The 11 Best High School Graduation Gifts of 2021

Mark the special occasion with presents they'll treasure for years to come

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A high school graduation is certainly a time for celebration—and there's no better way to celebrate than with a gift for your deserving student. Show them how proud you are of their academic achievement with presents that are personalized and sentimental or useful items, like a laptop or meal kit delivery, that are sure to help in their everyday life.

Here are the best high school graduation gifts.

Our Top Picks
This bracelet is high on sentimentality without breaking the bank.
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The heart-shaped print is a beautiful way to display someone’s favorite photos.
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Cooks of all levels will appreciate the meal kit delivery service.
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The lightweight laptop is great for work on the go and is lightning fast with a bright display.
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Though the speaker is small and portable, the sound quality is stellar.
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The sturdy duffel isn't just stylish, but also great for weekend getaways or road trips.
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This accessory is actually a sentimental way to show someone you’re thinking of them.
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A beautiful, engraved notebook like this just might encourage someone to put pen to paper.
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Help your grad keep all their daily essentials nearby with this stylish set.
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Novices and pros will enjoy the versatility of this cooking device.
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Etsy Custom Handwriting Signature Bracelet

Custom Handwriting Bracelet, Signature Bracelet

A personalized gift always shows a bit of thought, and it doesn’t get any more personalized than this handwriting bracelet from Tom Design. Maybe you and your grad have a favorite word or saying, whatever it is, upload a copy of your handwritten words and it’s engraved on the oval disc bracelet. Choose between bronze, copper, or silver for a unique gift that’s also wallet-friendly. 

Minted Heart Snapshot Mix Hues Photo Art

minted-frame

For grads who are moving away or just want to upgrade their existing bedroom, a piece of wall decor will certainly be appreciated. Minted’s Heart Snapshot print comes in a few sizes, from 8 x 8 inches to 44 x 44 inches. The image consists of photos that are in the shape of a heart. Choose the background color and though you can purchase without a frame, help your grad preserve the print with a frame that you can also customize.

Blue Apron Subscription Box

subscription-box

Even if cooking isn’t exactly their specialty, just yet, help your grad along the way with a subscription or gift card to Blue Apron. The service delivers all the pre-portioned necessary ingredients to whip up easy meals. The menu offerings rotate and include meat, vegetarian, and health conscious options. This is a great way to encourage them to appreciate the art of dining in and saving money.

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (M1, 2020)

2020 Apple MacBook Air

Most students need a good laptop to stay on top of their work, so gift your high school graduate with a sleek MacBook. The thin, lightweight design (less than three pounds) is ideal for someone who works from home or needs a laptop they can use to work from any location. The screen has a sharp display with vivid colors and is lightning fast. Depending on your grad’s style, choose between a gold, silver, or space gray exterior.

Anker SoundCore

Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker

This Bluetooth speaker lets a music-loving grad enjoy music from anywhere. It can connect to a device up to 66 feet away and lasts up to 24 hours on a single charge. Even though it’s so small, the speaker has crystal-clear sound (with great bass, too). It’s lightweight enough for travel but also features a solid, drop-proof design. Your grad will love taking it camping, to the beach, or to a friend’s house.

The end of high school can mean the start of venturing out and weekend getaways or road trips. Gift this classic, polyester-canvas duffel bag to start off your grad’s life in style. The bag is roomy enough to pack at least a weekend’s worth of clothes—if not a full week. While the interior is comprised of one large compartment, there's an exterior shoe chamber to prevent clothes from getting dirty, and the removable shoulder strap means this bag is never hard to lug around on an adventure.

Uncommon Goods Long Distance Touch Bracelet Set

Long Distance Touch Bracelet Set

For a truly sentimental gift, this bracelet will make your high school grad smile. It’s not just any bracelet, it’s actually a set and they’re connected through an app. When one person taps their bracelet, it sends a “Bond Touch” and the other person’s bracelet lights up. This is a sweet way to show someone you’re thinking of them, especially if they’re far away from home. The bands are easily rechargeable, waterproof, and come in more than six colors.

