Do you want to find out how much money to give for college graduation gift? Gift-giving is common at graduations. From paper, money, flowers, and cakes to party favors, there are many things to consider when giving a gift. But what is the ideal monetary graduation gift?
There's no doubt graduating is an outstanding achievement for a college student. It marks an end to an educational journey but also moves to the next phase of life, like searching for a job or starting a family.
Every graduate wants to celebrate this milestone with close family members and friends. A lot goes into planning this momentous occasion.
And there's no better way to show your support than with a monetary graduation gift. However, sometimes deciding the perfect amount is daunting.
This comprehensive guide shows how much money to give for a college graduation gift. Also, it provides tips on how to choose the ideal gift based on the graduate's interests and personality.
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Table of Contents
How Much Cash Should you Give as a Graduation Gift?
Monetary gifts remain among graduates' meaningful gifts on their graduation day. National Retail Federation shows that cash is the top gift, with 52% of people offering it to college and high school graduates.
But what is the average monetary gift?
A study by Hallmark study shared the average amount you can use to gauge the graduation money to give:
- Twenty-five dollars for a close friend or a child of a close friend.
- Twenty dollar bills for a person who is not a close friend.
The research also showed that 67% were comfortable giving $50 to a close friend. You may use these statistics as a guide. But remember, there are several factors to consider as you plan to give out money as a graduation gift.
Factors to Consider While Giving Out Cash as a Graduation Gift
What factors to consider when planning to give out cash as a graduation gift?
Your Relationship with the Graduate
Human beings are social beings. Your relationship with a college graduate will determine how much you would give out.
The graduate has high expectations from close relations, especially family members and friends.
People who support high school and college students are people the graduate desires to celebrate the achievement with the most. And they look forward to receiving the best gifts from them.
The value of your college graduation gift will strengthen or weaken your relationship with the graduate. So, the closer you are to the graduate, the more you should give.
The Level of Graduation
The graduation level can also determine how much cash gift to give. For example, high school graduation gifts may be different from gifts to someone with a doctoral degree.
High school and college graduates also have different needs. College graduates complete their college education ready to start their own lives. They start tarmacking, looking for jobs. While high school graduates still have another education phase ahead of them.
A study by Shutterfly showed that cash gifts for high school graduates range between $20-$100. And another survey by Bright Hub revealed that people give between 100 and 500 dollars to college graduates.
Thus, knowing the level of the graduate will determine how much you are to give out.
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How Much You Can Afford
Giving monetary graduation gifts depends on your disposable income. You can only give what you have unless you want to get a debt-to-cash gift from a graduate. How much do you have? Give out of that.
Whenever you receive the graduation announcement, look at your budget and plan how much you can direct towards graduation gifts. It will help you to avoid overstretching your budget.
And it also helps avoid directing income for other projects toward high school or college graduation gifts.
Giving is a Matter of Free Will
You, as the giver, should give graduation gifts freely and cheerfully. Remember, it is a gift. Thus, you should do it without being coerced or forced.
A gift is something given out without a demand from the receiver. If the receiver starts determining how much he needs to receive, it loses meaning.
Giving five dollars out of joy is better than giving a thousand dollars out of coercion.
As you give, ensure that you give cheerfully and freely. Give without feeling embarrassed. It is a voluntary action.
Is the Graduate Responsible?
Sometimes you can consider the graduate's attitude and behavior when giving cash gifts. This is especially if the graduate is a college graduate and you want to teach them to start being responsible with their money.
If the graduate is irresponsible with money, you may consider giving a different form of a gift. You may even invest that cash gift in a financial masterclass for the graduate. You can as well discuss this with him.
And if it's a high school graduate, you can invest the cash in his college education or gift them through the parents.
Since you want the best for the graduating person, give them graduation gifts that will benefit them.
Receiving a graduation invite is a factor that can be used to offer a gift to the graduate. Preparing a higher monetary or a precious gift will be necessary if you receive a graduation card.
Invitation means that the graduate values your relationship with them. Reciprocate by preparing a special gift to gift them.
How Many People are Graduating?
During graduation season, you may receive several invitations from friends, family members, and colleagues. The number of invitations you receive may affect how many monetary gifts you are to give. This is because it affects your budget, which is a crucial factor.
The smart way to handle it is by listing everyone graduating this year or season. From there, you may gift each individual depending on your relationship with each and your budget. Know how much you desire to spend on each individual.
