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High School Graduation Gifts

High School Graduation Gift Ideas

Searching for high school graduation gifts? Think about what your graduate will need on campus or in the real world. Enhance any of our gift ideas with an American Express® Gift Card.

Gifts for High School Graduates: 6 Smart Suggestions

High school graduation represents a pivotal moment in a young person’s life. The occasion offers the perfect vantage point to reflect on the journey that got them there and to imagine the future they’re about to create. For some graduates, that will mean finding their way on a college campus. For others, it will mean taking their first steps in the real world. But before anyone goes anywhere, this accomplishment deserves to be celebrated. That means you probably have some shopping to do. Our list of six high school graduation gift ideas can help point you in the right direction.

Most of our high school grad gifts are appropriate for students entering college, but some of our suggestions will work off campus as well. And all of our ideas can be enhanced with an American Express® Gift Card. Graduates can use their Gift Cards to pick out just about anything they want from virtually anywhere American Express Cards are accepted.

American Express Gift Cards: The Gifts that Stand Out
  • Can be used virtually anywhere in the U.S. where American Express Cards are accepted
  • Safer than cash because the funds can be replaced if lost or stolen*
  • Choose from a variety of designs appropriate for celebrating a graduation

1. Sound Idea

Electronics make great gifts for high school graduates. Good headphones are critical for that long walk across campus or for listening to music while roommates try to sleep. And a small yet powerful Bluetooth speaker can easily fill a dorm room with great sound when everyone is awake. You don’t have to go to college to appreciate good sound. Both gifts are perfectly suitable for high school graduates who make a beeline for the real world.

2. Case in Point

It may seem like teenagers are permanently attached to their phones, but it’s still a good idea to protect them in case they do let go. That’s why cell phone cases make smart high school graduation gifts. Cases are available in a variety of materials, but the higher end options come in leather, wood and stainless steel. Some cases even double as wallets, so graduates can store their college or work ID cards, credit cards and that American Express Gift Card you managed to slip in with the gift.

3. Rules of Survival

College survival kits are easy to assemble and make great high school grad gifts. Start with laundry essentials like a pop up hamper, detergent, a stain stick, dryer sheets, an ironing blanket and a portable iron. Add some basic toiletries including soap, shampoo and conditioner, a toothbrush and toothpaste, moisturizer, sunscreen and lip balm. Throw in some band-aids, ibuprofen and a few other first aid items. And fill in any remaining space with a selection of snacks. Present the survival basket with an American Express Gift Card, so your graduate can pick out any essentials you may have left out.

4. Creature Comforts

Dorm beds are notoriously uncomfortable. That’s why mattress toppers are popular high school graduation gifts. That extra cushion can make a world of difference. A good pillow, soft sheets and a nice comforter will certainly help as well. And you might want to consider throwing in a set of bed risers. Dorm rooms are typically small, so creating that extra storage space underneath the bed will make the rest of the room feel a little less cramped.

5. Take a Lap

Desk space isn’t always available, which is why portable lap desks make smart gifts for high school graduates. The best options are lightweight, come with drink holders and even have lights built in. Give your graduate the freedom to work from anywhere, whether it’s in bed, on the couch, at the student union or even outside.

6. The Long Haul

Whether they’re off to college or heading straight into the workforce, high school graduates typically have a lot to carry. That’s why backpacks and messenger bags make sensible high school graduation gift ideas. Trekking across campus or through the city is a whole lot easier with a strong bag that can handle the load without putting excessive pressure on the neck, back and shoulders. Most bags come with small compartments for items like keys, wallets and headphones. That’s also the perfect place to tuck an American Express Gift Card.

Graduation Gift Cards come in various designs appropriate for the occasion. Or you can personalize the card with your graduate’s name. Take the guesswork out of finding the right gift and let them pick out what they want. Now that’s smart shopping.

Gift Cards for Graduation

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