When you’re considering Christmas gifts for college students that you know, consider that life as a college student is usually filled with budget concerns. Financial aid doesn’t often cover more than tuition and books. Rarely do you have the time to work a full time job, and often you get little more than minimum wage for the hours you are able to work. For this reason, gift cards and gift certificates are always welcome, whether it be for Christmas, a birthday gift, or just a general “thinking of you” present.
If the student in your life lives off campus then gas costs can be a big concern. Driving to and from school and work can use up gas quickly, especially if driving an older, less fuel efficient car. Driving home for Christmas can eat up a lot of gas money as well. Gas station and convenience store gift cards are very helpful. Shell, Texaco, and BP all offer prepaid gift cards. Your student can use these not only to purchase gas for his or car but also to grab a bite to eat or something to drink while on the way to class. Make sure that these type of cards have a fairly high amount on them so as to be useful. $25 or $50 gift cards would be especially helpful.
Most students use technology a lot in their daily lives. Whether they take notes on a laptop, or relax by playing computer games with their friends, high tech gadgets are plentiful and adored. If the student uses Apple brand devices a gift card to an Apple store would be a very welcome present. Newegg.com – a seller of games, computer parts, flash drives and more – offers gift certificates for their site if you have a Visa card with which to buy them. Circuit City and Best Buy gift cards are also good choices.
Online gift cards and certificates are often a good choice for Christmas gifts, especially if you don’t live in the same area as the student. Just because a store is popular in your area doesn’t guarantee there’s one near your student’s abode. A perfect choice is Amazon.com – shipping is free on most items if you spend $25 or more and the recipient can use the card for just about anything – books for school, video games for stress relief, audio books for the commute to school or work, and all kinds of other items.
If you want to get a gift card that is more fun than useful think about the student’s interests. Are they crafty? A gift card for Joann Fabrics or Hobby Lobby would be an excellent choice since craft supply costs can add up quickly. This is also a good choice for art students since canvas and paints can get expensive quickly. Again, consider what is near your student’s location. Joann stores are often spread out and just because there’s one right down the street from you doesn’t mean there will be one within driving distance for the student. Using an online store locator is a good idea before purchasing a card. These stores often have big sales around Christmas so your student can pick up a lot of goodies.
Lastly, college students don’t always eat well. Especially if they live on campus or by themselves cooking is often not a priority. Keep them from eating nothing but prepackaged noodles by giving them gift cards to restaurants they’d enjoy. You can get a card for a more expensive restaurant such as O’Charley’s or Red Lobster as a treat, or get them certificates for smaller and cheaper places such as Sonic and McDonald’s. As long as you know the student enjoys food from whichever restaurant you choose, this card is sure to be a hit. If the student won’t make be able to make it home for Christmas, a big traditional meal from a good restaurant is a nice consolation.