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Great holiday gifts for college students

The holiday season is fast approaching, and it’s time to find the perfect gift for your college student. Undergrads have a specific set of wants, inspired by the rigors of study, the complications of roommates, and the accumulated longings that come with being broke. We’ve curated our holiday gift guide with these and other particulars of collegiate life in mind. Happy giving!

gift for college student Flannel Sheets ($ varies) For hard-working students, the therapeutic effects of a nice warm bed are priceless. Make it even more restorative with some deliciously soft flannel sheets. Classic plaids like this are available from LL Bean.
gift for students Cord Buddy Organizer ($20) Device charger cords can be a source of endless angst — too often lost, “borrowed,” or misplaced. This lovely little cord organizer keeps them all in one spot (perfect on a nightstand). It even doubles as a night light.
gift for college student Lockable Security iBox ($15) This pint-sized lock box is handy security for your student’s cash, credit cards, IDs, cell phone, and more. Provides peace of mind in multiple-roommate situations, and offers on-the-go security inside backpacks.
Gift for college student Bella Spa Wraps ($37) Feeling cozy, covered and cute when going to and from the shower is a luxury anywhere, but especially in shared spaces. While you’re browsing Bella for spa wraps, check out the adorable sleep masks, too — perfect for shutting out the madness of communal living.
gift for student Light Saber Umbrella ($25 and up) This futuristic umbrella lights the way and makes your student more visible at night. It’s an especially apropos gift for freshmen who have relocated to a wetter climate.
gift for students Chipotle Gift Cards ($20-100) Most college students are “millennials,” born between 1980–2000, and millennials LOVE Chipotle. Named #1 among millennials by several marketing studies (see this one on Forbes), the brand is loved for its healthy ingredients, moderate prices, and extreme convenience.
gift for college student Luxe Wallet ($50) Long periods of lean living make students on a budget crave little luxuries. This Herschel wallet is sure to please. Don’t forget to fill it with coffee shop gift cards.
gift for college student Travel ($ sky’s the limit) If your student’s travel fund needs a boost for a study abroad trip, spring break adventure, or just to come home, most commercial airlines offer gift cards.
Southwest  | United  | American
gift for college student Back-Up Charger ($20) Back-up battery power always comes in handy, especially when students use their smart phones to record lectures. The Anker mini charger offers bare-bones portable power at a great price. 
gift for students Laptop Sleeve ($35) Topo Designs makes these laptop and tablet sleeves that are smart and sharp. In minimalist designs, the sleek padded covers provide classy protection for your student’s expensive devices.
gift for student Famous Red Notebook ($12) Get your student a stack of these gorgeous Best Made notebooks for longhand note taking, list making, and journaling.
gift for student Cruiser Bike ($150 and up) Exercise, fun and freedom — a  bike is the ultimate campus get-around. offers many styles. On this elegantly jaunty model by Electra, your student will cruise through the spring semester.
view this toolkit Auto Essentials ($100+) Help your student stay safe on the road this winter with a car tool kit (this one’s from Target), AAA membership, and gas gift card.
up-gift-16 books Books for Fun ($ varies) Hardcover, paperback, audiobook, Kindle or Nook… Whatever the format, your student will love curling up with a good non-course-required read this holiday season. Browse this list of National Book Award finalists for the year’s best in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
view this watch Runner Watch ($150) It’s more fun sticking to New Year’s resolutions when you’re wearing a GPS runner watch with heart rate monitor — this New Balance model is available from LL Bean.
view this multitool Leatherman Multi-tool ($24 and up) Your student will be ready for anything with a Leatherman multi-tool. They come in every possible color, can be engraved, and there’s an airplane-approved model, too.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Sign up for UniversityParent’s weekly eNewsletter and purchase the Guide to Supporting Your Student’s Freshman Year for additional tips, insight, and to help your college student succeed. You may also add to the discussion and get feedback from  fellow college parents by joining our College Parents’ Facebook group.

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