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64 Best Gifts for College Students (Guys / Girls) Practical, Food, Tech…

So they’re heading off to college. And you want to get them a special (useful) gift. What are the best types of gifts for college students? In this guide, you’ll find our handpicked choices for college students. They are for guys and girls and include unique, decor, food and food prep, technology and more.

Gifts for college students

Table of Contents

64 Gifts for College Students

When your child heads off to college, you will likely feel proud but also a little sad. College kids are so busy with school and their new friends that they don’t always have time to see their families or talk to their loved ones back home.

An easy way to let the college student in your life know that you care is with a gift. You might buy a gift for a recent high school graduate heading off to college or for a loved one right before classes start. The best gifts for college students include some great ideas.

Unique gifts for college students

Best Gifts for College Students (Top Picks)

There are a few different things to think about before buying a gift for a college or university student, including what that student wants to study and what he or she likes to do. If you buy any of the top picks listed below, you’ll buy something that student absolutely loves.

Homesick Candle: States, Cities, Countries

You can help a college kid get over a bout of feeling homesick with a homesick candle that features all the scents of home.

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There are multiple fragrances available from different states and regions that use scents of plants and flowers. Each candle has an average burn time of between 60 and 80 hours.

LapGear Extra Wide Lap Desk

Let your favorite college kid know that he or she can study and have fun without sitting at a desk all night with this lapdesk.

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It fits most laptops of up to 15 inches and has a dedicated holder for a cell phone. The desk also has fabric rollers on the base that keep its weight from pressing down on the student.

Fanchest: Curated College Sport Gift Box

The Fanchest serves as an easy way to let a college kid know that you love his or her school.

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You can pick from different colleges and universities and have a box filled with apparel and other fun gifts sent to a dorm room or apartment on or close to that campus.

MasterLock Outdoor Lock Box (Combination)

If you worry about your college student getting locked out, consider giving this outdoor lock box as a gift.

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It has a small box that can hold a spare key and a place for the user to enter a code. They can pick a three-digit code they can easily remember and set the lock box to work with that code.

5-Ingredient College Cookbook

College kids live off cheap junk food and whatever is available in their dorm cafeterias.

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With the 5-Ingredient College Cookbook, you can introduce them to a whole new world of possibilities. This cookbook teaches them how they can make dishes their parents love from limited ingredients.

Marmot Travel Duffel Bag

College kids will like using this travel duffel bag when heading off on trips with their friends or home for a break.

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It has a rain flap that blocks moisture and zippered pockets on the outside. The bag is small enough that it classifies as carry on luggage on flights too.

Amazon Prime Gift:


Amazon Prime is a great gift because you can buy one month of service or pay for a full year of service in advance. Prime users receive fast and free shipping on millions of products available on Amazon.

Gift Amazon Prime as a gift

They also get access to thousands of television shows and movies that they can stream to consoles and other devices.

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Some people love cold brew coffee even more than they like traditional coffee.

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With this cold brew coffee maker, college kids can easily make cold brew coffee and iced tea. It holds up to one full liter of liquid and comes with an airtight lid that keeps those drinks fresh for up to two weeks.

Looking for more coffee gifts? Here’s another guide I wrote about the best gifts for coffee lovers.

Canon PowerShot SX620

Though college students can take photos with their cell phones, they can take even better photos with the Canon PowerShot SX620.

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It has a 25X optical zoom for getting as close as possible to the action and takes 20.2-megapixel photos and 1080 high-definition videos.

Gifts for college guys

More reading: How to Wrap a Present Perfectly

Gifts for College Guys

Guys attending college often prefer different gifts than girls attending college do.

You might buy a cookbook that gives him some ideas for dishes he can cook while away from home or a sweater that will remind him or you and keep him warm on those cold days and nights away at college.

College Man’s Cookbook

The College Man’s Cookbook is the ultimate cookbook for guys heading away to school for the first time.

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It includes 100 recipes that he can make with limited access to utensils and appliances, including grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and killer meatballs with a spicy sauce.

Call Mom! Pillowcase

Give him a friendly reminder that he should call and check in with his mom with this call mom pillow case, which features that phrase across the front in black.

