High school graduation is a special time in the life of a teenager. Often it marks the transition into adulthood since many teens end up leaving home in the few months after graduation to attend college. Just like with other special occasions, it is customary to give the graduate a gift after the graduation ceremony. While you can gift the graduate anything that you like, money is often given. This is because many graduates use their graduation money for a celebratory trip or to pay for upcoming college expenses. The graduate might even have the intention of using the graduation present money as a down payment on a new automobile.
If you do not have kids of your own, or have not recently attended a high school graduation, then you might be at a loss in terms of the proper gift amount when giving money. There is no “right” amount of money that should be given to a high school graduate. Often the amount of money given for high school graduation is dependent upon several factors that influence the gift giver.
The most important thing to remember is that you should never give more money as a gift than you can comfortably afford. If you can only afford to give 10 dollars, then that is the amount which you should give to the graduate. Knowing how much money you can afford to part with is the best way to know how much you should give to the graduate.
Type of Relationship with the graduate
Generally more money is given for a high school graduation if there a personal relationship with the graduate. For example, you would likely give more money to a niece or nephew than a co-workers child or a neighbor’s child. If you only know the graduate in passing, it is perfectly acceptable to give a monetary amount smaller than you would give to a family member or the graduate of a close friend.
You might also want to consider if the graduate actually needs a large amount of money as a gift. Some high school graduates skip college and go right into the workforce. In that instance, there is less need for a large monetary gift. However a graduate who is planning on attending college out of state will likely have a greater need for the money. School textbooks can be rather expensive and your money might help to ease the burden of a graduate that has plans to attend college. The same also applies to a graduate who is planning on taking a round-the-world trip or has other travel plans.
How well you know the graduate will likely play a part in the decision as well. For example, if you know that the graduate is not responsible with money, then you might given less money for the high school graduation than you would if you knew that the graduate is responsible with money.
If you are hesitant to give cash as a high school graduation present, you can opt to give a gift card instead.