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How Much Will People Spend on Graduation Gifts This Year? — Dollars and Sense

dherholz, Flickr

Student loan debt may be skyrocketing, but the students themselves will likely leave school with some nice presents — a new survey shows Americans will spend almost $5 billion on graduation gifts this year.

The National Retail Federation surveyed about 9,000 people for its annual Graduation Survey, finding that almost a third of respondents plan to get something for the graduates in their lives.

How much will they shell out? About $100 each, up from the five-year low of $88 they spent two years ago.

Cold, hard cash is the most common gift, but the percentages of people giving clothes, electronics and gift cards have bounced back and even surpassed pre-recession numbers. Survey respondents falling into the 45-to-54 year-old age bracket are giving the most, as are Northeast residents and people earning at least $50,000 a year.

New grads who get money might want to use it pay down their education debt — the collective student loan debt in the US now exceeds $1 trillion, more than what we owe for even credit cards and car loans.


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