Graduation Gift - How Much $$$$ is acceptable?

declansmomApril 14, 2008

Hi everyone....I have 2 nieces and 2 nephews who are all graduating this year.....1 from HS, 2 from college and 1 from Law School. I want to give all of them money because that is what they asked for, but I am stumped as to how much to give. Does anyone have any suggestions? TIA

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It really depends on what you can afford. Any amount is "acceptable" because it's a gift. I'm sure they'll appreciate anything.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 4:05PM
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I give $70 for events like this. For law school, I might give $100.

But that's based on *my* income, my geographic location (stuff is more expensive in NYC).

I think my folks would give $50; my DS would give $20. My ILs would give $100 or $200.

All would be acceptable.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 4:42PM
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I've been giving $75 to the grands graduating from college. Would like to give more, but that has been the norm and I don't want to start giving more now. I think I give hs grads $50.00.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 5:10PM
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I give $100 for all graduations, high school or beyond. Got two this May, two nieces.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 6:22PM
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My middle son has graduated from 6 different degree programs - the first Bachelors we gave him $75, and just a card for the others. Then he went for his Master's and we gave him $150. He will be graduating with his PhD in Psychology this coming fall, and I will send him $250.

His wife is degreed out the ying-yang, too, but I haven't given her anything to date. She will have her PhD in forensic science this fall, so I will give her $250 as well.

My stepson will graduate from highschool this May, and I have already gotten him a laptop for $750, so he won't get a lot. I will pay for his trip to Baylor for orientation, which I expect will cost me $500 - maybe I will get a reprieve for a couple of years!!!! I'm kidding, of course!

I love rewarding them for all their hard work - God bless them, because I didn't get the opportunity to finish college.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 6:51PM
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Of course it does depend on your financial situation, so it's up to you to decide. For some people giving $20 would be a stretch.

I think a lot of how much you give depends on how close you are to these nieces and nephews. If not close--if you don't see them or stay in touch, I'd give a lower amount.

I gave $50 to my kids' friends on high school graduation. But for close kids or family, I'd give $100.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 6:57PM
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give what you can...but i think a college grad from law school asking for cash is crazy! if down the line you can hire him or send him business fine...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 7:05PM
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We have given $500 to each of the 3 grandsons graduating from high school, the first one blew it and didn't go to college. The other 2 used the money for a laptop to use in college. We have another graduating next year from high school and one from college. We certainly won't increase the gift for the college grad. I don't think my husband was thinking when he started giving this much knowing we have 6 grandchildren and most will go to college.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 7:19PM
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What did you give the three college graduates for high school graduation? Use that as a reference point. I am a stickler for treating all nieces and nephews the same. I would give the high school graduate the same as you gave the others when they graduated high school. Then decide if you want to give the same, or more, for college graduation.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 9:41PM
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I gave a friend's high school grads $50 each. Wish I could've given them more since they helped take care of my kids when I was in nursing school.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 12:09AM
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For grandkids, graduating from high school, I gave them $100.00 and a quilt I made. For others, it depends on how I know them, but it is usually $20.00. We are in out 70's and on a fixed income. One grandson is is collage and I better think about his graduation from there, in a few years. It ticks me off when the recipiants don't bother to send thankyou cards. There is no excuse for bad manners. Dottie

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 9:55AM
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Thanks everyone....your info is very helpful. I will have to look back in my records from four years ago to see what I gave them for their HS graduations. Can you believe that 3 of the 4 are graduating on the SAME DAY in 3 different states???!!!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 4:19PM
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Whatever you give them, I hope it will be the same for each one. I wouldn't want one niece to feel her high school diploma accomplishment means less than her sister's or cousin's college or law degree accomplishment. Your question was not about any particular needs of these students, so I wouldn't differentiate between them or place one achievement more valuable than another.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 4:25PM
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While I generally agree with giving everyone the same especially for the same thing like graduating from high school, I think that it really depends on how long ago someone graduated. For example, my nephew graduated in 2007 and his sister is in 6th grade right now and so will not graduate for quite some time. I can assure you I will give more to her because of the cost of living. I also know that my daughter got more than her other cousins that graduated 5 years before her. Just look at the cost of gas to get a comparison. I'd have to say that the spending money equaled the same.

