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Best Gifts for College Students (2021 Guide)

When you are trying to find something for the college student in your life, you may have a hard time narrowing down your options and coming up with solid ideas. The truth is, college kids need and want a lot of things, and finding the “perfect” gift is not always that straightforward.

To help you decide on the best possible purchase, we have put together this list of awesome gifts for college students that they will definitely appreciate.

The Best Gifts for College Students in 2021 

Whether a holiday gift or a dorm-room warming surprise, the following gifts are sure to please.

1. Dormify Wall Visualizer

Wall Visualizer from Dormify

The Dormify Wall Visualizer allows you to mix and match different walls and wall decorations in order to find the perfect match for your college student’s new room. This is awesome because it allows you to get high-quality examples of different gift ideas that you can design to all meet the unique college student needs and tastes in question. When you can see it ahead of time and get approval, you already know you are getting a great gift.

There has never been a better way to design a dorm room complete with wallpaper, posters, photo displays, lights, signs, and more!

Savings Tip: Check out Dormify promo codes for the best deal.

2. Kind: Build Your Own Box

Healthy snacks care package

When the college kid tires of microwave popcorn and ramen, they may start to appreciate a care package of healthy snacks. This gift box from Kind allows you to choose from a series of nut bars, energy bars, protein snacks, and thin crisps all made from healthy ingredients, or you can pick from a pre-made curated set of options. They have a ton of flavors and options to choose from, and you could go a while before you are able to try them all.

If you know a college student who needs a healthy protein and energy boost, then the Kind box is what you should get them.

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3. Anker Soundcore Portable Bluetooth Party Speaker

Portable Bluetooth speaker from Anker

This portable Bluetooth speaker from Anker can turn any dorm room into a personal party space. These little speakers make a big sound with 98dB of bass from the exclusive BassUp technology and syncing ability with partyCast compatible speakers. The LED lights sync to the beat of the music, and when linked with a more extensive party cast system, you are able to sync a bunch of speakers and lights all up for the perfect experience.

The speakers are also waterproof and can last up to 13 hours, so they can withstand even the most ridiculous of college events.

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4. Keurig K-Cafe K-Cup Coffee Maker

Coffee maker from Keurig

The Keurig coffee maker is amongst the best gifts for a series of individuals, and college kids are no different. Great for a dorm room, this coffee maker is easy and quick to use.

The K-Cafe version has an additional milk frothing compartment that produces hot or cold milk that you can use to make lattes and cappuccinos. The water tank is removable and the milk compartment is dishwasher safe. The adjustable controls allow you to make a cup of coffee to your exact preferences.

Savings Tip: Get Best Buy promo codes and 0.5% cash back for the best deal.

5. Apple AirPods with Charging Case

Apple Airpods

Apple AirPods are the perfect gift for a college student. Whether they are listening to music, or their favorite podcast, they can do so all around campus without worrying about getting tangled up in cords or wires.

Cool and easy to use these are perfect for biking, walking or discreet wearing. You are able to control the play and skip functions with a simple tap to your ear and the easy to carry charging case is small enough to be carried around in a pocket or back pouch.

Savings Tip: Earn 0.5% from your Best Buy purchase to keep or donate to charity.

6. POWERNEWS Power Bank

Portable charger and power bank

College kids live off of their smart devices and iPhones. A portable charger and power bank ensures that they always have a phone charger source handy, even when on the move, in class, or traveling around.  This power bank comes with an LED light to help you out when using it in low-light conditions, like bus at night, as well as advanced overcharge and discharge protection so you don’t have to worry about public outlets harming your devices.

The power bank also has 4 USB ports so you can charge multiple items at the same time -a great gadget for a dorm room with limited outlets or USB options.

Savings Tip: Find the best Walmart coupon codes and earn up to $10% cash back from your purchase!

7. USB Charging Station Hub

USB Charging Station Hub

Speaking of practical gifts for the dorm room, this USB Charging Station Hub ensures that all of your USB devices have a place to plug in for the night, even if you are sharing the room with five others.

The charging speed is up to 2.1 amps per port so each device will fill up fast, and the hub itself is surprisingly small, only taking up a small footprint on a desk or table.

Savings Tip: Get Walmart coupons and up to $10 cash back for the best deal.

8. Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Waterproof bluetooth speaker

A waterproof Bluetooth speaker allows a college student to listen to music while they shower without risking their phone in the process. The speaker connects to the phone allowing hands-free answering. The excuse “I was in the shower!”, is no longer valid here.

The battery lasts for 10 hours of play time on a full charge. This makes it a great option for long hours of entertainment while studying in their dorm. The built-in clip allows the speaker to be hung off a shower head or on a backpack, and also has the ability to be laid flat.

Savings Tip: Get Best Buy coupon codes and 0.5% cash back for the best deal.

