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13 Back to School Gifts for Students in College

Priscilla Greene |

The back to school season is right around the corner, and your college student is getting ready for a new year of life-shaping experiences and knowledge gaining (together with some well-deserved college fun). Back to school gifts for students should not be hard to pick and find, especially if you know what your son or daughter needs and wishes. Most parents these days make sure the students have enough money to tend to their needs, but some gifts will be a godsend if you know how to choose them. Without further ado, let us see 13 back to school gifts for students in college that they will appreciate!

1. Compact Sleek Laptop Backpack

A professional looking laptop backpack can take a college student from class to the internship with no problems. Look for a colored one with a dash of urban style and all the safety it can muster.

This computer daypack backpack comes with a padded laptop/tablet sleeve, multiple zippered pockets with easy access for keys, phone and other gadgets, vibrant colors and an attractive price for the parents.

If you want to step up your game a little, you can fill it with some necessary books for the eager-to-learn student or some fiction books by his favorite authors to expand his/her cultural horizons in an entertaining manner.

2. A Breakfast Maker


Some appliances are fantastic additions for any college student having to deal with dorms and cooking. You can easy the kid’s way into healthy meal preparation by getting a sandwich maker or even a microwave oven, but you can try a breakfast maker as well.

These multi-purpose devices can make a sandwich while they fry an omelet at the same time, so the more versatility you provide your kid with, the healthier and more diverse he/she will cook and eat.

Making food in confined spaces with just a handful of appliances and ingredients is a necessary life skill that many acquire in college. Help your son or daughter prep some nutritious and delicious meals without needing a full kitchen (like the one back home), generous spaces, shelves chock-full of provisions, and all the time in the world.

Sometimes, some breakfasts cannot take more than ten minutes to make and eat, so a breakfast maker is something to consider. If you want to enhance your assistance, get the college kid a cookbook as well. We recommend the 10-minute meal recipes type of books for all dorm dwellers.

3. A Monogrammed Travel Kit

You can pick an ecologic zippered travel kit for your eco-friendly college kid or an elegant double toiletry box. The point is that you have to offer the proper storage for the make up or shaving necessities of a young student that is not his or her plastic shower caddy. A monogrammed travel kit or toiletry bag gives the gift a maturity and elegance flair. The monogram also helps a lot in the dorm to establish ownership.

Of course, since we are talking about back to school gifts for students, you should also fill in the kits and boxes with the cosmetic, beauty, care, and grooming products your daughter/son uses the most. You can also add a touch of refinement to the primary care package with a lovely perfume.

Girls appreciate monogrammed items more than boys do, so if you want to offer your college daughter a nice surprise, check out these embroidery font ideas to get your inspiration going (and even find some cute messages to put on the travel kits)!

4. A Portable Power Bank


Do you know what college students use most these days? Their phones. Get your son or daughter a portable power bank so they never run out of power when they go out. Do you know how your heart skips a bit every time they don’t answer their phones or you hear that shut-off terrible phone sound?

A portable phone power bank keeps them connected to the outside world (and you), making their lives easier and safer. If you find one that is lightweight, slim, sleek, and easy-to-carry, they will be even more grateful to you.

5. A Laundry Bag with Shoulder Straps

All students need a laundry bag. But have you ever considered how rough it is for some to carry their bags down many flights of stairs or drag it a few blocks away? A jumbo size laundry bag with solid shoulder strap is a dream came true for all college students. They just have to fill it in, wear it like a rucksack, and take it where laundry needs to go.

The bag features high-quality cotton, making it durable to wear and tear, heavy lifting and carrying. Moreover, since cotton is a lightweight fabric when they do not use the laundry bag, the students can fold it neatly and store it in just a little bit of space until further notice.

6. An Electric Programmable Coffee Maker


We know it is not healthy for kids their age to drink so much coffee, but you cannot convince them otherwise, especially when they need to study day and night. If you cannot beat them, join them! One of the most effective back to school gifts for students in college is an electric programmable coffee maker that creates a healthy brew whenever the young one needs a wake-up boost.

Since you are here, make sure you get the young one a box of assorted coffees featuring different blends, types of beverages, branded selections, and various favors. Java is not just something to drink and wake up (there is orange juice for that).

Coffee is something to savor, enjoy, a taste to acquire and a routine to develop. If your son or daughter is having coffee, at least he or she should benefit from some excellent brews to educate his/her senses and tastes.

7. Snap-T Fleece Pullover


This is a cult classic for all college kids who need an all-season pullover that will always look stylish. You can find fleece cult-classics for boys and girls alike, with ¼ zippers or buttons, in all the colors you can imagine.