Personalized Journal for Graduate

Personalized Journal for Graduate

It’s likely your grad just jots everything down in their phone or uses voice notes, but with a personalized journal like this, they just might be encouraged to put pen to paper or even start a bullet journal. The exterior comes in a few colors, including brown, gray, or rawhide, and from there you can choose the engraving. Try the person’s name in the center or their initials on the bottom corner.

Bandolier Kimberly Tan Set Crossbody Phone Case

Kimberly Tan Set Crossbody Phone Case

Pretty much everyone, especially a young person, has their phone nearby at all times. But these devices can also be easy to lose. Gift this chic Bandolier carrying case set to keep a phone and other important items secure and at an arm’s reach. The phone is contained in a crossbody case that has an easily adjustable strap. Also, the zip pouch keeps essentials (ID, cash, cards, etc.) secure. The set even includes an AirPod clip-on case.

Instant Pot Ultra Mini 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

Ultra Mini 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

Becoming an adult means learning to cook, but it doesn’t mean jumping into the culinary world at full force. The Instant Pot introduces new home cooks to an easier way of preparing dinner. This tiny machine can sauté, pressure cook, slow cook, steam, cook rice, and even make yogurt. The three-quart container is the perfect size for preparing solo meals or experimenting with a new dish. The Instant Pot even comes with a recipe book to make food prep extra easy.

Maptote Grocery Tote

Maptote Grocery Tote

This is useful for anyone who simply wants a sturdy tote to carry their food, books, or just someone who practices sustainability and wants an alternative to plastic bags. The tote features maps of dozens of cities across the world, so it’s also a great way to remind someone of home. It features 21-inch handles and is made of durable 100 percent cotton.

What to Look for in a High School Graduation Gift

Practicality

Any gift is sure to be appreciated, but odds are, your graduating high schooler will appreciate something practical over something they can't use on a regular basis. Money or gift cards are a great idea for a cash-strapped college student to-be, but if you're looking for something more personal, aim for a gift that'll make their dorm feel like home or help ease them into their post-high school experience a bit more smoothly.

Nostalgia

Graduating high school is a big transition that can come with all kinds of emotions. If you want to help a graduate transition into the next period of their life, help them remember their high school experience. Consider a nostalgic gift, like a photo album, a framed picture, or memorabilia from their high school or hometown sports team.

Convenience

If the graduate is heading off to college, gifting a large appliance that won't fit into their dorm may not be convenient. Aim, instead, for a gift that doesn't take up space, like a subscription to Amazon Prime, a meal delivery service, or a music-streaming service.

FAQ
  • How much should you spend on a high school graduation gift?

    There's no hard-and-fast rule for how much to spend on a high school graduation gift. Instead, focus on finding a present that fits your budget and shows your support for the graduating student. If you can't afford something costly, don't worry—you can find something thoughtful that the graduate will appreciate just as much.

  • When is high school graduation?

    Typically, high schoolers graduate after their senior year, or twelfth grade. When graduation occurs depends on the graduate's school schedule. Many graduations occur at the end of spring or early summer, in May or June.

  • Why is high school graduation important?

    There are many important events in a person's life, and high school graduation is one of them. Whether or not a student attends college, graduation signals a transition from childhood to adulthood. Giving a graduation gift is a great way to show your support.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This roundup was written by Patrice J. Williams, who has contributed gift guides to The Spruce since 2020. In addition to her work for The Spruce, she also writes product reviews for other outlets as well as appearing on-air for The Today Show and WEtv. She was the Savvy Shopper reporter for WPIX in New York City, and loves helping her friends and family find unique, thoughtful, and wallet-friendly presents. She compiled this list based on top-rated and well-reviewed products for recent grads. Additional reporting was done by Ashley Abramson, a writer who has worked as editor for local print and online publications. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Allure, InStyle, MyDomaine, and more.

Updated by Ashley Abramson
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