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Countdown to college: Great gift ideas to help you say congrats to your grad

By Lee Shulman Bierer, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Education News

Travel HoodiePillow ($20, www.dormify.com): Featured on the popular reality show "Shark Tank," this hooded pillowcase is made from a soft sweatshirt material that covers a pillow insert which deflates.


Create your own "off to college" survival kit. This is a great idea if you are industrious, frugal and have multiple gifts to purchase. Some items you might include:

Put together a laundry basket with the supplies they'll need to do their own laundry: soap, a roll of quarters, stain remover, fabric softener, etc.

Design your own basket filled with their favorite candies and snacks, plus gift cards to their favorite coffee shops and restaurants.

Purchase a hot pot for cooking their favorite soups, snacks, hot cocoa, etc. Personalize it by adding a hand-compiled recipe book of simple things they can make with limited kitchen resources.

Keep them safe with a first-aid kit. You can buy one ready-made or put together a kit yourself. Include bandages, anti-bacterial cleansing wipes, Advil, Neosporin, Benedryl, matches, tape, gauze and scissors.


Get them a basic tool kit that includes a hammer and screwdriver, or find a kit with a little of everything.

Homesick candles offers large scented candles with a label displaying a student's home state. ($30.00, www.uncommongoods.com)

Check out etsy.com for creative grad gift boxes ($28.00).

Lee Shulman Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte, N.C. Visit her website College Admissions Strategies.

Visit The Charlotte Observer at www.charlotteobserver.com

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