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 Homeschool Graduation

High School Graduation Gifts for Boys Headed to College

Buy the graduating young man a gift that will help him in his new life on a college campus.

As you’re planning your son’s homeschool high school graduation, you’re going to be asked for ideas for a graduation present for him. I don’t know about you, but I always run out of ideas when put on the spot. To help you be prepared the next time someone asks or to help you with your own graduation gift buying, here are seven types of gifts perfect for the young man in your life who is about to graduate and move away to a university. 

Gifts Cards and Money

Gift cards and money are an old standard in terms of graduation gifts and for a good reason. Over the next few years, your son will need quite a few items for college that he never considered before living in an apartment or dorm because they were supplied in your home. Gift cards and money go a long way towards these miscellaneous expenses. Consider picking up gift cards for various restaurants and stores. Online stores which sell textbooks are another extremely practical option for gift cards.

Dormitory Necessities

Since your son is headed for college, he’ll likely spend at least a year in the dormitories. He can’t bring a lot of possessions with him, but there are a few thoughtful gifts that will make his freshman year of college easier. My own son commented that he never had enough mugs to hand serve drinks to all of his friends when they dropped by to see him. So stock up on a supply of practical dishes. A coffee pot is useful even if your son doesn’t drink coffee since it heats water. The heated water can be used to make noodles, tea, or hot chocolate in the middle of the night. You can imagine how useful a coffee pot becomes for late-night study sessions.

Along the same lines, a mug with your son’s name printed on it is smart. It’s harder to accidentally walk off with a personalized mug than a generic one. It’s also easier to know where to return the mug. Traveling mugs are also useful for heading off to late night study sessions or early morning classes. 

College Reference Material

There are certain reference books most college students find they need at some point during their college career. Consider picking up a dictionary and thesaurus for your son. While they’re available as an app, it can be handy to have a hard copy available.

A style guide is also useful. A good style guide will include information on the various styles of formatting papers. Once your son knows the type of formatting his professors want to see, he’ll have the information he needs to format his papers correctly.


Many boys ride bikes around college since they are cheap and easy to maintain transportation when you’re living away from home for the first time. Consider giving your son supplies for his bicycle as a high school graduation present. A tire pump is always useful as are water bottles, gloves, lights, and bicycle bags.

T-shirts and hoodies branded with favorite spots from your hometown help a college freshman maintain a sense of rootedness while starting life in the college scene.


Giving your son sweatshirts or tee-shirts from the college he plans to attend is a popular high school graduation present. He’ll have the shirts to wear around college or to the gym while demonstrating school spirit. 

Another fun option is to find local t-shirts for your son from his favorite restaurants, local sports teams, or frequently visited entertainment venues. Don’t forget a sweatshirt or hoodie that demonstrates hometown pride. These are small touches of home that help a college freshman have a sense of roots while starting life in the college scene.

Books and Magazines

Purchasing books about your son’s favorite hobbies or sports is another easy way to find high school graduation gifts. You can find books on chess, fishing, football, or soccer. If books aren’t quite your style, consider purchasing a magazine subscription. There are many magazines on various hobbies, sports, and interests which your son enjoys, and getting real mail can be a treat.

Other Gifts

Don’t forget the possibility of giving unique high school graduation gifts such as a class ring or a watch. Other options are pens, cuff links, key rings, or journals. Often you can have these items engraved with your son’s name or year of graduation to personalize them.

Finding graduation gifts for your son can be a challenge. Remember to keep his interests and needs in mind as you select the best presents to acknowledge his achievement of high school graduation.

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