top Pick – A Man Crate
Show your man how proud you are of him on his graduation day by choosing a unique gift like a Man Crate.
There are TONS of meaningful themed crate options to choose from, such as beard care, grill master, everything bacon, knife making, and beer brewing (to name a few).
There’s a perfect pick for just about any type of graduating boyfriend.
33. *Top Pick – A Subscription to Trendy Butler
Clothing is an idea for the fashion (or even not so) conscious guy in your life.
New, well-fitting clothes can do wonders for boosting self-confidence. A Trendy Butler subscription is a great way to treat your boyfriend on his big day.
34. A Massage or Spa Day Certificate
After all that work:
Some pampering is in order! Now is the time to relax and take a load off of his shoulders.
A massage or a spa day is the perfect grad gift to help him unwind.
Tip: if you know he tends to prefer deep tissue massage over Swedish, book him one at a chiropractic office instead of a spa.
35. Kindle eReader
Kindles make accessing any book you’ve ever wanted to read easier than ever. No need to lug around heavy books or to even have a bookshelf when you have one of these bad boys.
Boyfriends who are avid readers can delight in all the practicality one has to offer.
36. A Nice Steak Dinner
The way to a man’s heart might not be through his stomach, but I think anyone can take joy in a good meal. So –
When it comes to picking a great present, you don’t have to overthink it.
A steak dinner at a nice restaurant or prepared by you at home is sure to make him happy.
Graduate School Graduation Gifts for Him
Finishing grad school is a huge accomplishment and it’s definitely a big deal!
Master’s and doctorate programs aren’t only just difficult:
They also require many years of study, commitment, and dedication. Life moments like this don’t come around often which is why a different type of present can feel more appropriate.
These are some graduation gift ideas for him (master’s degree or higher) that will particularly help commemorate the occasion.
It’s all stuff that the grad himself can’t quite afford to splurge on yet. But boy would he love to have it!
Obtaining his degree has been a long path and I’m sure his current pair of earbuds has seen plenty of use.
You can’t go wrong by gifting him with a new top-quality pair. A set that allows him to be free of the confines of wires would be even better.
Bose Wireless Headphones will last for years and they double a handsfree headset for talking on the phone.
P.S. My husband was given these last Christmas and he still calls them the best gift he’s ever received.
38. A Super Nice Electric Razor
After finishing graduate school next comes entering the workforce.
With job hunting comes interviews. He’s going to want to look his best to land his dream job and a nice electric razor can help him keep up with his personal grooming.
This Braun Shaver was ranked as the top overall electric razor for 2019.
39. A Buy it for Life Knife
There are some things you only need to purchase once in a lifetime if you choose the right brand.
A graduation gift for him that he’ll never forget is a knife of exceptional quality, like a Masamoto. It’ll deliver fond memories of completing his master’s for years to come.
Chef or not, it’ll get near daily use.
The difference between a premium knife and every other is so stark that once he has one, he’ll never want to use anything else for prepping food.
40. A Classy Citizen Watch
Nothing quite says timeless like a stylish men’s watch.
A master’s degree graduation certainly calls for something with an air of classiness. A Citizen timepiece fits that bill.
Your grad is sure to be obsessed with it, in fact, it’ll most likely be glued to his wrist for quite some time.
Whatever you ending up choosing to give a boy on graduation day:
Just remember that expressing how proud you are of him is the most important part.
He may not remember what particular gifts were in 20 years time, but he will remember how he felt. Just make him feel loved and you’ll get it right.
What are you gifting a guy on graduation day this year?
Related college and gift articles:
- 5 DIY gift baskets for boys going away to college
- 13 care package ideas for college students
- 20 gifts that college girls love to get
- 35 awesome cap ideas for graduation
- 6 Practical (After Graduation) Life Skills for College Students