‘Tis the season to begin contemplating gifts for graduates. More people tend to give cash than presents –53% of those surveyed by the National Retail Federation said they’re giving money.
This trend applies to graduations at all levels — high school, college and even graduate school — as people are all too aware of the student loan repayment burden that lies ahead for new graduates.
If you decide to give money but are unsure how much, you might appreciate the fact that Miss Manners says there’s no formula for the correct amount to give in any particular situation.
Those who opine on specific amounts to give tend to agree that you should let your closeness to the new graduate dictate the extent of your generosity. That said, opinions are mixed as to whether you ought to give more to someone graduating from a higher level of education.
What Should You Give as a Graduation Gift?
Interestingly, the National Retail Federation found that the prevalence of cash gifting has dropped about 10 percent from highs recorded in 2007 and 2009.
Meanwhile, about 41 percent of those buying things for graduates buy greeting cards to put the money in; another 33 percent are getting gift cards; 16 percent are getting apparel and 11 percent are springing for apparel.
Speaking of which, if you’re going to spring for a present, look for something that might help the new graduate in their next stage of life.
What Level Graduate?
For a graduation from middle school, you might not need to do more than get a card unless you’re a close relative — in which case you might buy something he or she might use for extracurricular activities.
A nice gift for middle school and high school graduates includes summer workshops, tickets to events, books, music and gift certificates toward these items, suggests Education.com.
In the case of someone graduating from high school, think of gifts for use in college — or that would suit a dorm room, like a desk lamp, alarm clock, fan, bookcase or hotpot.
For graduates from college, trade or graduate school, think of gifts that might help them find a job or keep one. For instance, you could get a gift certificate that could go toward the purchase of an interview suit or briefcase, for instance.
More ideas for the latter type of gift recipient might include things for their first home outside of the dorm — basic housewares that they don’t already have.
Another nice touch that might benefit any level graduate: a savings account, savings bond or certificate of deposit — especially when the giver is a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle.
But just because someone you know is graduating doesn’t mean you’re expected to give a gift — even if you receive an announcement about the occasion, it probably doesn’t mean you’re expected to give something.
Readers, what are you planning to give those who you know are graduating in May or June?
Read More About Gifting
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