50+ Best Gifts for Online College Students (Ultimate Gift Guide)

gift boxes and books, bandaged by ribbon, on a white background
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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.

Check out all the benefits of Prime StudentOpens in a new tab.. Click hereOpens in a new tab. to sign up for Prime Student.

2. School supplies

Both in-person and online students need basic school supplies like sticky notes, pensOpens in a new tab., pencilsOpens in a new tab., notebooksOpens in a new tab., bindersOpens in a new tab., and highlightersOpens in a new tab..

Here is a good deal on a ton of Post-itsOpens in a new tab., or consider an assortment of sizes for color-codingOpens in a new tab..

There are even reusable sticky notesOpens in a new tab.!

Check out these erasable highlightersOpens in a new tab.! So cool!

Buy the amount of supplies that fit your budget and gift them a school supply restocking.

3. Cord organizer

A cord organizerOpens in a new tab. sticks to a desk and holds all the different cords (laptop, tablet, phone, light, etc..) to keep the area tidy.

4. Screen protector

Screen protectors are an inexpensive and useful gift. This is the brandOpens in a new tab. that I use, and I think they are great quality. You can get screen protectors for their phoneOpens in a new tab. or their iPadOpens in a new tab..

5. Cleaning brush for electronics

brush to clean electronics is inexpensive and useful to keep their laptops clean.

6. Headphone jack adapter

Opens in a new tab.

One of the least expensive options (around $10 to be exact) that can also still be useful is a Headphone Jack AdapterOpens in a new tab.. 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 padOpens in a new tab. can be a great gift to help them avoid wrist pain.

8. Flash drive

A flash driveOpens in a new tab. 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 trackerOpens in a new tab.! 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 glassesOpens in a new tab. can help with eye strain and headaches. It makes extended screen time easier.

11. Planner

Help them stay organized by giving them a cute plannerOpens in a new tab..

12. Desk lamp

A good desk lampOpens in a new tab. for their study space helps avoid eye strain and makes a great gift.

13. Desk organizer

A desk organizerOpens in a new tab. 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 drawerOpens in a new tab..

14. USB-C to USB adapter

If they have a more recent Mac, they will need a USB-C to USB adapterOpens in a new tab. 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 oneOpens in a new tab. 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

A care package is a nice gift for any time throughout the year. You can get beauty care packagesOpens in a new tab., snack care packagesOpens in a new tab., or a wide assortment of other kindsOpens in a new tab..

My mom has gotten me this care packageOpens in a new tab. before, and I liked it. I eat mostly the same things, so the variety of snacks was fun.

Collegecarepackages.comOpens in a new tab. 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

Opens in a new tab.

A tablet caseOpens in a new tab. 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 laptop case is a great gift. There are so many cute cases, such as ones with bright colors with keyboard protectorsOpens in a new tab. and this adorable one that looks like a bookOpens in a new tab..

A protective laptop case Opens in a new tab.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 stripOpens in a new tab. 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 stripOpens in a new tab..

22. Extra-long charger

When you aren’t near an outlet or a power strip, an extra-long chargerOpens in a new tab. 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 footrestOpens in a new tab. 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!

I have used McAfeeOpens in a new tab. in the past, and now I use MalwarebytesOpens in a new tab.. You can’t go wrong with either.

25. Electronics organizer

This electronics organizerOpens in a new tab. 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

A great sturdy water bottle is such an underrated gift! Two popular brands are S’well and Hydro FlaskOpens in a new tab..

27. Tea essentials

Tea lovers will appreciate an electric kettleOpens in a new tab. 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 KeurigOpens in a new tab. is highly rated and takes up little space.

Coffee mug warmer

A coffee mug warmerOpens in a new tab. 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 MakerOpens in a new tab..

29. Smart Notebook

A reusable notebookOpens in a new tab. is an eco-friendly gift for college students who take a ton of notes.

30. Blankets

Comfy blanket

One can never have too many comfy blanketsOpens in a new tab..

Heated blanket

If the student you know lives in areas where it gets really cold, then a heated blanketOpens in a new tab. can help keep them cozy while studying or relaxing.

Weighted blanket

Weighted blanketsOpens in a new tab. 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: 

  • Leggings
  • Slippers
  • Pullover 
  • 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 clockOpens in a new tab. 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 backpackOpens in a new tab. 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 bagOpens in a new tab.. 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 padOpens in a new tab. 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!

Here is a popular lap desk with cushionsOpens in a new tab., and here is a popular one with a mouse padOpens in a new tab..

37. Adjustable laptop stand

Adjustable laptop stands can vary from a simple stand used to adjust the angle of a laptopOpens in a new tab. to a desk with adjustable heightOpens in a new tab. so that you can use your laptop standing up.

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.

38. Pillows  

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 pillowOpens in a new tab. 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 ComfyOpens in a new tab..

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 massagerOpens in a new tab..

41. Webcam

Online students will have to do a lot of video calls, so a high-quality webcamOpens in a new tab. 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?Opens in a new tab. and Can a Teacher Force You to Turn On Your Camera on Zoom?Opens in a new tab.

42. Subscription

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)Opens in a new tab..

43. Battery pack (Portable charger)

A portable chargerOpens in a new tab. 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 lightOpens in a new tab. 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.

Using an external hard driveOpens in a new tab. is a great way to back up everything. I personally like and use Seagate external hard drivesOpens in a new tab..

For only a little more expensive, you can buy a year’s Dropbox subscriptionOpens in a new tab.. 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 AmazonOpens in a new tab. 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 2Opens in a new tab., 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 cubeOpens in a new tab. that they can mount on their computer.

49. Grammarly subscription

I waited until my last semester of college to get a premium Grammarly subscriptionOpens in a new tab., and boy do I wish that I had gotten it sooner. The free version is great, but the premium versionOpens in a new tab. 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 headphonesOpens in a new tab. are literally my favorite possession! I would always recommend Bose.

AirPodsOpens in a new tab. are also super popular headphones, and the AirPods ProOpens in a new tab. are noise-canceling.

51. Wifi range extender

A Wifi range extenderOpens in a new tab. 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.

52. Printer

Online students often don’t think they need a printer, but they end up wishing they had one. That makes a printerOpens in a new tab. the perfect gift!

Learn more about Do I Need a Printer for Online Classes? The Definitive Answer!Opens in a new tab.

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 monitorOpens in a new tab..

54. Tablet

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 iPadOpens in a new tab. for Christmas last year, and I love it!

55. Laptop

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!

I personally love MacsOpens in a new tab., specifically the MacBook ProOpens in a new tab.. I think they are worth the money. But for a less expensive option, I liked my HP laptopOpens in a new tab..

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)Opens in a new tab..

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.Opens in a new tab.

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