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Designed to fit most standard pillows, the case is machine washable and retains its soft feel through dozens of washes.

Men’s Shower Wrap

Dorms often have bathrooms that all students living on the same floor share.

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With this shower wrap, he can get more coverage when heading to the bathroom. It has an adjustable design and will fit most boys. The wrap also has an elastic top that won’t slip down and a pocket for his soap.

Dorm Room Tool Set: 39 Pcs

With this Cartman tool set, he can handle repairs on his own without calling maintenance for help.

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The set comes with a case that has individual spots for all the included tools. He’ll get a hammer, screwdriver and more than 30 other tools that are suitable for dorm and apartment repairs.

Fruit of the Loom Sleep Pants

Not only can he wear these sleep pants from Fruit of the Loom while in bed, but he can also wear them to games and class.

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The pants are super soft and have an adjustable waistband. They come in different colors and prints and have a fly with a single button.

Patagonia Better Sweater

When the temperature drops, your college guy will love having this Patagonia sweater in his closet.

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It has a ¼ length zip on the front that he can raise and lower as needed and a pocket on the left chest area. The sweater features 100% polyester and is machine washable.

YETI Rambler

From watching games to sitting in class, he’ll love having the YETI Rambler by his side because it works well with so many different drinks.

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This mug comes in various colors and has a sliding lid that he can adjust to keep his drink from spilling.

Gifts for college girls

Need to fill out a graduation card? Here’s what to write in a graduation card.

Gifts for College Girls

If you have a special girl in your life who is ready to spread her wings and head off to college, you can easily find some great gift ideas that are suitable for her. A shower wrap gives her a convenient way to get between the showers and her room, while a personal safe lets her protect all her valuables. You’ll find some other gifts she might like too.

Call Mom! Pink Pillow Case

Parents sometimes feel as though their kids don’t care because they don’t call home from school often.

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Remind the college kids you love to make that call with this pillow case, which features “Call Mom” across the front in bright pink. This case is soft and machine washable.

Personal Dorm Safe

She can keep all her valuables safe and sound in this personal safe that she can store anywhere in her dorm room.

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She can set the lock with a code of her choosing, which prevents others from getting inside. It can hold jewelry and phones as well as other valuable items.

Women’s Shower Wrap

When she needs to run from her room to the shower, she’ll appreciate having a shower wrap that provides her with some coverage.

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This wrap comes in a bold green color and covers her from her chest to her knees. It has an elastic top that won’t slip as she moves around the dorm too.

Dorm Room Tool Set (Pink or Blue)

Let her know that she can fix anything without a man’s help with a set of tools that are perfect for any apartment or dorm room.

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This set comes in a black case with some pink accents and features more than 30 tools, including a screwdriver, measuring tape and a set of bits.

Women’s Casual Stretch Lounge Pants

Suitable for wearing while relaxing in her dorm room, she can also wear these lounge pants when running errands or in class.

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The pants have a low waistband that fits on her natural waist and a drawstring for extra comfort.

Patagonia Women’s Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover

With this Patagonia pullover, she can feel warm and comfortable on the coldest of days.

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Available in various sizes and colors, it has a chest pocket with a flap for storing small items and microfleece on the trim that adds to the jacket’s overall warmth.

Stainless Travel Mug (Zojirushi SM-KC48)

College girls who drink a lot of coffee or other liquids will like this stainless steel mug, which comes in some fun colors.

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The vacuum insulation used on the inside keeps drinks hot for up to six hours at a temperature of more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has a wide mouth on the top that prevents spills.

Perfect for coffee or tea. Here are some more gifts for tea lovers.


Quirky and Unique Gifts for College Students

College gives students the chance to study different subjects to see what interests them and to experience new things that they never tried before.

You can let the students you care about know that you appreciate their quirky and unique sides with some fun gifts that most people wouldn’t think to give.

Laundry Bag (With Instructions)

Even those who did laundry at home may have some problems doing laundry at school.

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This handy laundry bag includes tips printed across the front to prevent accidents such as turning white clothing pink. The bag uses 100% cotton and is easy to clean because students can toss it in the washing machine with their clothes.

