Americans will spend $5.4 billion this year on graduation gifts for high school and college graduates.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $5.4 billion this year on graduation gifts for high school and college graduates. A new Spectrem Group
Investor Pulse survey polled Affluent households about who in their circles is most likely to get a graduation gift and how much they will spend on them.
Immediate family members take top priority for Affluent graduation gift-givers, followed by close friends and extended family members. One-fourth indicates it is important to reciprocate gifts to anyone who invites them to a graduation party. Between men and women, a larger percentage of the latter feel it is important to bestow a graduation gift on close friends (55 percent vs. 47 percent) and to anyone who invites them to a graduation party (31 percent vs. 20 percent). Similarly, across the generations, Gen Xers ages 41-50 are the most likely to consider it important to give graduation gifts to close friends and anyone who invites them to a graduation party. Graduates may hope that their parents’ friends are Republicans. Affluent respondents who identify their political affiliation as with the GOP are more likely than their Democrat or Independent counterparts to state it is important to give a graduation gift to close friends (53 percent vs. 49 percent and 47 percent, respectively).
Now comes the big question: How much is appropriate to spend on a graduation gift? The largest percentages of Affluent respondents indicate that a reasonable price range is $50-$100 for high school graduates (43 percent) and college graduates (32 percent). But they are more likely to spend higher for gifts for the college grad, Just over one-fourth (26 percent) believe $100-$150 is an appropriate amount to spend on a gift for a college graduate, compared to 21 percent who believe that an appropriate amount for a gift for a high school graduate. Sixteen percent think that over $200 is appropriate to spend on a gift for a college graduate; only 5 percent would spend that much for a high school grad.These attitudes are shared across age, gender and even political affiliation with the largest percentage of Republicans and Democrats and Independents believing that between $50-$100 is appropriate to spend on either the high school or college graduate.
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.