Best Back to School Gifts for College Students – Top Ten for 2017 (Guide)

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top 10 best back to school gifts for college studentsSummer is coming to an end. Fall is closing in. And college students all over the country are getting ready to start a new school year. What they’ve got ahead of them is another long academic year of hard work, responsibility, and personal growth. Every college student is different when it comes to passions and interests, but there are a few things that every college student needs. So, what should you buy as a gift for the college student in your life? In this guide, we’ll provide you with that information and more.

Whether you know someone who’s going into their first year of college, or someone who is going back after a nice summer vacation, a back to school gift can be a great way of showing someone that you support them in their quest towards graduation.

Top 10 Back to School Gift Ideas for Every College Student

10. Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor HeadphonesBetween keeping the noise down in his or her dorm room, listening to music on the way to classes, and watching videos in public on a laptop, your college student has a lot of uses for a great set of noise-cancelling headphones. That’s why we suggest the ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones from Audio-Technica.

Reasonably-priced for a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, these are specifically designed for use in music studios, but will also work excellently in less formal settings. With a full, well-rounded sound, these headphones fit comfortably, and will allow your student to enjoy music and other sound with clarity.

9. JanSport Superbreak Backpack

JanSport Superbreak BackpackOne of the true challenges of college is carrying around all of your books in just one bag. In order to do so, students need a large backpack with durable construction. That’s why we’re suggesting the Superbreak Backpack by JanSport.

Measuring in at 16.7 inches tall, 13 inches wide, and 8.5 inches deep, it has plenty of room for storing a bevy of textbooks, notebooks, folders, and more. If you’re looking for a reliable, durable backpack at a very affordable price, you should definitely give this JanSport backpack a look.

8. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700cIf your college student goes to a school that has a large campus, he or she probably has to walk a long way to get from class to class. But by giving him or her one of these Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bikes, your student can cut his or her commute time in half.

Lightweight and equipped with 21 different speeds, this bike is specifically made for the purpose of commuting. Easy to assemble upon arrival, this bike is an excellent choice for getting college students from place to place with little worry and hassle.

7. HP Pavilion 15.6″ HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop

HP Pavilion 15.6 HD Touchscreen Premium LaptopIf a laptop isn’t a necessity in college, it’s as close to being a necessity as you can possibly get. To put it simply, a laptop will make your college student’s life much easier. The majority of what is done on college campuses these days is done online, and it’s always nice to be able to access the internet from wherever your are at any given time.

If you’re looking to buy your student a quality laptop at a fair price, you might consider the HP Pavilion 15.6” HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop. Equipped with Windows 10 and HD webcam as well as superb WiFi connectivity capabilities, it is a great option for any college student.

6. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-readerOne of the truly psychologically painful aspects of college is spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks that shouldn’t cost anymore than ten. However, there are ways to get textbooks for cheaper prices. One great way to do this is to purchase e-books instead of hard copies.

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-reader is one of the most convenient ways of downloading and reading e-books. With massive weeks-long battery power, a non-glare screen, and the ability to hold thousands of books at a time, this E-reader is both cost-cutting and convenient, making it great for college students of all kinds.

5. Household Essentials Pop-Up Mesh Laundry Hamper

Household Essentials Pop-Up Mesh Laundry HamperDoing laundry is one of the necessary evils of going away to college. For many students, college is the first time they’ll ever have to do laundry in their lives. To help make it easier on them, we suggest purchasing them one of these Pop-Up Mesh Laundry Hampers by Household Essentials.

Not only will it keep your student’s dirty clothes organized, it will also allow him or her to transport clothes to the washer with ease. 16 inches in diameter and 25 inches tall when opened up, and 1.5 inches tall and 16 inches in diameter when closed, it’s very portable and easy to store.

4. Cartman Orange 39-Piece Tool Set

Cartman Orange 39-Piece Tool SetLiving on your own for the first time can be a little intimidating. A lot can go wrong, and when it does, you want to make sure that you’re ready to fix the problem. For students living in off-campus houses, this 39-Piece Tool Set by Cartman could be the potential savior of many messy situations.

With a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, and more, this tool set has everything you need to assemble and fix things around the house. Heat-treated and resistant to corrosion, this set is ridiculously durable, ensuring that it will last through your college student’s entire college career.

3. PlanAhead 18 Month Planner

PlanAhead 18 Month PlannerBetween classes, work, and group meetings, college students have a lot on their plate. If they aren’t able to keep everything organized, they will be susceptible to missing important events. That’s why we suggest this PlanAhead 18 Month Planner.

Dated from July 2016 through December 2017, it allows your college student to keep track of important events in his or her life with ease. With contacts, resources, and notes sections, it also gives him or her a place to quickly jot down important information.

2. HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing

HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile PrintingEven though many colleges have gone almost completely wireless by lessening the need for paper, there is typically still a need for students to print items on occasion. While students could visit the library every time they wish to print something, it’s much easier to conveniently print something from home with the use of their own printer.

The HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer is capable of copying, scanning, and printing paper items with great convenience. Making it very useful is its wireless printing function, which will allow your student to print items from his or her smartphone.

1. AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair

AmazonBasics High-Back Executive ChairA great way to keep your student focused on his or her work is by buying him or her a comfortable office chair. This AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair is a great wheeled chair at a very fair price.

Upholstered in black leather, stuffed with comfy padding, and capable of holding up to 250 pounds, it is very durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. With an adjustable seat height as well as 360-degree swivel capabilities, it will make your college student feel comfortable, steady, and responsible.

What Makes a Great Gift for a College Student?

College students lead very different lives when compared to a normal, everyday people. On one hand, they spend their weekdays studying hard, being responsible, and stressing out over course assignments. On the other hand, they spend their weekends partying, goofing off with their friends, and being generally care-free. It’s an experience that’s like no other.

Every college student is different when it comes to passions and interests, but there are a few things that every college student needs. So, what should you buy as a gift for the college student in your life?

Consider his or her living situation

One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a gift for a college student is his or her living situation. Is your student sharing a dorm room with other people, or does your student have his or her own bedroom in an off-campus house?

If your student is sharing a dorm room with somebody else, you might want to consider buying him or her a gift that makes communal life a little easier. Noise-canceling headphones, portable hampers, and other versatile items will help make living in a small place with others much more comfortable.

Work within your budget

One of the challenging, but important aspects of a college student’s life is getting by on very little. In the case of most students, they are living by themselves for the first time ever. While it’s good to help them along with the occasional gift or meal, they really should be taking this time to learn how to live within their means.

This is why you should consider your budget when purchasing a gift for your college student. It’s not necessary to overspend and buy a gift that the student in your life doesn’t really need. Think about necessities that are well within your spending range. For a college student, every little gift received will make a huge difference in his or her life.

Consider his or her personal interests

While it’s most wise to consider necessities when purchasing a gift for your college student, there’s a chance that he or she already has everything that’s needed. If this is the case, you should consider his or her personal interests, and figure out if there’s a way that they tie into the college experience.

For example, if your student likes music, you might consider buying him or her some headphones to use during the long walks to classes. This gift will allow your student to indulge in what he or she enjoys while also serving a purpose that is related to the everyday college routine.

College students love money

If all else fails, and you can’t think of a specific gift that your college student will love, you could just give him or her some extra money. Between going to classes, studying, and participating in student organizations, college students don’t have a lot of time to make money on their own.

It’s always nice to be able to go out to eat once in awhile, or to check out a concert on the weekend. Unfortunately, many college students don’t have the money necessary to do these things. It may not feel like as good of a gift as a bike, or a laptop, but believe me, the more money a college student gets his or her hands on, the happier he or she will be.

Related: Our Guide to the Top Kids Back to School Gifts

Types of Gifts To Consider


The life of a college student can get pretty hectic. Because of this, they are always searching for the easiest and most convenient way to accomplish something. I don’t think it’s any secret that technology and electronics are capable of making life much, much easier.

A laptop or a tablet will afford students the ability to take notes and submit files online with as much ease as possible. As colleges become more dominated by technology and electronics, it’s important that your student is well-equipped with a nice laptop and smartphone.


Laundry is a hassle for anyone. For college students, it’s just about the most miserable thing there is. How do you cut down the amount of times you have to do laundry? By having more clothes of course.

As a gift, clothing is a safe option for anyone. Just make sure that what you’re buying for your student is something that he or she would actually want to wear. You don’t want to spend money on something that will never again see the light of day.


One of the true challenges of college living is getting from place to place. Some campuses are so large that students must travel miles to get to class. While many students do so on foot, there are also other options for getting where they need to go.

Bikes, skateboards, and scooters are often used by college students, as they are able to get them from place to place quickly, and are easy to park. If you have a college student who hates walking to class and isn’t patient enough to wait for a bus, you might consider buying him or her a bike or other form of transportation.


Being a college student often means living in very small spaces. Whether in a dorm room or crowded off-campus house, students are forced to squeeze in as many of their belongings as possible into tight areas.

In order to help them do this, they need proper forms of storage. From isolated wardrobes, to dressers, to portable hampers, every form of storage matters. If you want your student to be able to live comfortably with all of his or her belongings, you should consider purchasing him or her something that will keep his or her living situation neat and organized.

How to Choose a Gift for Your College Student

When choosing a gift for your particular college student, you should consider his or her own personal needs and interests. While some students like biking to class, others may prefer to stay off the streets completely. While some students live in a dorm and have an added need for storage, others live in a house and have plenty of room for their possessions.

Giving a back to school gift to a college student is an act of showing him or her that you care about his or her progression and personal growth. You shouldn’t buy a gift just to spoil your college student. You should buy a gift that helps him or her along on his or her own personal journey.

In Conclusion

The time spent in college is one of the most influential and rewarding experiences in a person’s life. The college experience will help to shape a person into who he or she is, and into who he or she will become. To get as much out of the experience as possible, it’s important that a student has everything he or she needs. To help make your student’s life as positive as possible, buy him or her a great gift that will help in everyday college life.