Gifts for Teens and College-Bound Students

Gifts for Teens and College-Bound Students

It’s the holiday season and believe it or not there are gift ideas to consider for those needing help with college prep and planning. Our list includes gifts for parents learning about college planning, along with ideas for high school and college students. We tried to include the practical, frivolous, and just plain fun. Here are our top suggestions:


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Help towards a debt-free future. Give the gift of a successful future and a debt free start by giving money to a 529 college savings plan. Your student may not view this as the most exciting gift, but think long-term value instead of instant gratification. You can also set up an account at Gift of College, link an existing 529 account and let others also give gifts and help build your child’s college savings too.

Gift of College Gift Card

Eat well at a college dining hall. You can’t be there to make sure they eat well, but help your current college student and future one transform their dining hall meals into gourmet feasts! Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks offers 75 amazing and creative recipe ideas that use items readily available in your college dining hall.

Dining Hall Hacks


We all have so many gadgets these days that need to be charged, so don’t be caught short on charging space. The iClever Boost Cube is a 4 port wall charger that not only gives you more space to charge, but also charges faster than your normal charger. This is the best selling 4-port charger on the market. 


Music soothes the soul and makes your student’s room party central. When we went to college we either had a boom box or large bulky speakers. Today, kids can use a small, wireless, bluetooth speaker that turns any mobile device into a hi-fi sound system that delivers clear, high quality sound. We’re sure  Jawbone’s Mini Jambox will do the trick.


Jawbone mini


Have a gadget that’s like a jack of all trades. You’ll never know when you’ll need a knife, tweezer, scissor all at the same time. Make sure your student is prepared with their own Swiss Army pocket knife. When I was a kid, my father always carried one on vacations and when I studied abroad my own Swiss Army Knife was invaluable. 

Swiss Army Knife


Tick tock your teen is tough to rock in the morning. If you have a teen that is hard to wake in the morning and wonder what he/she will do when they are on their own, then Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels is worth a try. It’s the only bedside alarm clock that will run away, hide, move, roll, wheel, beep, and jump (from up to a 3 foot nightstand). So it literally hits your teen to wake up or rolls on the floor forcing them to get out of bed to turn off the annoying alarm. Sounds like a promising waker upper to us.


Clocky Alarm Clock




Give your student a subtle reminder that you are always thinking of them, with this red string bracelet. The red string is based on an ancient folklore that wearing it tied around your wrist wards off misfortune. The belief comes from the Jewish Kabbalah that the red string is a tool for removing the intrusive negative influences around us. As parents, we’ll try anything to make sure our kids are protected.

Red string bracelet

Don’t be caught with “dead” electronics. You’re hoping your student spends so much time studying at the library that they don’t have time to charge their phone or other mobile devices. Instead, they could carry the INIU Portable Charger and never worry about running out of electric “juice”. 

INUI portable charger


Give a gift that keeps your student warm and comfy – Comfy Feet Sneaker Slippers These slippers have a thick foam sole that make you feel like you are walking on air. They come in cute animals, sports teams, and approved university and college colors.


Comfy Feet Slippers


The Away Carry-On is perfect for a weekend jaunt or even transporting…dare we say it, “dirty laundry.”

Away Carry-On

And speaking of laundry, this Bed of Roses Laundry Backpack is the most stylish way of carrying your ready-for-the-washer clothes to and from your dorm room. 

Bed of Roses laundry bag


Who couldn’t use a warm and comfortable beanie?!? This Vgogfly Slouchy Beanie comes in a host of colors and will keep you comfy when the cold winds blow.


Vgogfly Slouchy Beanie


Got a kid on your list with a sweet tooth? (Or anyone else, for that matter.) These S’mores Pops are an update of the classic treat, and no bonfire needed.

S'mores Pops

Not sparkly or too bright, but definitely essential! This collection of nail polishes in nude colors  from TripleOPolish is a must-have.


TripleOPolish set









Mindy Trotta

Mindy Trotta is an editor who spent many years behind a desk and then switched to working behind the oven as a pastry chef. Now, having perfected the art of multitasking, she is baking, working as the "Chief of Everything" at Road2College, and blogging at Relocation The Blog.