Graduating high school is an exciting rite of passage in a young person's life. It represents years of dedication and hard work and is often the first marker of transition into adulthood. Giving a monetary gift to a high school grad is practical, but how much you should give can depend on several factors.
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Honestly assessing your finances can help you determine how much you can afford to give as a gift. Depending on your situation, anything from fifteen dollars to several thousand could be appropriate.
Your Relationship to the Graduate
Consider how well you know the graduate. If she is a close friend or family member this should influence the size of your gift. Gift amounts for these graduates will depend on your financial ability, but should probably be in the range of 75 to a thousand dollars. If the graduate is someone you know only in passing or if you haven't had contact with her for some time, a nice card and a monetary gift of 25 dollars or so would be completely acceptable.
The Graduate's Future Plans
Considering the graduate's future plans can also help you decide how much to give. If he plans on entering the workforce he will soon be earning a paycheck of his own and might not need such a large financial contribution. A graduate who plans on attending college will usually have a greater financial need. School supplies can be extremely expensive. On the other hand, consider living expenses. A graduate who plans on getting a job and setting up his own home may have more of a financial burden than a college student who will be commuting from home.
A gift of any kind, when given with the best intentions, will be appreciated. Take into consideration your circumstances as well as those of the graduate to decide on an appropriate amount, and always give from the heart.