15 Useful Gifts For College Students They'll Use At School And Beyond

Get them one step closer to graduation with these practical purchases.
Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm via Getty Images

Between cramming for exams, tailgating at football games, studying late into the night, and switching majors again (and again), college kids have a lot of different lives to juggle.

This holiday season, consider surprising your college kid with a something they can use at school and beyond, and that might make their next study session a bit easier. Whether it’s food storage containers so they can stock up on mom’s leftovers at home, a fun recurring subscription for late-night snacks, or a way for them to stream their favorite study jams, there are plenty of gifts you can give the college student in your life that’ll get them one step closer to graduation.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some everyday essentials every college student not only wants, but needs this holiday season. Take a look below at 15 useful gifts for college students.

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A pint-sized coffee machine, for those late night study sessions.
Give the gift of caffeine for those early morning classes or exhausting exam weeks. At less than 5 inches wide, the Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker is compact enough for a dorm room without sacrificing flavor.
A portable version of their favorite tailgate game.
Uncommon Goods
If your college kid likes playing games and making friends, they'll get a kick out of how easy it is to do both with this tabletop cornhole game set. It's the perfect size for a tiny dorm room.
An extra long charging cable.
Believe it or not, this 10-foot charging cord might be the gift a college student uses the most. The extra length lets you keep texting, scrolling and swiping from a nearby bed or desk while it juices up. Better still, it makes an excellent stocking stuffer.
Step up their shower situation with a caddy.
Having to schlep your stuff to the communal showers is just one of many college struggle. Make it easier with this durable plastic shower organizer that features multiple compartments to store your shampoo, toothbrush and other shower essentials.
Keep them fed with a monthly snack subscription.
College students are perpetually hungry. Solve that with Graze, a monthly snack subscription box filled with sweet, savory, fruity and salty snacks tailored to your taste.
An Amazon Echo Dot, your perfect roommate.
Give them the gift of a perfect roommate with the Amazon Echo Dot. The voice controlled smart speaker can play music from your college kid's favorite streaming service, and has over 50,000 useful skills. They can use it to make hands-free calls, create calendar events, set exam reminders, and make alarms for their early morning classes. Can their roommate do that?
An Instax, to help them make picture perfect memories.
Urban Outfitters
This Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Camera has an automatic flash, built-in selfie mirror and a collapsible lens. They’ll thank you later when they can look back on the memories they made from their college years.
A laptop backpack that’s sleek and chic.
The Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack is a student favorite, with a 4.5-star rating and more than 600 customer reviews on Amazon. The 15-inch laptop sleeve, convenient front pocket, and plenty of room for books and water bottle make this a great backpack for college and beyond.
A water bottle that holds their phone, cards and keys.
Uncommon Goods
This phone storage workout bottle is perfect for taking to the gym because it can hold a phone, cash and room key. It's the perfect companion for students who put convenience above all else.
A pair of rain boots to keep their feet dry walking to class.
Urban Outfitters
Most college campuses involve some amount of walking between buildings to and from class, and when it rains — it pours. These Jeffrey Campbell Stormy Rain Boots have thick rubber soles and a simple silhouette, perfect for college and the years to come.
An easy way to protect their phone at all times.
Keep their screen from cracking when it slips out of their hand at the weekend tailgate. This ultra-thin OtterBox Alpha Glass Series Screen Protector is shatter, scratch and impact resistant — music to a parent's ears.
A microwave-safe food container.
World Market
Perfect for sneaking food out of the dining hall and storing leftovers for later, these nesting food containers that are freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe.
A little life advice for after college.
A No. 1 bestseller, "Lean In For Graduates " was written exclusively for college grads entering the workforce. It offers advice on how to get the most out of their first job, ranging from resume writing, interviewing, salary negotiation, to leaning in for both millennial men and women.
Wireless headphones, for when they’re on the go.
Whether they’re listening to music, podcasts, or a virtual lecture, wireless headphones are the way to go. These Apple Airpods automatically connect to your student's other Apple devices and can be programmed to play, pause, make calls, and summon Siri with just a few taps.
A restaurant gift card, for when they get tired of dining hall food.
Being broke is basically a rite of passage for most college kids, so you can’t go wrong with a gift card to their favorite restaurant or coffee shop.