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How Much to Give for High School Graduation and 7 Appropriate High School Graduation Gifts.

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

Percentage of young adults who have completed high school in the U.S. from 2010 to 2018.

Source: Statista

The pass rate from high school as seen in the above chart is very encouraging. It’s also great to see that it’s pretty much remained consistent over a long time.

Being counted among the successful 90% is the pride and joy of every parent. And so we can understand wanting to congratulate the new graduate for accomplishing the completion of high school and getting ready for the next exciting phase of their career and life.

This article provides helpful answers to the question of what is an appropriate monetary gift for high school graduation as well as some unique money gift ideas for graduation.

What is an appropriate high school graduation money gift? Appropriate monetary gift for high school graduation.

It is generally advisable not to give too much money as a high school graduation gift. The idea of giving cash gifts for high school graduates is to encourage the high school graduate for performing well, rather than to enrich or give a wad of cash that could potentially distract them.

It is generally advisable not to give too much money as a high school graduation gift. The idea of giving cash gifts for high school graduates is to encourage the high school graduate for performing well, rather than to enrich or give a wad of cash that could potentially distract them.

This is why, generally, an appropriate monetary gift for high school graduation is any amount between $10 – $300. The amount you give from this spectrum will be determined by:

1. Your budget.

This is usually the main determinant of how much you can give as a high school graduation gift. If you are on a very tight budget, you could give anything between $10 – $50. If you have a little more to give, and depending on your relationship with the high school graduate, you can give as high as $150 – $300.

2. Your relationship with the high school graduate.

Your monetary gift to the high school graduate will also depend on your relationship with them. It is generally advisable not to give a lot of money if you are not closely related to the high school graduate. And the reason is so that it does not create an unreasonable expectation of what the monetary gift from close family members should be.

Depending on your relationship with the high school graduate, the standard graduation gift amount for the different relationships with the high school graduate is as follows:

  • For peers and friends of the high school graduate.

Peers and friends of the high school graduate are usually in the same age bracket and would therefore not usually have a lot of money to spare. For persons in this category monetary gifts of as little as $10 – $15 are understandable. Your friend will understand that you’re probably in the same boat with them cashwise. They would not expect you to go broke over a graduation gift.

  • For family friends.

The persons in this category are likely older adults and/or young adults who might have a little more cash than the peers of the high school graduate. And for persons in this category, any amount between $30 – $50 would be a good monetary gift for high school graduation.

  • Extended family members.

In this category would be distant aunts and uncles, cousins, and other extended family members that may be close to the family. Persons in this category given their closer relationship to the high school graduate when compared to the first two categories would generally be expected to give a little more. Amounts in the range of $50 – $100 would be considered a standard graduation gift amount.

  • Immediate family members.

Immediate family members would include siblings, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and grandparents. These persons have a closer relationship to the high school graduate than members of the extended family. And thus, the expectation is usually higher. Except for siblings who are likely in the same age bracket as the high school graduate, older members of the immediate family will usually be expected to give anything in the region of $100 – $150.

  • Parents.

And of course, the parents always take the crown or are at least expected to take the crown when it comes to monetary gifts for high school graduation. Unless of course the parents are on a very tight budget and cannot afford to be too liberal with monetary gifts, the standard graduation gift amount for parents ranges from $150 – $300.

If however as a parent you cannot afford to give such a high amount you can instead opt for other types of gift that isn’t cash. In the next sections, we provide helpful suggestions on other appropriate high school graduation gifts that can be given by parents.

If as a parent you cannot afford to give as high as $150, it may be prudent to inform friends and other family members to try and cap their monetary gift to an amount that you are comfortable with. Or you can invite them to contribute the money towards the monies you’ve set aside to buy them college supplies.

3. The desires of the parents of the high school graduate.

This is perhaps the most important consideration in determining what the appropriate graduation gift amount to give is. This is the most important consideration because at the end of the day the high school graduate is likely still a minor under the care of their parents.

In addition, you don’t want to give a cash gift that may create tension at home because the parents might deem it inappropriate. Perhaps the parents have other plans and ideas about what an appropriate high school graduation gift would be for their child. This is why before giving any monetary gift, it is advisable to check in with the parents first.

For creative ways to give a monetary gift for high school graduation, check out our helpful article on Creative ways to give money for graduation.

