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College Graduation Present Question..........

My nephew is graduating college.

Do you think a college graduate would like money or a present for graduation.

If money is your answer - how much money do you think is appropriate these days for a college graduation present?


Wed. May 16, 6:07pm

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When I graduated college, I got both, and both were appreciated. The presents were generally things I could use when I started my job- a nice briefcase for work, a fountain pen, a gift certificate for dry cleaning (that one was very handy). I think that something appropriate for your nephew's next step in life might be good. In terms of cash, it seemed to range from $25 to $100, with most somewhere in the middle. But I suspect the amount of cash gifts varies a lot by family norms and things.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 6:25 PM

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If you don't know exactly what kind of present he might like, money is great. I feel like $25 is the minimum, unless you are strapped for cash yourself. I would gladly have taken anything larger than that, too!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 6:45 PM

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I think that typical aunts/uncles give on the order of $250 for graduation. Again, depends on the family. Parents generally give $1000 and grandparents $500. That's my experience though. It depends how close you are to your nephew. I would say to ask the parents what they are giving him and get something approximately 1/4 of the value.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 8:00 PM

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I just graduated college 3 years ago and NEVER got that much money from anyone in my family. I certainly wasn't upset though. I got mostly $20-25 from people. The big numbers were around $50 from a few relatives and family friends.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 9:56 PM

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OP here.........

Thanks so much for the feedback. I really appreciate it!

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 12:57 AM

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my parents didnt give me anything close to 1000!! I think money is great at any amount but you should look at the DR Suess book "Oh the places you'll go" and write a personal message on the inside. The book is awesome and I got it as a gift and now give it when I get the chance
~stand~

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 3:37 AM

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Nowhere near $1000 here either - wow!

My gifts were also along the $25-100 range. When my neice graduated last year I got her a luggage set because I knew she'd be traveling.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 9:56 AM

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I agree that "the places you'll go" is a great book! However, I got like 3 copies of it at my graduation. All 3 had money inside too. The personal messages were appreciated, but really, what am I going to do with 3 copies of the same book??

It depends on what your nephew is moving on to. If he's going to be on his own for the first time, supporting himself, etc., he will probably appreciate money more than anything. If he's about to rent his first apartment, he'll need to put down first and last month's rent, plus he'll have to start paying for utilities, food, etc., probably before he gets his first paycheck.

Otherwise, nice and useful presents like a nice briefcase or pen, but with a gift receipt (b/c there may be duplicate gifts). There are lots of things that a recent graduate needs; try and stick within those subjects. When I graduated, one of my parents' friends gave me a plastic beach bag with a pair of flip flops inside (not even my size). I was moving to Chicago, not Miami! That ended up being a gift to one of my friend's younger sisters. It just wasn't worth the space it would take to pack and move.

Other options might be a set of dishes or silverware (places like Target sell stuff like that very reasonably), or some barware, towels, linens, etc. But if you're going to get something like that, ask for his opinion; don't expect that he has the same taste that you do. He also might be fine with things that he has leftover from college.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 10:23 AM

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Money. A nice card with a heartfelt, well-written note to the graduate makes more of an impression than a generic gift. Even if you buy him something practical, he probably would prefer to pick it out himself. I'm not even a big fan of gift cards. People think they are more thoughtful somehow but if you are a bargain shopper they basically force you to shop one place. For example, when I graduated high school (I am in college) I got like 20 Target gift cards that I had to use but the stuff I wanted was cheaper at Walmart and Sam's Club. I could have used their money more wisely! Of course any gift is always appreciated but I am a huge fan of 50 dollars cash in a cute simple card with a note about how proud of him you are and that you will always be there for him.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 12:14 PM

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$250 from aunt's and uncles? $500 from grandparents? and $1000 from parents??? Wow! I think i got $100 from my parents and the keys to drive their station wagon for the summer! I'm wondering how many times the person who stated those amounts as "typical" in his/her experience, graduated?

To answer the Op's question-go with your gut and your relationship to your nephew. If you know him well enough to know his needs/wants then go with a gift, if that is a little fuzzy these days go with money or a gift card. Most grads (especially college ones) are thrilled to get anything after living bare for so long!

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 1:01 PM

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I got $500 from my grandparents for graduation, and I got a car and bedroom furniture from my parents. I don't think this is typical though; I just appreciate that I was more fortunate than most!

My parents' friends mostly gave me $50 to $100, and most relatives were around the same.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 2:51 PM

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I think the most I got from any family member was $250, but the uncle that gave it to me is a doctor. Most family members gave me between $25 and $75 - cash/ or check and a nice card.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 4:46 PM

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Give him something he will need after college. Will he be starting a new job? White collar job-a nice briefcase or classy messenger style bag. If he has to travel a lot, a carry on bag. Find one of his needs and fill it. Buy him something that he can't really afford right out of college. If you give him money, he'll either blow it or pay bills.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 9:04 PM

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I graduated from College about 15 years ago... Money from extended family (I was the oldest cousin and 1st to graduate) ranged from $50 - $500. From other friends outside of family, it probably ranged from about $20 - $100...

Of course, you need to take into consideration inflation and how much YOU can afford, as well as how close you are to the nephew. You should not feel obligated to give outside of your means...

Personally (for myself), I feel that gifts of money are not as personal as a gift that I have personally chosen with the recipient in mind... I also think that when giving money, you are almost obligated to be more generous... Of course, that's only my personal opinion....

I, too am not a big fan of gift cards, unless you KNOW of a store that the person likes to shop (i.e. if they like books, something at Borders...) The other problem is that if you don't use the gift card right away, they start to lose value... AND, some places CHARGE you a price to buy a gift card!



Thursday, May 17, 2007, 9:46 PM

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