You're looking for the top gifts for college students this year for the holidays. Why not get that special college student a gift he or she could really use – a study gift that will make classes just a little bit easier or a way to make their load a little lighter in between classes?
Check out the top 10 randomly-listed gifts for the college students in your life. Trust me, they're better than that argyle sweater you're thinking of knitting.
Specs: Your favorite college students' backpacks are heavy. Why should they have to carry around speakers or a portable player for the iPod or Smart phone to share tunes when one of these little gadgets can turn anything - and I do mean ANYTHING - into a speaker? If they're hanging out in the quad with friends, they can flip over a garbage can, attach the speaker, and the whole quad will fill with music. If they're working on their car in the garage, they can stick the speaker against the fender, and boom: everyone in the garage and driveway is enjoying their playlists. It's genius, and affordable, too.
Hot Feature: It only takes two AA batteries. That's it. Genius.
Starting Price: $29.95
Specs: What college student isn't chugging the java? With the late nights and heavy class loads, a little caffeine goes a long way toward helping the grades. This travel coffee mug earned Good Housekeeping's seal of approval for durability and drinkability. The coffee stays hot for 4 hours and does not leak due to the "autoseal" feature, which opens the sipping mechanism with the press of a button. When the button is released, the mechanism closes, forming a spill-proof seal even if your college student drops it or lodges it in a backpack. Bonus? It keeps cold beverages chilled for 12 hours. Twelve.
Hot Feature: Choose your favorite color: stainless steel, blue, green, red, or purple.
3. Apple's iPad
Specs: Save your college student a trip to the bookstore with the iPad. It's become so popular that they're practically flying off the shelves, and people with slightly older versions, or those that want the instant accessibility of a phone, are selling their gently used iPads for half the price. Get one! Students can use it for everything: downloading thousands of books, taking lecture notes, emailing professors, researching, studying with friends, you name it. And, as a bonus, the screen is just like a page - no glare, reflection, or gleam. Awesome.
Hot Feature: Students can create great-looking presentations, documents, and spreadsheets with iPad with their fingers. No mouse required.
Starting Price: $199
Specs: College students take a lot of notes. A lot. It's important for them to use pens that will last and keep their hands comfortable in the middle of Physics. Not only is the ink smear-proof, the writing is smooth, and the cushion grip gets rid of those hand cramps from writing fatigue.
Hot Feature: This bad boy was recommended for Ease-of-Use by the Arthritis Foundation. If that doesn't speak volumes, nothing will.
Specs: Your college student may not be a fan of classical music, but it certainly helpful to listen to complex music (minus the vocals) to enhance studying. Classical music is complex, yet relaxing, so it stimulates the brain to learn. Music with vocals doesn't have the same effect – in fact, it's often distracting, even for someone who says it isn’t. Mozart, a whiz at complex, intricate music, fits the bill for the perfect studying music; the 25 Mozart Favorites CD packs in the most beloved pieces by the master. Listen and learn.
Hot Feature: "Clarinet Concerto in A major." Try not to think of the movie, Out of Africa. when you listen. Bet you can't..
Price: $2.00 -$10.01
Specs: This book tackles everything a college student will face when he or she leaves the nest. Handling personal finances, packing for the dorm room, doing laundry, maintaining a healthy diet, and, yes, studying are all covered thoroughly. The book even covers topics like dating, parties, interning, and keeping the dorm room clean. What I wouldn't have given for this handy book when I was entering school for the first time!
Hot Feature: Paperback means less weight in the ol' backpack.
Specs: Your college student is unique, right? Why not purchase a messenger bag that fits his or her personality? Custom design an extra small bag for essentials or an extra large for their laptop and everything else. Choose colors, fabrics, lining and logo for an incredibly unique and thoughtful gift. Plus, since this is from Timbuk2, you know it's durable. It doesn't make sense to purchase a bag that will fall apart in a year. These ones have serious staying power.
Hot Feature: Messenger bags not their thing? Build your own Lex Pack or Swig – they're messenger inspired, but have shoulder straps like a backpack, too.
Specs: Noisy roommates? Not a problem with these earbuds, which reduce 90% of ambient noise. They're lightweight, as opposed to their headphone counterparts, and sit comfortably in the ear. The buds come with a little carrying pouch, and three sizes of earbuds so your college student can find the most comfortable fit.
Hot Feature: You can monitor the amount of ambient noise you hear in case you need to be alert walking home late at night or heading to the car in an empty parking lot.
Specs: It might seem like a boring gift, but trust me, if you've given money to a college student, I'll wager that it went toward textbooks. Get a list of what your college student needs next semester and shop at Alibris.com. This website has solved two of the biggest textbook issues to date: affordability and availability. Often, when a college student goes to purchase a textbook from the campus bookstore, it's been sold out. Or, its price is the highest it will ever be. By allowing students to sell their books through the website as well as purchase, Alibris has stacked up over 100 million used and new books. How's that for availability? Plus, there's a money-back guarantee.
Hot Feature: Free shipping on many items!
10. Private Tutoring
Specs: Okay, so this isn't exactly an object with specs and all, but private tutoring may be the best gift you'll ever give a college student. Perhaps he or she is interested in grad school. Law school. Medical school. Business school. Stats prove that he or she will score better on one of those entrance exams with preparation, and a private tutor, although pricey, will certainly get them where they want to go.
Hot Feature: You may be able to find a tutor on Craigslist for significantly less money than you'd pay going through a big company.