As for how much is the right amount, I think it really depends on the area you are from and your income. Just give what you feel is right and try to make it as fair as possible. I'm not sure sure I'd give anything to the person graduating law school but you know your family better than anyone.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 7:19PM
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The person graduating from law school is still her nephew, and she is still "auntie", so something would be nice. If not cash perhaps a nice pen, or a frame for his degree to hang on the wall in his office.

In our family the nieces and nephews graduating HS tend to get $20, as that was the amount we could all afford when the eldest one graduated. So far only 1 has graduated college, at that time her mother was not speaking to the rest of the family and "forbade" any gifts from us sinning heathens. Sent a check anyway, but it was never cashed.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 9:07PM
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I have 6 siblings with children - a total of 17 so far. There is no way I'm shelling out major money for a high school graduation.

I'd love to be in the position to be the "rich Aunt March", and give them a significant cash gift. But the fact is, there are 17 of them, and while we're not scraping the bottom of the barrel yet, I also have two step-children, two grandchildren, and a child still in college. That has to be my priority.

Nieces and nephews get a really nice hand-written letter, and $25. Now that some of them are starting to have their own children, a baby quilt for the first child only. Quilts can be used for all the new babies in a family, but I can't provide for exponential growth.

And, also, if no acknowledgement from a gift arrives, that niece or nephew never, ever, gets another gift. And they all know why, because I've told them.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 10:01PM
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I am truly shocked. I wouldn't DARE give somebody less than $50 for a graduation gift (HS or college). When I graduated from HS a few years ago, neighbors/family friends gave between $50 and $100. Close family members gave between $150 and $500. I just graduated from college, and have received no less than $100 (from a family friend) and no more than $1000 (from relatives). And no, I'm not an only child, but instead one of many grandchildren.

So, you can imagine my shock when I read '$25'... If that is all I had to give, I'd consider buying a unique gift (comparable in cost), because $25 is just plain stingy.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 9:58AM
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And I, in turn, am shocked at Caitlin's response. Is this how we raise our kids today? To think that a gift is stingy because it isn't the amount you want?? I didn't receive a penny from anyone when I graduated, because we were poor, as was my extended family. My class ring was my graduation gift to myself with my first college degree, and my husband and I treated our family to a vacation after the second one. No one else has ever paid my way for anything, but I graduated with honors and now I can give my family what I did not have. Just because I can however, does not mean that I do. My kids know how to work hard, and they do not get everything they ask for.

I do not know where Caitlin lives, or what type of family she has, but I don't care if my kids receive $50, $25, or $1 as a gift, they know the person giving it gave from the heart and with best intentions. That is what they've been taught - nobody OWES you anything, it is all a gift. If I EVER caught my kids saying a $25 GIFT was "stingy" it would be the LAST gift they received from that person, even if it was from me!

Ms. Caitlin, you should be ashamed of yourself.

To the original poster, depending on your financial affluence, as well as your relationship to the graduate, anywhere from $25-$50 is acceptable.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 1:14PM
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This blog has been really helpful. I will have to agree with Karen.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Catlyn is a spoiled brat! Shame on her AND her parents! I couldn't agree with Karen more! A gift is to be appreciated no matter how much the amount is! Today's youth (in general) are self-entitled, and appreciate very little. It is pathetic!

