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High School Graduation Gift-Giving 101


Cap and gown season is in full swing! For those who have multiple graduates in their lives, this can be a busy and costly time of the year. Between ceremonies, parties and gifts your schedule and budget can take quite a hit. Here are a few etiquette guidelines and gift ideas to help you navigate the graduation season:

Does a graduation announcement come with any obligations?
No. A graduation announcement doesn’t double as an invitation, and doesn’t require you to send a gift. You may choose to send a gift, depending upon your relationship to the graduate. A card is always a nice gesture.

Should I attend the ceremony or party?
If you were invited and live in town, yes. Ceremony invitations are usually reserved for close family, and parties are limited to family and close friends. If you made the guest list, consider it an honor. Plan to bring a gift.

What is an appropriate gift?
For high school and college grads, cash is king. Generally speaking, $20 – $50 is an appropriate amount to give to a graduate you aren’t close to. For family and close friends, $50 – $100 is recommended.

I’d like to give something other than cash. Ideas?
A thoughtful high school graduation gift is a T-shirt or hoodie from the college they’ll attend. Gift cards for food, gas and dorm supplies are always useful. For college graduates entering the workforce, consider monogrammed luggage or noise-cancelling headphones. For both high school and college graduates, you can’t go wrong with a laptop, tablet or smart watch.