College Hacks Book

The transition from home to college is often a difficult one, but College Hacks is a useful book that provides users with some guidance.

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Students will find tips on everything from reading and preparing for their classes to cleaning their dorm rooms and dealing with difficult situations.

Seuss-isms: A Guide to Life (B00k)

Dr. Seuss wrote dozens of books that kids and adults still love, but Seuss-isms is the only book designed for those on the cusp of becoming adults.

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It uses funny words and phrases that provide college students with some tips for the future.

Reminder Keychain

Parents have a hard time seeing their baby birds leave the nest, but this keychain lets those baby birds know the secrets to leaving home.

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It uses a heavy-duty metal and includes stamped phrases such as have fun and make good choices. The keychain also includes a reminder for the user to call his or her mom.

Adulting Book

While graduating from high school is exciting, some graduates worry about what others expect of them in the adult world.

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Adulting is a fun book that walks readers through the steps of becoming an adult. It contains more than 500 steps that they can use when preparing for college and once they get there.

Graduation Mad Libs

No matter how old you are, you probably remember playing Mad Libs as a kid.

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College kids can enjoy that same fun with these Graduation Mad Libs. Each page contains a different story and asks users to fill blank lines with nouns and other words to create hysterical phrases that will make them laugh.


Practical College Student Gifts

Most college students get money when they finish high school, but you can give them some practical gifts that they’ll actually use in school. You might consider a towel set for those who live in dorm rooms and need to take showers down the hall or a device that lets them stream all their favorite shows and movies.

8 Towel Set

With this set of eight towels, college students have enough towels for a few days (or up to a week for some) without having to do laundry.

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The set includes four washcloths, two small hand towels and two large bath towels. You can pick from some great colors too.

Self Standing Laundry Bag

When taking dirty clothes to the laundry room or bringing them home on a trip, college kids can easily use this laundry bag.

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It has thick handles for carrying and a durable liner that is resistant to bacteria and odors. They can leave this bag standing to use it as a hamper or collapse it down and store it under their bed or in their closet.

Sherpa Fleece Blanket

Whether watching a game from the sidelines or curled up in bed at night, this fleece blanket will keep any college student warm and comfy.

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One side of the blanket uses a soft type of fleece, while the opposite side features a thick sherpa material. The blanket also comes in some great colors.

Roku Express

With Netflix and all the other streaming apps out there, college students can make new friends and have fun watching their favorite shows and films with the Roku Express.

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It is easy to install and lets users stream through both paid and free apps. The Express comes with a remote control too.

Mattress Protector

Colleges often reuse the same mattresses year after year. When you give a student in your life this mattress protector, you can protect them from everything on that mattress and help them sleep comfortably.

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It has an extra-large size to fit dorm room mattresses and is waterproof and protects against bugs.

Food gifts for college students

Food Gifts for College Students

While students have a lot of fun in college, they always miss some of the comforts of home such as the food their parents cooked. Many students don’t have a lot of cooking experience and don’t have access to cooking supplies. With any of the following food gifts, you can treat your loved one to a fun and useful gift.

Magic Spoon: Healthy Cereal by the Case

MagicSpoonSingle serve boxes of cereal are popular with college students, but you can help your loved ones enjoy a delicious and healthy bowl of cereal each morning with Magic Spoon.

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This set includes several boxes of cereal that are frosted and flavored with cinnamon and chocolate. Students can eat the cereal as-is or with milk.

Healthy College Care Package

Kids attending college can feel homesick or just plain sick because of all the junk food they eat, but you can give them a touch of home and some healthy snacks with this care package.

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Filled with treats such as snack bars, teas, nuts and popcorn, it gives kids an excuse to grab a quick snack.

College Care Package

Treat the homesick college kid in your life to a college care package that reminds him or her of home.

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It comes loaded with single serve snacks that they can grab and go for a quick breakfast on the go or a snack at the library. The snacks are all healthier than the junk food they usually eat too.

Chocolate Espresso Bark (5 Pack)

You can let any college student enjoy coffee and caffeine in a whole new way with this package of chocolate espresso bark.

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Each box comes with five packs of the bark inside, and each package of bark contains as much caffeine as two full cups of coffee. The packages have a resealable top that lets students save what they don’t eat for a later day.

