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28 Useful Gifts for Poor College Students

Finding the perfect gifts for college students can be tricky if it’s been awhile since you were in college. A lot has changed, and a lot is still the same. They’re still broke, still have roommates, but now they need a lot more technology.

28 Useful Gifts for College Students- they’ll love these gifts!


Every college student needs a Kindle. It’s a great way for them to carry around a library of books in the palm of their hand. It creates a lot less strain on the eyes compared to using a smartphone to read ebooks because it isn’t backlit.

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Bose Noise Canceling Earbuds

Make dorm noise go away with these noise canceling earbuds from Bose. They’ve taken the same noise canceling technology that made their over ear headphones such a success and made a nice pair of earbuds that are far more portable for today’s college student.

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USB Rechargeable Battery

When they’re on the go and their batteries wear out, it can be a real drag. Help them out with this rechargeable battery that features a USB port so they can plug in any device that uses a USB cord as its charging method.

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Classic Military Messenger Bags

These classic messenger bags never seem to go out of style, and they hold a lot of stuff and are often more convenient than using a backpack. You simply can’t go wrong with this bag if they’re looking for something to transport their books and other items around campus.



One new great feature of the Chromecast is that you can broadcast whatever is on you Android device onto your TV. This lets them use the TV screen as a monitor if they want so they can get a larger view of what they’re writing. Also great for Netflix on Movie Night.

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Perfect Tea Maker

Help them make the perfect cup of tea with this perfect tea maker from Teavana. A college student cannot live on coffee alone, and tea makes a healthier option while also providing the necessary caffeine they’re craving. Brews tea quickly and makes it taste exactly how it should taste.


Complete Guide to Money and Investing

Just because they’re a broke college student now doesn’t mean they’ll always be broke, hopefully. Give them this complete guide to money and investing from the Wall Street Journal and you can help instill some money smarts that will stick with them long after college.


Bluetooth Speaker

This speaker can go wherever they go, and syncs up with their smartphone so they can listen to their music no matter where they decide to study. Portable speakers are a must when you’re a college student because they sound a lot better than the speaker in your phone.

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Coffee Maker with Auto Start

This programmable coffee maker can be the perfect way for them to start their day. It will wake them up with the smell of brewing coffee because they can load it the night before and set the timer for a few minutes before their alarm is supposed to go off.

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Business Card Holder

They’ll hopefully be making some important contacts while in college, and it’s time for a business card holder to store all of those cards. This may be the first time in their lives that they’ve gotten serious about their future, and they likely don’t have a card holder.


Stainless Steel Water Bottle

This stainless steel water bottle is BPA free and helps to save the environment because they won’t be using disposable water bottles. It’s durable and won’t give water the plastic taste that plastic water bottles tend to give. You get a nice even flow with this bottle too.


Fitness Tracker

It’s hard staying fit while you’re in college, and this fitness tracker will definitely help them with the task. It tracks all of their activity through the day, including how far they walk while getting from class to class. It also helps track sleep so they can sleep their best ever.

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Classic Moleskine Notebook

These notebooks are classic all the way, and will surely become their go-to notebook for writing down their thoughts and plans. Every college student will go through their share of notebooks, but these Moleskine notebooks will last longer and have a nice soft cover to them.


Cards Against Humanity

It may not seem very useful at first, but considering that college is a time to make friends and have fun just as much as it is a time to learn and study, Cards Against Humanity can help create a night of fun that helps form a lasting bond among friends.


Breakfast Sandwich Maker

A healthy breakfast is the way to start the day, and with this breakfast sandwich maker you help them avoid leaving the house without a good meal. It also helps prevent them from buying greasy and unhealthy fast food breakfast sandwiches while on the go.


Beside Storage

Chances are they’re dealing with storage issues, and this storage container attaches to the side of the bed so it’s off the ground and out of the way. It’s also very convenient because it’s right by the bed and they’ll be able to store things there they use at bedtime.


Birchbox Subscription

This is a way to send them a care package every month without having to remember to send it, or worry about what to put in it. These are highly rated subscription boxes available for both men and women, and come filled with handy items they’re sure to love.


77 Things You Must Do In College

Here’s a book that will make sure they make the most out of their college experience. You want them to have a well-rounded time while they’re there, and not leave any stone unturned. This book lays it out nicely and makes sure they don’t leave out anything meaningful.

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Manifesto Poster

This poster will put them in the right frame of mind whenever they read it. It encourages them to give it their best each and every day. It is a popular manifesto typically seen in college dorms and residences. There are some good life lessons in it.


Weekly Goal Planner

They’re going to need to set goals and plan out how they’re going to achieve them. This planner helps keep it organized and makes sure that they stay on task on the most important things going on in their life.

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Multi Charging Station

If they’re rooming with others, and chances are they probably are, they’ll need to charge up multiple devices at once. This charging station makes it so they can charge up to 5 devices at one time, so if their roommate has a few and they have a few they’ll be all set with one station.

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Shirt of the Month Club

Keep their wardrobe fresh with a shirt of the month club. Let’s face it, the foundation to most college wardrobes is the t-shirt, so you’ll be doing them a huge service making sure they have at least one new shirt to wear each month.


Letters to My Future Self

Help guide them into communicating with their future self with these pre-made letters. It’s way way to gain perspective, and at the same time teaches the lesson that you’re always changing and your future self is actually different from who you used to be.



For tight spaces the Aquafarm makes a lot of sense. They can have a pet fish in the bottom and grow herbs to cook with in the top. It’s small size means it won’t take up a lot of space, or make a big mess. It is also a conversation starter when they have friends over.


College Safety 101

Keep them safe while they’re on campus with this book designed to give them the basics on what it means to be safe at college. With the rise of crime on campuses across the country it’s more important than ever to make sure they have a solid grounding.


You’re So Awesome

There are two ways that you can use this book. You can fill in the blanks for them with your idea of why they’re awesome, or you can give it to them blank and present it as an exercise in self-discovery as they come up with their own reasons why they’re awesome.


PowerSeeker Telescope

If it’s their first year at college there’s a strong chance they’ll be taking an introductory astronomy course. This telescope will come in handy and allow them to complete their assignments, and may even instill an interest in the stars that lasts a lifetime.


What You See Paperweight

This quote from Henry David Thoreau reads “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.”. It’s a good quote to help them realize that they need to make the most of what it is they’re studying, and seeing the meaning behind the words.


5 DIY Gifts for College Students

Handmade Laundry Bag

They’re going to produce massive amounts of laundry, and this handmade laundry bag can help keep it contained. Whether or not you’re the one that will be doing the laundry, it will still come in handy to have a durable bag to pack all of the clothes into.

Sewn Photo Collage

Every college student would love to have a photo collage hanging in their room, full of pictures of people they miss from home or from high school. This sewn collage is a DIY project that produces a pretty cool look, almost like the pics are suspended in air.

Heart Shaped Marshmallows

Make these heart shaped marshmallows as the perfect add-on to a care package full of hot cocoa packets. They’ll feel the love when they’re sipping a hot chocolate with little white hearts floating in it. When it comes to expressing love it’s the little things that count.

DIY Animal Mugs

These animal mugs will insure that they have a lot of fun with their morning coffee, and if you make more than one they can good around with their roommates with them. It’s easy enough to make and simply requires a blank mug, a Sharpie, and a steady hand.

Cup Cozy Tutorial

If you’re giving them a coffee-themed gift you can hand-make these cup cozies and they’ll be able to hold their coffee mugs without burning their fingers. The knitting is not as hard as you think, and even if you’re not much of a do it yourselfer you can handle this project.


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