The Best Grad Gift Is Money — and Lots of It

What's Hot


The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

A new survey finds that consumers consider $165 an appropriate gift for a high school graduate. How about a college grad?

Stumped on what to give the 2014 graduate after they collect their hard-earned diploma?

A new survey from RetailMeNot found that half of consumers think money is the best way to congratulate a new graduate. But how much money is adequate? That depends on the graduate’s level of schooling. According to the survey:

  • High school grad. Most people think $165 is a good gift.
  • College graduates. Earn a college degree and you could collect a bigger monetary gift. On average, consumers consider $464 an appropriate gift amount for a college grad.
  • Graduate school grads. You could potentially receive the biggest gift if you graduate from grad school. Most people think $772 is an adequate gift for a grad school graduate.

Am I really cheap, or do those monetary gifts seem steep? I didn’t expect, nor did I receive, anything close to those amounts when I graduated from high school or college. Sure, that was a decade ago (OK, a decade plus a few more years), but I can’t imagine giving that kind of money as a grad gift.

If you’re looking to give a graduation gift without breaking the bank, check out our list of budget-friendly grad gifts.

RetailMeNot said 1 in 5 people surveyed graduated from college with some debt. The average debt was $22,988. But about 23 percent of people owed $30,000 or more. So money seems to be a practical, and much-needed, gift for a new graduate.

The survey also indicates that graduates wish they would have received more advice about the realities of adult life, including: saving money, avoiding spending beyond their means, being wary of credit cards, finding a job quickly and investing. After all, they’re facing a brutal job market.

How much would you spend on a graduation gift? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right Now

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,824 more deals!