9. Reusable Straws

Reusable silicone straws

Reusable straws are becoming more popular every day. These silicone straws can be used with hot or cold beverages, so you never have to worry about not having the right straw.

The best part of this particular straw is the unique zip feature, opening the straw for easy cleaning. You can wash this straw without the need of a special brush. After you are finished cleaning, the straw zips back up and is ready to be used again. The design allows for a leak-proof seal, so your drink won’t leak out of the sides of the straw.

Savings Tip: Check out Target coupon codes for the best deal.

10. Apple Watch

Series 6 Apple watch

Another technology device that talks to an iPhone through Bluetooth. The Series 6 Apple Watch has the ability to track heart rate, blood oxygen level, and generate an ECG right on their wrist. This is especially helpful for students who may need to pay extra attention to their health.

The Apple Watch is also an activity tracker, so you can keep track of calories burned, how long you’ve exercised, and how many steps are taken each day. It is easy for college students to forget about health and fitness while in school, but this watch will help them keep sight of their goals.

Savings Tip: Get up Apple coupon codes and 3% cash back for the best deal.

11. Cards Against Humanity

Card against humanity

A hilarious game for people with dirty minds, Cards Against Humanity is perfect for college students. There is a main pack of cards with the rules (sensible and ridiculous alternatives) and there are many expansion packs available to purchase as well.

The main pack comes with five hundred white cards (the answer cards) and one hundred black cards (the question cards). One person each round draws a black card and is the judge. All other players look through the cards they have in their hands to pick the best, most ridiculous, most hilarious answer.

At the end of the game, the player with the most black cards gets the most points and wins. It can provide hours and hours of entertainment for your college students.

Tips: Check out Walmart coupon codes and $10 cash back for the best deal.

12. Professional Backpack

Laptop compartment

This backpack is great for students who carry around books, a laptop, and a tablet. It can hold up to a sixteen-inch laptop or tablet.

The laptop compartment is lined with faux fur to provide your laptop with as much cushion and protection as possible. The main compartment offers enough space for larger items like textbooks and offers pockets for paper organization. There is also a top zip pocket also lined with faux fur, perfect for small things such as keys or smartphones.

Savings Tip: Check out Incase coupon codes and 10% cash back for the best deal.

13. The Defining Decade

Inspiring book written by Meg Ray Phd

An inspiring book written by Meg Ray, PhD that explains why your twenties are so important and how you can make the most of the time you have. This book is compiled of stories from people in their twenties helping to provide information and tools that are necessary to spend your twenties in the best way.

This book touches on subjects like work, relationships, personality, social networks, finding your identity, and how the brain can change during the decade that someone is in their twenties.

Savings Tip: Get Barnes & Noble coupon codes and 4% cash back for the best deal.

14. Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Cold brew coffee maker

This cold brew coffee maker will be a life saver for those early mornings and late nights that college students have way too often. While regular coffee makers aren’t normally allowed in dorm rooms for safety purposes, this coffee maker doesn’t need to be plugged in for even a second to make coffee.

This device is easy to use, all that is needed is coffee and water. The coffee maker will sit and brew in the fridge overnight, offering a smooth, balanced coffee taste in the morning. After the coffee has been brewed, it will stay fresh inside the coffee maker for up to two weeks.

Savings Tip: Get Bad Bath and Beyond promo codes and 4% cash back for the best deal.

15. Gift Cards

Gift Cards Make great gifts

Let’s face it, gift cards make the best gifts. Especially for college students! At giftcards.com you can buy them online and earn rewards. Plus you can earn cash back if you shop with Giving Assistant. It’s a win-win!

Savings Tip: Earn 5% cash back when you buy your gift cards through Giving Assistant.

Gift Guide to Best Gifts for College Students 

When you have a loved one who has recently become a high school grad, you want to make sure they have all of the tools they need to excel at the next level. Late-night study sessions, new friends, roommates, and maybe even getting to know some college town -these are all challenges a college student will face first time they spend a school year away.

While an Amazon gift card can go a long way to help them get what they want, you also want to ensure you are getting them the things they need.

  • Think of it like an animal in the wild: Food, water, shelter, and the ability to have a social life. Form your gifts around these areas, ensuring they can meet these needs easily. Make a list and circle what the biggest gaps in their needs are.
  • Subscriptions services that provide monthly toiletries or snacks are perfect for helping them to meet these needs.
  • Something we didn’t put on this list, but is just as crucial given the design of some rooms, is secure storage options. Lockable containers and organizers are helpful when living in a semi-public space.

Get Best Gifts for College Students Today 

Hopefully, this list has helped you figure out just what to get the college kid in your life. You should also check out Sam’s Club Ultimate Dorm Checklist to help stock up on college essentials.

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