RSS Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Featured Advisor

Asset Preservation Advisors


State: GA

APA’s philosophy is to work closely with our clients to develop an in-depth understanding of their unique needs and objectives. We then customize a municipal bond portfolio that best meets their specific goals and needs. APA manages high quality municipal bond portfolios in four strategies: Short-Term, Intermediate-Term, High Income, and Taxable.

Click to see the full profile

Share |

How Much Should I Give for a Graduation Gift?

How much should I give a high school or college grad? And who should I give a gift to, every graduate I know? Here’s what investors have to say.

| BY Adriana Reyneri

Is Pomp and Circumstances playing an endless loop in your head? Is your mail box filling up with graduation announcements from acquaintances, neighbors, close friends and family members? Are you asking yourself, how much should I give for a graduation gift and who should I give it to?

Before you turn into a check writing machine, consider the advice of 1,400 investors surveyed in May by Millionaire Corner. It may be a relief to learn that very few investors (less than 3 percent) feel it’s important to give a graduation gift to all the graduates they know. On the other hand, the vast majority (88 percent) feels it’s important to give graduation presents to immediate family and 45 percent say it’s important to gift the graduates of close friends. Two-in-five would give graduation presents to extended family.

Still wondering, “How much should I give?” For the high school graduates on your list, it looks like you can get away with less than $100. Most investors (57 percent) say that’s the appropriate amount for a high school grad of a close friend or family member, though 40 percent are more comfortable giving between $100 and $500.

Wondering how much to give for a wedding shower gift? Click here to find out what affluent investors have to say.

College graduates deserve more, according to many investors.  Most investors (54 percent) say it’s appropriate to give the college grad of a close friend or family member between $100 and $500, though 35 percent say less than $100 is appropriate.  More than 6 percent would give between $500 and $1,000, and 3 percent would give between $1000 and $2,000. (Chances are, your college grad could use a little cash. See our related story on college debt.)

Rich friends and relatives are likely to respond more generously to “how much should I give?” Half of Millionaires would give a high school graduate between $100 and $500, and 60 percent would give a college grad between $100 and $500. In comparison, 27 percent of individuals with investable assets of less than $100,000 feel it’s appropriate to give between $100 and $500 to a high school grad, and 46 percent would give between $100 and $500 to a college grad.

Men are more likely than women to give large graduation gifts, according to our research, but women have a greater tendency to give gifts in general. Accordingly, grads are more likely to get a gift from a woman, but a gift from a man is likely to be a bigger one. More than half the women surveyed (53 percent) say it’s important to give graduation gifts to close friends, compared to 39 percent of men. And 45 percent of women advocate giving graduation gifts to extended family members, compared to 36 percent of the men. (Women, in general put the financial needs of others before their own. See our related story Frugality vs. Mommy Guilt.)