Finding gifts for your grad

Dec 102010
Authors: Logan Triesch, College Avenue

Gifting a hard-working CSU graduate seems quite near impossible.

But there are few gifts that seem to justify the four (or more) long years they studied in college. What it comes down to is not a gift, but a price.

Think long and hard for just a moment about what a graduate actually needs to succeed. Maybe your mind crosses nice clothing, a car and electronics; or maybe nothing crosses your mind at all. You continuously draw a blank and when you ask a student, the reply is: “I don’t really need anything.”

Well that never helps, but then maybe it does. If they don’t need anything, money will always be one thing that is needed for anyone to survive in this consumer-driven world.

Whether it comes in the form of gift cards, Visa cards or straight up cash, the most meaningful gift is a nice card, sweet message and a little surprise inside.

The dirty little secret that most parents and relatives never find out is that their gifts, even it’s is a few years down the road, sometimes end up on eBay, waiting to be sold so their graduate can have a couple of extra dollars in their back pocket. If someone is determined to get their graduate something that is not cash or similar, there are other gifts to consider.

A snazzy, zippy little car or SUV. No one should ever turn down as generous of a gift as a car. The Chevrolet Impala is a sedan that can help a graduate get out in the world and is a nice choice for $24,000. When a car just does not seem to be the right fit for your graduate, an SUV suits everyone, the Ford Escape is a favorite, seats five and has an MSRP at $21,000.

Cars can often be a little out of the price range, thus comes the next item on the list: a new computer or electronic. Trying to figure out exactly what someone wants in their next electronic device is difficult, and instead of taking a chance and including the receipt, a Best Buy gift card will always get the graduate exactly what they need.

Helping a graduate toward their career can be difficult, but one thing that helps is knowing they are well dressed and have the proper attire for every interview. If you know what their size, great, but everyone knows that trying clothes on before they are bought is better. A Macy’s, Dillards or Men’s Wearhouse gift card is appropriate and will help the buyer to know they are getting those nice suits in the right places.

Gifts can always be fun and nice to open, but leave the wrapped presents for holidays and give a graduate what they probably need to start their life off right in the work world: a monetary boost.

College Avenue magazine staff writer Logan Triesch can be reached at

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