How Much Money to Give High School Graduate


How Much Money to Give High School Graduate

Graduating from high school is a significant milestone in a student’s life. It marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. As friends and family, it is customary to congratulate and show support for the graduate by giving them a gift. One popular gift option is money. However, determining how much money to give can be a tricky decision. In this article, we will explore different factors to consider when deciding on an appropriate monetary gift for a high school graduate.

Factors to Consider

1. Relationship: The relationship you have with the graduate plays a crucial role in determining the amount of money to give. Immediate family members such as parents or grandparents might give a more substantial amount compared to other relatives or close friends.

2. Financial Situation: Your own financial situation should also be taken into account. It is essential to give a gift that is within your means and won’t put a strain on your own finances.

3. Local Customs: It is worth considering any local customs or traditions regarding graduation gifts in your area. Some regions or communities may have specific expectations or guidelines when it comes to monetary gifts for graduates.

4. Achievement and Effort: If the graduate has excelled academically or made significant efforts during their high school years, you might want to consider giving a higher amount as a token of recognition and encouragement.

5. Future Plans: The graduate’s future plans can also influence the amount of money you give. For instance, if they are planning to pursue higher education, they may require more financial support.

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6. Regional Cost of Living: The cost of living can vary significantly depending on the region. It might be beneficial to research the average living expenses in the area where the graduate will be residing to determine an appropriate gift amount.

7. Cultural Background: Cultural factors should also be considered. Different cultures may have different norms and expectations regarding monetary gifts for graduates, so it is vital to respect and adhere to those traditions.


Q: Is it better to give cash or a gift card?
A: Both cash and gift cards are widely accepted as appropriate graduation gifts. Cash offers the recipient flexibility to use the money as they see fit, while a gift card allows for a more personalized touch. Consider the graduate’s preferences and their immediate needs when deciding which option to choose.

Q: What is an appropriate amount to give?
A: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount you give depends on various factors previously mentioned, such as your relationship with the graduate, your financial situation, and the regional cost of living. However, a general guideline suggests giving between $20 to $100 as a starting point.

Q: Is it appropriate to give a check instead of cash?
A: Yes, giving a check is perfectly acceptable and often preferred by both the giver and recipient. It provides a more secure and traceable form of payment compared to cash.

Q: Should I give a larger gift for college-bound graduates?
A: It is common to give a larger gift to college-bound graduates due to the increased financial burden associated with higher education. Consider the cost of textbooks, tuition, and living expenses when determining an appropriate amount.

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Q: Can I combine money with another gift?
A: Absolutely! If you feel that money alone is not personalized enough, you can combine it with another gift. For example, you could give a thoughtful book or a useful item along with the monetary gift.

In conclusion, when deciding how much money to give a high school graduate, it is essential to consider factors such as your relationship, financial situation, local customs, the graduate’s achievements and future plans, regional cost of living, and cultural background. Remember, the most important aspect is to show your support and celebrate their accomplishment, regardless of the monetary value of the gift.