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

Thanks to a combination of espresso and chocolate, these chocolate covered espresso beans provide a great pick me up in the middle of the day.

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Each bean is certified Kosher and has a yummy chocolate coating that gives way to a delicious roasted bean inside. The package comes with beans coated in white, dark and milk chocolates.

Learn more about chocolate covered espresso beans in this chocoholics guide.

Practical gifts for college students

Meal Prep Gifts for Students

Instead of just giving the gift of snacks and other prepared foods, you can opt for some meal prep gifts that will get that student excited about cooking while away from school. You can shop for items such as a cooker that makes ramen noodles faster than ever before or a small device for making breakfast sandwiches quickly.

Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Hamilton Beach designed a breakfast sandwich maker that helps college students get their days started off on the right foot.

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It lets them make a sandwich that consists of a muffin, meat and egg in minutes and has a compact size for storing in a dorm room.

Rapid Mac Cooker

Whipping up a batch of mac and cheese is easier than ever with the Rapid Mac Cooker, which pairs with that classic blue and yellow boxed dish.

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Safe for use in the microwave and for cooking on the stove, it makes a full box of mac and cheese in five minutes or less.

Rapid Ramen Cooker

Making ramen noodles usually requires boiling water, which can take a long time, but this rapid cooker significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to make noodles.

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It’s perfect for college kids who love noodles and have access to a microwave. The cooker is also easy to clean.

Microwave Splatter Cover

Most dorm rooms and college residence halls limit the appliances that students can use, but those living spaces usually include microwaves.

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With a microwave splatter cover, students can make hundreds of dishes in the microwave without the ingredients splattering all over the inside of the microwave. This cover makes cleaning that appliance a snap.

Quick and Easy College Cookbook

No matter how much experience your student has with cooking, this college cookbook is a great gift idea.

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It features detailed recipes that show students how to make 300 dishes that are both healthy and taste delicious. The book also shows photos of some of the finished dishes too.

Hot Pot (For Noodles, Soup, Water…)

Making ramen noodles or a simple cup of tea is easy with this HotPot, which functions as an electric kettle.

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Capable of holding up to four cups, it can help students make rice and other foods too. Available in multiple colors, the Hot Pot has a handy temperature control on its base.

NutriBullet (Blender / Mixer System)

If you worry that your college student won’t eat healthily, consider giving the gift of a NutriBullet.

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This is more than just a blender because it can make so many different drinks and dishes. It even comes with a recipe book that shows students how to make smoothies and other healthy snacks.

Keurig Single Serve

Many college kids rely on caffeine to get through a long night of studying, and they can make all the cups of coffee they need in this Keurig.

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It has controls for changing the strength and the temperature of the brewed coffee and makes a single cup at a time to prevent waste. This Keurig won’t take up a lot of room in a dorm either.

Microwave Popcorn Cooker with Lid

While microwave popcorn is easy to make and comes in some great flavors, it just doesn’t have the taste of home.

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College students can use a microwave popcorn cooker to get the taste that they love. This cooker comes with a lid that lets them save their leftovers and comes in some fun colors that they’ll like.

Best gifts for college students

Comfort and Decor Gifts

One thing that college students love about living away from home is that they can create the perfect living space in their dorm rooms.

They can decorate in any way they want with fun items such as linens for their beds and art for their walls. You can help them decorate with some amazing gifts.

Go and Do Pillow

College students need linens, why not give them something that is inspiring.

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Instead of just buying a comforter or a blanket, give him or her this fun pillow, which has “Go and Do” printed on the top. It reminds them that they should remain active and live out their dreams.

Trash Bucket

With this trash can, you can remind your student to clean up while away from home.

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It has a fun design that resembles an old metal bucket, complete with a wood handle on the top. That handle makes the bucket easy to carry when the student needs to dump his or her trash.

Weighted Blanket (20 lbs)

One of the best ways to reduce anxiety is with a weighted blanket. Available in several sizes and weights, this blanket is suitable for all types of students.

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It uses seven layers with a limited amount of fillers to help students sleep comfortably all night long.