Some graduates ask for gifts they would like to receive at graduation. Though it may seem like a wrong gesture, the graduate sometimes knows their needs. If they ask politely that they need cash gifts as graduation gifts, consider honoring the request.
They may also request the type of gifts they desire to avoid receiving what they already have. Therefore, check on the graduation invitation card if there are recommendations one wishes to receive.
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Graduate Personalities and Preferences
Do you know what excites the graduate? If the graduate is a close family member or friend, you may know their personality.
You may even know their love language. Therefore, give them what would excite them.
The most important thing is to make the graduate feel loved and valued. And there is no better time to do it than on this special day.
Giving a graduation present can reduce your tax burden. You may be able to deduct the present cost from your taxes as long as you give it to celebrate someone's achievement or progress in their graduate school program.
IRS lets you give up to a certain amount annually without filing tax returns for the gift. This annual exclusion amount changes with factors like inflation. In 2022, the amount one can give without getting taxed is $16000per per person receiving the gift.
So whether you're planning on buying something special for the graduate or donating money to their college fund, doing so could save you some extra income!
Why Would Graduates Prefer Cash as Graduation Gifts?
Research from a Hallmark study shows that 95% of graduates prefer receiving cash as a graduation gift. Why is that so?
The graduate is celebrating his achievements and preparing for another phase of life ahead of him. The new stage comes with new responsibilities. That may be why he would prefer to receive money as a gift.
This may be because they want to use the cash they get as a graduation gift in different ways, which may include:
- Pay student loans. Most students depend on student loans to cater to their studies. One may want to start paying it immediately when he graduates to avoid accumulating debts.
- Pay for their education. This is especially when they desire to advance their education immediately after graduation.
- Save. The graduate may desire to start saving in their emergency fund. Some may want to invest in stocks and shares.
- Start life on their own. Most college graduates want to venture on their own after graduation. They desire to move out of their parent's home and start living independently. Therefore, monetary gifts may help them to start doing life.
- To help to relocate. The graduate may be planning to move out to a new city or state. The cash may help in covering the relocation and settling expenses.
- Start a job: Some graduates may want to venture into entrepreneurship after graduation. It can be starting online jobs like starting a blog, becoming a Youtuber, or doing freelance jobs like writing, graphic designing, transcription, or web development, depending on their skills or preferences. If they want to pursue freelance jobs, it means searching online or through various freelance platforms and job boards like Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer, Fiverr, Guru, Solidgigs, Flexjobs, and ZipRecruiter. Also, it may involve contacting companies directly to inquire about openings.
For the above reasons, it will be great to consider helping the graduate start life after school easily. So, consider giving out cash gifts to help students reach their financial goals. You may also use that cash to direct it where the graduate desires.
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Graduation Non-Monetary Gifts
Apart from cash, it will be appropriate to give out other presents like:
- Electronics and a laptop,
- Gift cards,
- Personalized gifts like a mug, journal, diary,
- Travel bag,
- A car
- A house
- Sports gifts or something precious to the graduate.
How to Present the Graduation Gift to a College and High-school Graduate?
Presenting the gift may also create memorable gestures for the recipient. Plan to present it in creative and innovative ways. This can be like:
- Inserting cash in the balloons and blowing out the balloons
- Create a money tree
- Place money in the book and present it as a gift
- Make paper flowers out of money
- Liaise with the cake baker to insert cash into the cake
- Gift an album of the pre-graduation photos with money in it.
How Much Money to Give for College Graduation Gift 2022
How much graduation money to give the graduate remains a personal choice. You need to give out of your heart. Give the best gift you can afford. A gift you are proud of. The best graduation gift is one that you would give out gladly and confidently.
How much money can you give for college graduation as a gift?
There is no size fit all answer as it depends on different factors. However, most agree that the average amount is $50. Depending on your relationship with the person or what you can afford, you can give even as little as $20 to as high as $500. Overall, only give what you can comfortably afford.
Do you give different cash amounts to college and high-school graduates as gifts on their graduation day?
Yes. Since they are on different levels and their next phase differs, consider different gifts. However, this depends on different factors like your income level, relationship, and graduates' request.
What is the best non-monetary gift to give as a graduation gift?
There are numerous non-monetary gifts that you may consider. They include a cake, sports gear, a getaway trip, or even a shopping voucher. The list is endless.