People should give what they feel is appropriate and within their means. I agree that $25 for non-close grads, and $50 for closer grads is appropriate. And for kids like Catlyn, there is always the option of giving them nothing.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 2:44PM
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I can't help but think that the Caitlin post is a troll post. Surely no one is that actually that unaware, and that insufferable. I don't know one single person, adult OR student, that would present such a spoiled, selfish and ignorant side of themselves. Obviously a gift, is just that - a GIFT. Whatever you feel you can give is plenty.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 10:16AM
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This year I have 3 high school graduates to buy gifts for. It depends on how close we are to the parents and how long we've know them. DH still plays pool with his old roommate so his son gets $100. The daughter of my childhood friend who is like a sister to me will get $200. I'm still deciding what to give my nephew, I'd like to give him $500 but DH says $250 since we just sent him $250 for his 18th birthday. Adds up to a lot of money but graduations don't come around very often and for some there may be no other graduations in their future so you want this gift to reflect the importance of the occassion.

When I graduated HS I had a scrap book I put everything into. All of my graduation cards are still in that book along with the gifts I received from each person. I have to say I wouldn't want my name recorded for all posterity in anyone's memory album as the person who gave $25.

Bottom line is to give what you can afford and hope the recipient appreciates it!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 1:36AM
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Caitlin amazes me. I think you must be living in a dream world. There are parents of graduating students this year in our high school who can not afford a photo of their graduate, and will be using handed down caps and gowns. We live in southern Virginia and believe me, any graduate who receives any gift here will be thankful. I am sure there are many parents who will not be able to give their child the 25 dollar gift you so easily turned your nose too.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:05PM
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this is what we plan to give this year for high school grads...may, 2011....

$25.00 - neighbors' kids (folks we never talk to)
$35.00 - our daughter's teammates/friends
$50.00 - our close/good friends' kids and past sitters
$50.00 - my second cousin (we see the family twice a year)
$50.00 - co-workers' kids

my husband is a family doctor and he usually gets 2 or 3 hs graduation invites a year from patients. although, he never goes to the open houses' he does send $25.00 to those he rarely sees in the office and $50.00 to families he sees and knows quite well. The gift comes from my husband alone. We would never consider sending an invite to his many patients when our children graduate because we have four children and i am quite sure it would be a burden rather than appreciated.

p.s. to be fair, some of these patients give him Christmas gifts...homemade pot holders, jelly, jam, cake, pie, ect......

we have 9 high school graduation invites this year (ouch)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 6:14PM
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Caitlin is going to be very disapointed in life if she keeps up with that mentality. -Karen I couldn't agree more with your statements.

When I graduated, I received letters of wisdom and well wishes from my family members and those were worth more to me than all the money in the world.

Depending on the person, I give anywhere between 20-200 dollars. If I knew any of them were to be as "greatfull" as Caitlin they'd be getting ZERO

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 4:37PM
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This has indeed been very insightful. Caitlin thank you for your honest input, it reconfirms my fears for our future generations, but motivates me to work harder to make a difference in the lives of people in your generation. I recall a fund raising campaign we once had at our church and our pastor in all his wisdom encouraged use to participate. His motto was "Not equal giving, but equal Sacrifice" Deuteronomy 17:16. Should I give you more than I am able, for fear of being thought of as stingy? I now know what my gift will be..a copy of Gods Word with a new $20 bill to be used as a book mark.
Thanks All

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 4:05PM
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how much do you give your God son that you never see for high school graduation? I was never my intention to not have a relationship with him but I went to college with his mom and our lives have gone in separate directions and I hardly see them anymore.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 10:33PM
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I have been out of a college for a number of years and now that some time has passed I am reflecting on what I remember about graduation. I do not remember a single cash amount; I just remember that they varied from friends and relatives. What I do remember is that my distant aunt and uncle sent me a charm for my charm braclet (which I still have to this day). I remember that it rained that day and that my guests all got a bit wet, which we were all hysterically laughing about! I remember another uncle came from another state to my graduation and had dinner with us that night. Create a MEMORY for your graduate!!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 1:13PM
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As the saying goes, it is the thought that counts not the gift. Anyone who does not think so obviously forgot the meaning of "a gift". Any amount you can afford or personal gift you can give as a token of your pride in them is acceptable. Its about recognizing and praising the person's acheivement, not about financially hurting yourself. Anyone worthy of your praise will appreciate any recognition you can give!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 11:22PM
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