5 Typical high school graduation gift.

Leading graduation gift categories in the United States as of May 2021.

Source: Statista

Sometimes you don’t have to look beyond typical graduation gifts to give a gift that would mean the world to the new graduate. Even with any of the typical high school graduation gifts listed here, you would still bring a smile to your new high school graduate’s face. Try out any of these graduation gifts if you are looking for a typical high school graduation gift to give.

1. Cash.

Cash remains the number one gift of choice when it comes to high school graduation gifts. It is not hard to see why. With cash, the new high school graduate can decide what they want to do with it. They can take themselves out and buy anything of their choosing and spoil themselves with any gift they want.

2. Congratulations card.

A heartwarming congratulatory card would always be welcome. Buy a heartwarming card with a sweet congratulatory message on it. Or you could hand-craft one with special personalized features like your pictures with them coupled with some inspiring message for the next phase of their journey. They can decorate their room with the cards and be reminded of accomplishing the remarkable feat of graduating from high school.

3. Monetary Gift card.

A monetary gift card from a popular retailer like Amazon or any other shop of choice would gladden the heart of the high school graduate when they open it. This gift also allows them to spoil themselves with whatever merchandise they want to buy from such retail outfits.

4. Personalized congratulatory merchandise.

This is another typical graduation gift that has a heartwarming effect. Such merchandise includes graduation bracelets, graduation hoodies, graduation t-shirts, personalized graduation photo frames, and graduation keychains which can be purchased from Amazon for instance.

5. Electronic gadgets.

Gadgets like headphones, portable Bluetooth speakers, phones, and Instax cameras are popular with high school students and are usually appreciated as high school graduation gifts.

You may also like these high school graduation gifts related articles – High school graduation gifts for niece and High school graduation gifts for sister.

2 Other great high school graduation gifts from parents.

In addition to the typical high school graduation gifts listed above, parents of the graduating high schooler can also spoil them with these 2 amazing gifts.

6. Laptop.

Even though this may be a little pricey, this is one of the best gifts you can give a high school graduate, especially one who is college-bound. This is one gift that will come in handy for them in college. They would be able to get their assignments done with ease, take notes in class, and unwind now and again by watching a movie or anything else on it.

7. College supplies.

If your son/daughter is going off to college immediately then this is one gift category you can’t go wrong with. Important college supplies they should have include:

  • First aid kit/materials;
  • Dorm supplies like toiletry, laundry basket, clock, reading lamp;
  • Stationary – writing materials, pencil case, and the works;
  • A backpack;
  • College clothing – hoodies, sneakers, and the works.

You may also like this related article on College graduation gifts from parents.

Frequently asked questions.

1. What is the average high school graduation gift amount?

The average high school graduation gift amount is anything in the range of $10 to $100. It can however go as high as $300 with big spenders.

2. What are some unique money gift ideas for graduation?

You can give the money in the form of a gift card or gift voucher loaded with money from their favorite store. Wrap the gift card/voucher beautifully in a card or envelope and give it to them after the graduation ceremony. They would love it.

3. How much cash for high school graduation gift?

This will depend on your budget. It can be as low as $10 and as high as $300. Or it can be somewhere in the middle like $100 or $150. And remember to find out from their parents if they have any preferences.

4. What is an appropriate high school graduation gift?

Any of the 7 items listed in this article would be an appropriate high school graduation gift. Remember to give whatever gift you purchase an extra personal touch, as much as possible. For instance, you can buy the college supplies as a gift basket or wrap everything together as a gift basket with a sweet thoughtful message on it.

Conclusion.

Graduating from high school is a significant accomplishment because not everyone gets to graduate from high school. At least 5% end up not graduating (see the first chart). And so, for your high school graduate, you should proud of them. And there is no better way to show them how proud of them you are than through an appropriate high school graduation gift.

Typical high school graduation gifts include cash, congratulatory cards, and personalized congratulatory merchandise. When it comes to cash, the idea is not to give the high school graduate a lot of money. Small amounts of money are encouraged and anything above $100, should get the parent’s consent. As little as $10 would be an appropriate monetary gift for high school graduation especially if you are either not very close to the graduate or are in the same age bracket as the graduate.

Given that some high school graduates are likely to still be minors, it is always advisable to find out from their parents if they have any preferences for high school graduation gifts for their child.

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