It can be hard to know what to get an online college student, especially if you have never been an online student. Luckily, there are a ton of options.
A good gift for online college students is anything they can use for school or anything that makes their lives easier. This includes gift cards, planners, care packages, headphones, laptop accessories, or a Grammarly subscription.
Here is a list of over 50 of the best gifts for online college students ordered from least to most expensive for your budget’s convenience.
1. Gift cards
I feel like somewhere along the way, gift cards got a bad rap for being boring or impersonal. I think this is absurd! Gift cards are one of the best and most versatile gifts you can give someone, especially a college student.
You can tailor the amount to your budget and get them a gift card to their favorite places.
You can get them a gift card to:
- their favorite nail place
- a massage or spa
- their favorite restaurant
- their favorite clothing stores
- where they get their groceries
- Starbucks or another coffee place
- an Amazon gift card (among everything else, they can use this to buy their textbooks)
- Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, or another of their favorite entertainment subscriptions
- Best Buy
- Uber or Lyft
I know Visa gift cards are popular but honestly, if you are going to give them that, just give them cash. As they say, cash is king! But I do think that a gift card to their favorite place is more thoughtful than cash.
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2. School supplies
There are even reusable sticky notes!
Check out these erasable highlighters! So cool!
Buy the amount of supplies that fit your budget and gift them a school supply restocking.
3. Cord organizer
A cord organizer sticks to a desk and holds all the different cords (laptop, tablet, phone, light, etc..) to keep the area tidy.
4. Screen protector
5. Cleaning brush for electronics
A brush to clean electronics is inexpensive and useful to keep their laptops clean.
6. Headphone jack adapter
One of the least expensive options (around $10 to be exact) that can also still be useful is a Headphone Jack Adapter. I have gone through many of these, so they always make a good gift for someone who uses headphones that aren’t wireless.
7. Keyboard wrist pad
For people that spend a long time typing, a keyboard wrist pad can be a great gift to help them avoid wrist pain.
8. Flash drive
A flash drive is an inexpensive gift that can save students headaches by ensuring they can back up their papers.
9. Habit tracker
I love a good habit tracker! College students often can get so busy writing their essays and studying for finals that they can forget about other habits or goals they want to work on.
This habit tracker can help them stay focused on their goals, academic or otherwise.
10. Blue light blocking glasses
Online college students have to spend hours staring at a computer screen. Blue light-blocking glasses can help with eye strain and headaches. It makes extended screen time easier.
Help them stay organized by giving them a cute planner.
12. Desk lamp
A good desk lamp for their study space helps avoid eye strain and makes a great gift.
13. Desk organizer
A desk organizer is an inexpensive gift to help them organize all the pens, highlighters, and sticky notes in their workspace.
You can also get an organizer for inside their desk drawer.
14. USB-C to USB adapter
If they have a more recent Mac, they will need a USB-C to USB adapter to be able to plug in anything that is a USB.
15. Do not disturb sign
A “Studying: Please do not disturb” type sign like this one will be helpful for someone that taking online classes in a house that has several other people living there (especially kids).
Everyone can learn that when the do not disturb sign is out, they need to leave the person alone and can’t come into that room.
16. Food or snacks
You can give them some of their favorite foods or snacks. This could mean taking them to dinner or sending them some goodies.
17. Care package
My mom has gotten me this care package before, and I liked it. I eat mostly the same things, so the variety of snacks was fun.
Collegecarepackages.com also has a ton of different options for care packages.
18. College merchandise
Being an online college student can mean that you miss out on a lot of school events. You can’t go and cheer for your school at sporting events. But it is nice for online students to get to show some school spirit.
They will appreciate their school’s merchandise as a gift. Buy a mug, t-shirt, hoodie, whatever you think they will like best.
19. Tablet case
A tablet case is a gift that is both cute and useful.
Make sure that you check that the one you order fits the make and model of their tablet.
20. Laptop case
A protective laptop case is not as cute, but it will protect their laptop when they are carrying it or traveling with it.
21. Power outlet strip
A power outlet strip can be great when you need to plug in multiple things at your desk (or wherever their study space is).
For those that need an extra-long cord, check out this 12-foot long power strip.
22. Extra-long charger
When you aren’t near an outlet or a power strip, an extra-long charger comes in handy. This is a gift that most students wouldn’t think to ask for but will use.
23. Under desk footrest
When you spend a long time at your desk each day, an under desk footrest makes the perfect gift!
24. Computer anti-virus software
Everyone needs good anti-virus software. This is something that is not very fun to buy, but it makes a super useful gift!
25. Electronics organizer
This electronics organizer provides a case where people can keep all their cords and chargers; you can even store a tablet. It is great for travel.
26. Water bottle
27. Tea essentials
Tea lovers will appreciate an electric kettle or an assortment of teas.
28. Coffee essentials
Apart from a specialty coffee or gift card to Starbucks, there are a few other coffee-related gifts that you can get the coffee you know.
This Keurig is highly rated and takes up little space.
Coffee mug warmer
A coffee mug warmer can be a nice and inexpensive gift.
Iced coffee maker
On the flip side, if you know someone who loves iced coffee, check out this Cold Brew Coffee Maker.
29. Smart Notebook
A reusable notebook is an eco-friendly gift for college students who take a ton of notes.
One can never have too many comfy blankets.
If the student you know lives in areas where it gets really cold, then a heated blanket can help keep them cozy while studying or relaxing.
Weighted blankets can help relieve anxiety.
31. Comfy clothes
Online school means that comfy clothes aren’t just for evenings, weekends, or days off but can be worn around the clock.
