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Back to School Gift Ideas: Gifts Every Student Needs

It’s back to school time! Whether school takes the form of virtual or in-person learning, everyone’s favorite activity is here: back to school shopping! Some things are must-buys for a new school year. From pens, pencils and folders to jeans, shoes and backpacks, students need all kinds of supplies to have a successful school year.

Here are 10 back to school gift ideas for students. Whether you are buying for a Kindergartener or a college senior, these gifts are actually useful and will get them excited for the new year.

1. Desk for Homework and Studying

study desk for school

Good desk space is a must-have. If you’re setting up a room at home for students to study virtually or do their homework, or if you’re helping your new college student with a dorm room, set them up for success with a spacious desk. This sleek writing desk from Bed Bath & Beyond fits the décor of almost any room and has plenty of space for a tablet, computer and books. Add a cool desk chair for a complete set!

2. Happy Student Gift Card

Happy Student Gift Card

With the Happy Student Gift Card, your student can purchase what they need the most. Or they can just buy something they really want! The Happy Student Gift Card can be used at Bed Bath & Beyond, World Market, Foot Locker, American Eagle and more. A gift card is always a great gift because the recipient can decide what to use it on, so you know it will be put to good use.

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printable gift card holders

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3. Desktop Organizer

vintage camera desk organizer

It’s not back to school without lots of new writing supplies. Even in today’s digital age, students still rely on pens, paper, paper clips and more for studying and staying organized. A home desktop organizer is perfect for organizing all the supplies needed every day for class. 

4. New Pair of Shoes

red puma shoes

Kick off the school year with a new pair of sneakers for athletics, recess, P.E. class or backyard play. Let your students pick their own pair and show off their personal style. If you’re looking for a pair as a surprise gift, a pair of red Pumas or bright yellow and pink Jordans are both great options.

5. Back-to-School Backpack

white adidas backpack

Every kid needs a backpack for school, both for organization and for toting their stuff between classes, making this a great back to school gift idea for students. Kids love choosing their own, but if you need some ideas, check out this style from Adidas. You really can’t go wrong with a backpack for back to school.

6. First Day Outfit

back-to-school wardobe

Students like to feel confident and comfortable on their first day of school. This year, masks are an accessory students can personalize to their own style. Maybe your student would like a fun top or new pair of jeans, leggings or joggers. Whatever they like, clothing is always a good go-to gift for students.

7. Tech Accessories

pro laptop desk station

Tech is a must-have for school, whether they are learning virtually or in-person. A wireless charging pad will keep their phone charged without the fuss of cables and dongles. A pro laptop desk will let them study wherever they’re comfortable while still staying organized. And when they’re having a long day, a portable power bank will keep their devices charged for every class and study session.

8. Blankets and Pillows

school study area pillows

Help them build the ultimate study corner with comfy pillows and blankets. New blankets and pillows are also much-needed items for college students who are decorating their new dorm room. Give them a cozy blanket or throw. A comfy floor pillow or pouf will fit the space and provide a way for your student and their friends to hang out together in the room – a win-win.

9. Laundry Care

handheld clothes steamer

For college students, laundry items are a must—especially if this is their first time doing laundry on their own. Consider a handheld steamer to get out those pesky wrinkles, a space-saving collapsible laundry basket or a convenient laundry duffel.

10. Storage Solutions

desk organizer bins

Organization is key for back to school. For your college student, this underbed storage collection might be the ticket, or perhaps a dorm desk study station is a great way to get started. A set of baskets for catch-all organization or a sleek bedside caddy can help to declutter all the clutter as school begins.

Those are 10 back to school gift ideas that students actually need (and will use!). If you’re not sure exactly which gift to get or if you think your student will like all of them, go with the Happy Student Gift Card. Most of the gift ideas on this list can be bought at the stores featured on the card. You can’t go wrong and they get exactly what they want!

More Gift Guides & Inspiration

Happy Gift Cards issued by MetaBank, Member FDIC. Card valid only in the US, no cash or ATM access. Use your Happy Gift Card to purchase goods and services at locations listed on card.

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