How Much Money To Give For College Graduation Gift

How Much Money To Give For College Graduation Gift

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

On the occasion of a graduation, it is customary to honor the achievements of a dear one. It can also bring about a challenging inquiry for many families: what would be an appropriate gift to present?

Cash is always a popular option, but it can be tough to determine how much money to give for a college graduation gift.

In this blog post, we will provide some guidelines for giving cash gifts for college graduation. We’ll also provide some tips on how to make the gift special.

How Much Should You Give For A College Graduation?

tossing of graduation cap

When it comes to giving money as a gift, the amount can vary greatly depending on who is giving it. 

Close family members, such as parents or grandparents, can give $500-$1000, which is not an unreasonable gift amount. If you are an aunt, uncle, or family friend, $50-$100 is more in line with what is typical. 

And, of course, if you are on a tight budget, a heartfelt card with well wishes is always appreciated.

What matters most is that the graduate knows you support their accomplishments and wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Some Things To Consider

Relationship To Graduate 

How close are you to the graduate? If you are parents, grandparents, other family members, or close friends, you may want to give a larger gift. A smaller gift may be more appropriate if you are an acquaintance or distant relative. But is $1000 a good gift for graduation?

Ability To Pay 

Can you comfortably afford to give a large gift without putting yourself under financial strain? If not, a smaller gift is perfectly acceptable.

The Graduate’s Plans 

Has the graduate already lined up a job, or do they plan to continue their education? 

If they don’t have immediate plans for their future, they may appreciate a gift that will help them get started, like money for a security deposit on an apartment or books for graduate school.

Graduate’s Accomplishments 

Did the graduate go above and beyond, like getting a degree with honors or completing their degree in a difficult field? 

If so, you may want to give them a little something extra to show your appreciation for their hard work.


What are Some Alternatives To Cash?

boxes of gift

If you’re not sure how much money to give for a college graduation gift, there are some alternatives that may be more appropriate. 

Instead of giving cash, you could give a gift card to a favorite restaurant or store. 

You could also give a cheque or make a donation to the graduate’s chosen charity. If you know the graduate well, you could also give a gift specific to their interests or hobbies. 

Whatever you decide, make sure the gift is something the graduate will appreciate and find useful.


Should you give cash or a check for a graduation gift?

It is generally appropriate to give cash as a graduation gift. A check may be more personal if you are close to the graduate.

Is it customary to give college graduation gifts?

No set amount is customary to give as a college graduation gift. You may want to give a more substantial gift if you are close to the graduate.

How much money should I give my nephew for college graduation?

You may want to consider giving your nephew a more personal gift. A gift card to his favorite restaurant or store would be great.

What is an appropriate graduation gift for my daughter?

There is no definitive answer, but a safe option would be to give a gift card. You could also consider giving her a piece of jewelry or something that will help her in her future career. But what are some of the appropriate gifts for a law school graduate?

What is an appropriate college graduation gift from grandparents?

From grandparents, an appropriate gift may be something sentimental, like a family heirloom. You could also consider giving a gift card to help with the costs of college.

What should I give my best friend for college graduation?

Your best friend will appreciate a heartfelt and personal gift. Something that reminds them of your friendship would be a great option. You could also consider giving a gift card to their favorite store.

Is it OK to send a graduation card without money?

Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to send a graduation card without money. A card is a great way to show your congratulations and well-wishes for the future.

Final Thoughts

It is a tradition to give gifts for special occasions, and college graduation is a special occasion. [1]

But how much should you give? That can be tough to decide. A good rule of thumb is to give an amount meaningful to you without breaking the bank. 

After all, the point of giving a gift is to show your affection and support, not to bankrupt yourself. 

If you are struggling to come up with an amount, consider your relationship with the graduate. 

Ultimately, choosing a thoughtful gift is more important than worrying about the dollar amount. The graduate will appreciate your effort no matter what.


Kimberlee Johnson
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