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jca's avatar

What is a good sum to give my best friend's son for graduating high school, and her daughter for graduating from college?

Asked by jca (35989points) June 26th, 2011

What amount is good to give my best friend’s son for graduating high school?

What amount is good to give my best friend’s daughter for graduating college?

The party is this weekend.

Also, if the son is a pot smoker (which I don’t necessarily disagree with but I do think it’s a waste of money, and even though the money is his, I would rather he not spend it on pot) should I give the check to him himself or give it to my best friend for her to determine what to do with it?

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14 Answers

chyna's avatar

What amount can you afford? I would think 50.00 for high school graduation and 100.00 for college but only if you can afford it. I would just go ahead and give the money to the boy, as the mom will probably give it to him anyway.

janbb's avatar

It is such a regional and cultural thing that it is hard to give a a hard and fast rule and does depend on what you can afford as @chyna says, but I would probably be in the same ballpark as her.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What about giving them gift cards to a Target or WalMart? People of that age always need items for a new apt. or some form of entertainment. If the son is going to college, how about a gift card/credit to the campus’s bookstore? This way, you sidestep the money going towards pot.

As for the amount, it is completely up to you. The amounts @chyna mentioned are what I gave the nieces/nephews when they graduated.

AmWiser's avatar

I would go with a $25–50 dollar gift card for the high school graduate for something he is interested in (other than pot tehehehe). For the college graduate I would give $100.00 or more depending on your budget.

josie's avatar

High school $50–100
College-no money. Time for them to earn it. Firm handshake, a card, wish good luck.

zenvelo's avatar

Before I read any answers I also thought $50 high school, $100 college was about right.

And I’d give it to them in cash, crisp bills from the bank.

YARNLADY's avatar

We go with $100 for high school and $200 – $300 for college,depending on how close the graduate is.

For family, each of my family members (sons and grandsons) got a brand new computer for graduating high school. None have graduated college.

Jeruba's avatar

I had exactly this same situation recently: close friend’s daughter graduated from college at the same time that her son graduated from high school.

On the one hand, I was inclined to give a larger amount to the college-graduating daughter than to the high-school-graduating son. On the other, I already gave a grad gift to the daughter four years ago, and nothing yet to the son (and I couldn’t remember how much I had given her).

In the end I gave them both the same amount, $50, figuring it was the safest thing.

I might add that within two weeks I received a nice handwritten thank-you note from each of them. Knowing my friend, I oughtn’t to have been surprised, but our kids don’t always see the same necessities that we see.

——

If it’s a gift, @jca, it’s a gift, and I don’t think we attach strings to it, however much we might want to manage how the recipient uses it. If you really don’t want to give him cash to spend freely, better pick out an actual item or give him a gift card, but don’t ask his mother to take care of his money for him.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@jca I usually buy a nice graduation photo frame and put in a food gift card (around here it’s usually a Subway or Starbuck’s) gift card (where the photo will go). We usually give no more than $50 for high school, and $100 & up for college.

I tend to agree with you about giving high school grads cash. I tend to know from experience that the gift cards come in handy those first few months of college.

For kids we know well, we usually give a mix of gift cards. One food, one or two stores such as: Target, Walgreens or CVS Wal-Mart, Kohl’s…if we know where they shop we go with that store over the rest.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’d give them each $50.00 and try not to think about how they’d spend it.

ejedlicka's avatar

Coming from a recent graduate, I believe that although gift cards appear to be more helpful and push for using the money in a more useful way, the better thing to give is cash or a check – especially for the high school graduate.
I received a great deal of money on giftcards for walmart, however I go to a college in a different state where the closest walmart is almost an hour away and target is my option. Generic places may seem to be an easy choice but you have to consider where they are going to school and if there is even those stores around them. I still have money left on those cards from over a year ago.
On the other hand, cash and check and do what a giftcard cannot – it can help pay off student loans. The amount of money i received from loved ones and generous family friends helped keep me from taking ANY student loans my first year of college and for that I am truly blessed.
As for the college grauate i’m not quite as knowledgable. The amounts listed above sound good, but if this is a close friend of your’s whose daughter is graduating, then she should know what her daughter is in need of to move into a new apartment or into the next stage of her life. This is an awesome opportunity for a housewarming gift or a giftcard to say, Dillards, for some new business attire (which students fresh out of college will need plenty of)! These are just a few ideas but money is a great gift for a graduate with some loans with newly piled interest to pay off!

Seelix's avatar

If you’re worried about how they’re going to spend the money, you could always go for a Visa gift card. That way, they can spend the money at any store they like, and I doubt drug dealers take Visa.

One caveat with those cards, though – they have a relatively short life. If you don’t use them within 6 months or so, Visa takes “service fees” off the balance. So if you’re going to go this route, be sure to tell the kids when you give them.

Of course, the amount to give depends on what you can afford. I’d say that the others’ suggestions of $50 for the boy, and $100 for the girl sound great.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Seelix I doubt drug dealers take Visa. That is not a good bet, don’t doubt it at all.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@YARNLADY is right, why wouldn’t a drug dealer take a pre loaded gift VISA card? All you have to do is call the number on the backside to find out the available balance.

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