Memory Pillow

A good pillow such as this memory pillow can help any student get the sleep that he or she needs every night.

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It has a type of gel infused inside the memory foam that helps the student stay cooler, but it also uses a breathable form of memory foam that molds to their bodies too.

Best gifts for college guys

Tech and Office Gifts for College Students

A power bank is a must have for any college student because this handy little product helps them charge their devices quickly. Some of the other tech and office gifts include products that they can use in their classes and in their dorm rooms. These gifts are suitable for students enrolled in any college.

Anker Power Bank

With a portable power bank, any college student can easily get the power they need while in their dorm rooms and anywhere else on campus.

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This model has a small size but can fully charge some devices more than twice before it needs charging. It comes with both a travel pouch and a micro USB cord.

Upgraded Desk Lamp

Give your college students an easy way to organize their spaces with this desk lamp that is more than just a lamp.

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The built-in clock tells the time, day of the week, date and temperature outside. Attached to the lamp is a cup that can hold dozens of pens, pencils and other supplies.

Surge Protector / Power Strip with USB

Your college student can turn one outlet into six with this power strip, which has a round design and will easily fit under any dorm room bed.

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The six outlets will all support three-pronged devices such as computers and chargers. It also has two USB ports and a convenient power switch.

Bedside Shelf

An easy way for a college student to organize his or her study space is with a bedside shelf.

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Made from wood, the shelf attaches to the side of the bed and has space for a laptop and other supplies. It comes with a clamp that lets the shelf support up to 15 pounds.

Back Support For Studying

Though college dorms come equipped with furniture such as a bed and desk, you can make your student feel more comfortable with a back support pillow.

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This pillow has a fabric loop on the top for carrying and a unique design that provides support to your loved one’s back and arms while sitting in bed.

Extra Long Charging Cable: 3 Pack

Dorm rooms are often quite small and only have a few outlets. With an extra long charging cable, your college student can easily charge and power devices from anywhere in a dorm room.

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This set comes with three cords that measure between three and 10 feet long, and each one has a braided design for lasting usage.

Jackery Power Bank (Built-In Cable)

Designed for use with iPhones, this power bank is a good gift idea for college students on the go.

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The built-in cable allows them to charge most iPhones, but it has a second cord for charging devices with a micro USB port. You can pick from two different colors of power banks too.

Electric Toothbrush

Though dental hygiene is important, college kids may not take the time to brush their teeth every day.

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When you give your student an electric toothbrush, you can feel confident that dental hygiene will be on his or her daily to-do list. This model can remove three times as much plaque as other brushes do and has multiple speed settings.

Incase Laptop Backpack

With a laptop backpack, your college student can easily move from a dorm to the library to a classroom and back again.

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It has a sling design that makes it easy to carry and pockets that can store extra batteries and cords. A large space inside holds both personal laptops and MacBooks.

6 Can Cooler with Bluetooth Speaker

There is nothing better than grabbing a cold can of soda or a bottle of water at the end of a long day.

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This 6 can cooler has a compact design that makes it perfect for use in a dorm room. It has a built-in speaker that works via Bluetooth to connect other devices such as a cell phone. This cooler comes with two power cords for use with a car cigarette lighter or a wall outlet.

Sony Noise Canceling Headphones

A common problem that students have in their dorm rooms is that they can hear every single thing that their roommates do.

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When you give the gift of noise canceling headphones, you give them the chance to study and listen to music or watch videos without their roommates hearing them. These headphones also block out the noises that their roommates make.

JBL Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

College kids spend a lot of time in their dorm rooms, but they also spend quite a bit of time outside. With a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, they can listen to music anywhere they go.

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This model is portable and will work just as well outside as it does indoors. It allows students to connect up to three devices to the same speaker without worrying about wires.

Best gifts for college girls

Your Turn

No matter who you’re buying for, there should be something in this guide for them. What gift do you have your eye on?

Have a recommendation? Let me know in the comments!

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines

Bryan Haines is co-editor of FeelingGifty, and is on a mission to make giving gifts easier and more effective. He is a travel blogger and amateur photographer. He also blogs over at GringosAbroad and GudGear. Work with Bryan and Dena.

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