Best Holiday Gift Ideas for College Students and Worst Gifts

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Best and Worst gifts for college students, and high school students planning to enter college. Lists gifts that are both practical and popular with students. Student feedback regarding best and worst gifts may surprise many adults.

What are popular gifts that college students want for the holidays? The list below describes gifts which are not only popular among young people, but are useful items to have at college. Also included are gifts which used to be student favorites, but are no longer popular.

The following list was based of the input of college students and put together by , the informational website which covers topics of interest to parents who have children in college, or have students planning to attend college.

Best Gifts For College Students

Pre-Paid Gas Card Gift
Most major gasoline companies offer pre-paid gift cards which may be used at their gas stations. Gas cards make it easier for students to come home without blowing their budget.

Stress Relief Gifts and Gift Baskets
College students face a great deal of stress from academics along with the normal social anxiety of college life. There are a variety of popular gifts which may help relieve stress, for example: portable massagers to ease tension; relaxation music CDs, yoga instructional DVD's, herbal teas. Items like these could be given individually or combined into a college stress relief gift basket.

Money along with Money Management Skills Audiobook
Students love to get gifts of money. Unfortunately most young people are very bad at handling money matters. With that in mind, a thoughtful additional item to go with the money is the informative audiobook provided by the educational website, : 'Money Management For Young Adults- Learn the Essential Skills That No One Ever Taught You'. This popular audiobook is 42 minutes long and provides an excellent overview of money management skills. It clearly explains important topics such as personal budgeting and living within one's means; responsible use of credit cards; banking basics; maintaining a strong credit rating; identity theft and fraud prevention tips, etc.

USB FlashDrive
Flash drives are small, portable, digital storage devices that plug into the USB port of computers. They are primarily used to store and transport personal files including college term papers, documents, pictures, and music files. Flash drives make it easy to move large files from the campus computer lab to a laptop or to a desktop computer back home. Protecting important data is a vital part of campus security. With that in mind, many flash drives come with info security features which help prevent other people from being able to access the content on the device.

Laptop Reading Light
For late night schoolwork in the dorm room, laptop reading lights are very useful. They provide an adequate amount of light, which can be focused onto the keyboard or reading materials, and therefore will not disturb sleeping dorm-mates. Since laptop reading lights are simply plugged in USB ports, they do not require separate batteries.

iPod Docking Station and iPod Speaker
An iPod docking station dock enables the playing of iPod music out loud, in room-filling sound. The speaker docs are small and portable. One added benefit, when the iPod is connected to the docking station, the iPod battery will be charged.

Laptop lock
Unfortunately, college campus security is an issue and laptop computers are frequently stolen. One item that can reduce this risk is a laptop lock. These locks consist of a galvanized steel cable which is inserted into the lock slot of a laptop, and then looped around a desk or other secure object. This is an inexpensive way of improving laptop security and the on-campus safety of important information.

Worst Gifts for Students

Desktop Computer
Desktop computers are no longer popular with the college students. Laptop computers are the best computers for students. Not only are desktops non-portable, but they occupy too much space in a dorm. The only students that might still want a desktop are hardcore gamers or tech students who want as much computing horsepower as possible.

Stereo System
Unless they are very serious audiophiles, students listen to their music from their iPod or other portable music player. If they want to play music without headphones, they typically connect their iPod to their computer or into a docking station speaker.

Camera (non-digital) -- virtually no college student will want a film camera. If someone still wants to buy them a camera, be sure its digital. Also, most college students have cell phones with built in cameras. Camera phones aren't usually high quality, but they generally do a decent job of taking snapshots of friends.

For more ideas for college parents visit is an educational website and blog, written by students and parents. The site provides current information about what is happening on campuses that would be of interest to parents. It also covers topics such as campus living tips, campus security and safety, college money saving tips, adjusting to college life, and more. Also visit our blog at


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