Consider getting them:
- Lounge Pants
32. Alarm clock
Just because they don’t have an 8:00 am class that they have to make it to doesn’t mean that online students can sleep all day. Everyone can need some help getting up in the morning, which is why a good alarm clock can be handy.
33. Backpack or laptop bag
Even though online students primarily work from home, they can work anywhere to study or do homework. A good backpack helps them to be able to easily pack up and carry their supplies to a different location so they can study in other spots.
If they aren’t into backpacks, you can get them an over-the-shoulder laptop bag. I think this one is so cute!
34. Interview clothes
Online college students will need interview clothes. You may think they only need them around graduation time, but with career fairs (both in-person and virtual) and internship interviews, they may need them throughout college. A nice pair of pants, a blouse, and a blazer are good things to have on hand.
35. Laptop cooling pad
A laptop cooling pad can help with laptops overheating. This is an excellent gift for online students that spend many hours on their laptops.
36. Lap desk
A lap desk would be a great gift for online students so that they can work while sitting on the couch. I’m adding this to my wish list!
37. Adjustable laptop stand
Look around at the different options (there are a lot) and see which one would be the best gift for the online college student that you know.
A good night’s sleep would be the best gift you give someone. The closest you can come to help with this is by gifting someone a good pillow.
You could also get them a reading pillow to make it easier on their back to read all their textbooks.
39. The Comfy
Being able to be wrapped up and still use your arms? Win, win! That’s The Comfy.
40. Back massager
Between the stress of school and the hours spent sitting at a computer, online college can take a toll. A great self-care gift is a back massager.
Online students will have to do a lot of video calls, so a high-quality webcam can be a good gift.
To find out why it is important to have your camera on during video calls, check out our posts: Camera On or Off? Is It Rude Not to Show Your Face on Zoom? and Can a Teacher Force You to Turn On Your Camera on Zoom?
Get them a subscription to their favorite subscription services such as Spotify, Netflix, or Amazon Prime.
Since they are a student, they can get Amazon Prime for half price. Learn more by reading our guide: Prime Student vs. Prime (Benefits of Prime Student).
43. Battery pack (Portable charger)
A portable charger is perfect for those times when you need to go out, but you forgot to charge your phone or tablet. You can take your charger and battery pack and charge them from anywhere.
I use mine way more than I would ever have expected to.
44. Phone sanitizer and universal charger
These days a phone sanitizer that kills germs using UV light may be one of the best gifts you could give someone. This is on my wishlist!
45. External hard drive or Dropbox subscription
Everyone needs to back up their laptops, but this is especially important for online students. You do not want to lose all your work.
For only a little more expensive, you can buy a year’s Dropbox subscription. This makes it even easier to back up everything by saving it to the cloud.
46. Comfortable office chair
A good chair is essential when you are taking your classes, studying, and doing all your homework from home, which makes a comfortable office chair the perfect gift.
Check around on Amazon for a chair that is reviewed well and fits your budget. Or, if you have a Costco membership, check out their office chairs. I think Costco has excellent quality office furniture (this is where I got my desk and office chair).
47. Fitness tracker
A fitness tracker is an excellent gift for everyone but particularly for online students, since doing school from home leads to a lot of sitting. A fitness tracker will encourage them to get plenty of physical activity.
I have a Fitbit Inspire 2, and I love it! It is small and comfortable, so I can forget that I am even wearing it. I like how it tracks my steps and reminds me to get up and get moving each hour.
48. Lighting for video calls
Being an online student means that they will inevitably have to participate in numerous video calls. Help them look great by giving them perfect lighting for video calls with a Lume cube that they can mount on their computer.
49. Grammarly subscription
I waited until my last semester of college to get a premium Grammarly subscription, and boy do I wish that I had gotten it sooner. The free version is great, but the premium version has so much added value.
It makes editing papers a breeze!
50. Noise-canceling headphones
I could have never made it through studying and doing my schoolwork at home without a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. They are a must-have for online students, especially any that will have to study when it’s noisy.
My Bose noise-canceling headphones are literally my favorite possession! I would always recommend Bose.
51. Wifi range extender
A Wifi range extender can boost the connection if your Wifi signal is spotty in different parts of your home.
This would be a great gift for online students. It will allow them to be able to work from anywhere in their home.
Online students often don’t think they need a printer, but they end up wishing they had one. That makes a printer the perfect gift!
Learn more about Do I Need a Printer for Online Classes? The Definitive Answer!
53. External monitor
Having multiple screens (both a laptop and an external monitor) can be nice. You can have notes or research open on one screen and type the paper on the other screen. It is by no means a necessity, but it can come in handy.
Check around for the best price for an external monitor.
A tablet is an excellent gift, and it can serve as a second screen similar to an external monitor. It is also great to read on, do some assignments, and keep your planner. You cannot do everything for online school on a tablet (you should take tests on a laptop or desktop), but you can do most things.
I got an iPad for Christmas last year, and I love it!
Every online student has to have a laptop. My mom got me a laptop when I started my online courses, and it was the best gift I have ever been given!
This is one gift that I would not get as a surprise. If you are going to spend this amount of money, you should talk to the person you are buying the gift for to find the best laptop for their specific needs.
For discounts, check out my post on Apple Student Discounts (Best Deals and Apple Music Tips).
I hope you now have plenty of ideas on the best gift for online college students.
Pin or bookmark for future reference and share with your friends.
Go forth and shop!
For more gift ideas, check out our 60+ Best Gift Ideas for College Girls.