These fleece pullovers work great in their dorm rooms or outside, when they come visit you or when they need an extra layer of warmth in cold winters. You cannot go wrong with a fleece pullover in modern cuts, colors, and lines.

If your boy or girl is the outdoorsy type, a fleece pullover is precisely what he/she needs for this school year’s camping trips with friends and colleagues.

8. Convertible Roller Suitcase Duffle Bag

Speaking of outdoorsy college kids – and the ones who love to travel or go on in adventures with their friends – one of the greatest back to school gifts for students is a convertible duffle bag that becomes a roller suitcase, depending on the student’s needs.

He/she can pack his/her stuff in it and go back to college or take it separately and use it for other college trips, camping adventures, road trips, trips abroad with the faculty, spring breaks, visits home, and so on.

Here are some of its best features: it comes with a sturdy telescopic handle for easy maneuverability, a clamshell opening, zippered front pockets, and padded side-grab handles.

The beauty and usefulness of this bag resides in its versatility. If it has a little to carry, the bag can remain a simple duffel bag. If the load is heavy, your kid can easily turn it into a roller and carry it with no worries in the heart. Its size and durability makes it perfect for car, train, and airplane rides.

9. Personalized Tumbler Cup


Tumbler cups are students’ favorites as they keep their drinks at the right temperature during class, library reading sessions, and room studying marathons.

A tumbler cup is just a tumbler cup, so you should get your creative juices flowing and make an unforgettable and personalized one for your son or daughter. In the dorm, as we said, property and ownership are hot issues, so a glitter tumbler cup or one decorated with a wise quote or message will make the difference.

10. A Nice Wristwatch


Young college students do not wear watches anymore because their phones tell them the time, is that what you think? Well, a wristwatch is still an elegant piece, a timeless (forgive the pun) accessory, and a statement of taste and refined elegance and they should know that.

Moreover, a nice wristwatch coming from a new brand, with a contemporary design and minimalist lines can dress up any outfit college students can wear in class, during the internship or at work. Few things make a young man or a young woman more polished, composed, and mature than a well-selected watch.

You can add a nice modern “young urban professional” style messenger bag to that watch and have a college kid ready to take over the world.

11. A Fun Board Game to Bring Back to School


Dorm nights are not always about studying, just as they are not always about revelries. Some college kids have the time of their lives with their friends while playing board games. You can feed the souls and minds of the geeks with a smart and entertaining choice – depending on his/her preferences as well. You have hundreds of options.

Just pick one or two that will keep the kid and his/her friends entertained for months when none of them is in the mood for going out. Even if they go out, never underestimate the power of the geek: they will take the game with them and just play somewhere else.

Be they strategy games, co-op games, competition games, card games and so on and so forth – your college student will always be happy to gather some buddies around and spend a chill evening with laughter and smart debating.

12. A Reading Pillow


Dorm beds are usually uncomfortable and we are sure you already provided the kid with pillows, blankets, and all the necessary bed linen you could find. This year, make his bed even more comfortable with a reading pillow.

It is a novelty type of furniture – if we can call it this way – that offers excellent back and lumbar support for reading or watching movies. Reading at your desk is uncomfortable and leads to pain and poor posture.

The reading pillow aims to prevent such problems and alleviate such issues by offering a nice and comfortable body position while the student is in bed reading, studying, or watching some shows on the tablet or laptop.

13. Vouchers, Gift Cards, and Shopping Coupons

Do you know what college kids want so they can have a nice life in college? Everything! If you want to ease their living and offer them some comfort, help them with a selection of vouchers, gift cards, and shopping coupons.

They do not have much money but they do need plenty, so consider the following:

• Groceries gift cards or coupons;

• Clothes and footwear gift cards;

• Tech and school supplies gift cards;

• Online and brick-and-mortar bookshop gift cards;

• Grooming and beauty products or services gift cards (everybody needs a haircut from time to time, let alone some skin care products or basic cosmetics/hygiene products and services);

• Decoration and furniture gift cards;

• Other products/services they may need.

Some of the biggest online retailers and supermarkets, shops, brands, and stores offer gift cards, vouchers, discount cards, and coupons, so make sure you get some with generous availability terms and gift them to the kid.

Put them all inside a large and durable canvas shopping tote bag with the kid’s monogram or printed with a cute message. Such tote bags are all the rage of shopping these days, making the best companions for students.

They make some of the best back to school gifts for students, as they allow the student the power of choice, together with welcomed financial aid. Moreover, such gift teaches them responsibility and proper resource management – which are, again, crucial life skills they should acquire as early as possible in their adult years.


We hope you enjoyed our 13 back to school gifts for students suggestions. If you have other ideas or you already offered some presents that were spectacularly well received, feel free to share your considerations in the comment section below!