Back to School: College Student Gift Baskets

August means back-to-school! If you’re looking for something to give a college student, a gift basket is a great option.

Some family members of mine are going off to college, and I wanted to give them a practical gift as they start this exciting time in their life. I opted for gift baskets because who doesn’t like a gift basket??? Plus, I really enjoy making them :). I scoured the internet for ideas of what to include in the baskets and came up with some ideas of my own as well.

I’ll share with you the items I included in the two gift baskets below. One is for a commuter college student, and the other is for a college student moving out on her own for the first time.

Gift baskets are so simple and also allow you to be creative! Buy a basket or storage container of some sort, cover the bottom with some crumpled up tissue paper, and start filling it with all the goodies!

Commuter College Student Gift Basket

gift basket college commuter

I wanted to include items that were practical for any college student (e.g., school supplies), but also items that would travel well. Since she isn’t moving out on her own, I didn’t get her any ‘homey’ items. I instead opted for grab-n-go snacks and other travel-sized items.

  • Snacks – I included a bag of 20 snack-sized assorted chips, Sour Punch Straws, Oreos, Hersey’s and Reese’s Snacksters. Include whatever snacks your student likes!
  • Notecards (white and assorted colors)
  • Sticky Notes
  • Hand Sanitizer (travel size)
  • Lip Gloss
  • Pony Tail Holders
  • Small Cosmetic Bag – This bag can easily fit in a backpack. I thought it would be perfect for keeping small items you might want with you, but don’t want cluttered all over your backpack (e.g., lip gloss, ponytail holders, deodorant, band aids, etc.).
  • Water Bottle
  • Pens, Pencils, Highlighters
  • Tiny Umbrella – This umbrella is so small, it could easily fit in a coat pocket. I thought this was ideal to keep in a backpack for those unexpected rainy days. It’s both compact and lightweight.
  • Tiny Flashlight – I thought this would be good to have in your backpack in case you have night classes and the campus/parking lot is dimly lit.
  • Storage Tote – I decided to use a storage tote with a lid as the basket. This tote can easily slide under the bed or go on a closet shelf.

College Student Moving Out Gift Basket

gift basket college student

For this basket, I included travel-sized items that could be carried in a backpack. However, I also included a few ‘homey’ items (e.g., surge protectors, first aid kit, Clorox wipes, sandwich baggies).

  • Snacks – I included a bag of 6 snack-sized plain Lays chips, Oreos, and microwaveable Steak n Shake Chili. Again, include whatever it is your college student likes!
  • Notecards (white and assorted colors)
  • Sticky Notes
  • Highlighters
  • Water Bottle
  • Sandwich Baggies
  • Surge Protectors
  • Clorox Disinfectant Wipes
  • First Aid Kit – I had one of these in my dorm room, and it came in handy several times!
  • Tiny Flashlight – Again, good if your student has night classes, but also useful for power outages.
  • Tiny Umbrella – Again, great for keeping in a backpack for those unexpected rainy days.
  • Storage Tote

Each basket cost around $50. If you want to spend less, just buy a smaller basket. Smaller basket = less room to fill = fewer items to purchase = less money.

I still need to make one more gift basket for a commuter college student. This one is for a male student, so it won’t include the lip gloss, pony tail holders, and cosmetic bag :). I’ll probably include a couple of gift cards for gas or fast food, snacks, notecards, pens, pencils, and highlighters.

Feel free to share your gift basket ideas below!

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