Women also feel more obligated than men to purchase a high school or college graduation gift for anyone who invites them to a graduation party.
It’s graduation season, and if life was like Oprah Winfrey former daytime TV series, then perhaps parents and grandparents might be shouting, “You get a graduation gift (and) you get a graduation gift. Everybody gets a graduation gift.” In real life, it doesn’t quite work that way and even Affluent households are prioritizing who gets a gift to mark graduation from high school or college.
Last year, Americans were forecast to spend $4.6 billion on presents for their graduates, according to a consumer spending trends survey conducted for the National Retail Federation.
This was down slightly from the previous year’s forecast of $4.7 billion.
The top three gifts, according to the NRF survey:
- Cash (56.7 percent)
- Card (42.8 percent)
- Gift card (32.1 percent)
Just one-in-ten planned to buy electronics or clothes.
So who can most likely expect to receive a high school or college graduation present? Immediate family members are most likely to receive recognition of their scholastic rite of passage. Nearly nine-in-ten Affluent households surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionare Corner said they would be buying a graduation gift for their child.
The next most likely to receive a gift are close friends of the family (49 percent) followed by extended family members (39 percent).
Etiquette dictates to 23 percent of respondents that graduation gifts be bestowed on anyone who invites them to a graduation party.
(Only six percent said they don’t feel it is important to give graduation gifts to anyone, while a mere two percent buy high school or college graduation presents for all the graduates they know.
Net worth is not a significant factor in these graduation gift-giving decisions, although extended family members and close friends are more likely to receive a present from acquaintances with at least $1 million net worth.
Nor does gender play a major role in deciding who gets a graduation present, although women are more likely than men to buy gifts for close friends (54 percent vs. 46 percent). Women also feel more obligated than men to purchase a high school or college graduation gift for anyone who invites them to a graduation party (29 percent vs. 19 percent).
Across age groups, those up to age 50 are more likely than their older counterparts to feel the obligation to get a graduation present for a close friend. Those under 40 are almost twice as likely as respondents over all to feel that a graduation present is unnecessary (11 percent vs. 6 percent).
Maybe they could be won over if they were invited to a graduation party.
Related story: Future millionaires--High school graduation rate on the rise
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.