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10 Affordable Gift Ideas for Adult Students

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Do you need affordable gift ideas for the adult student on your list? Whether the economy is good or bad, it's nice to have some ideas for affordable gifts for the people you know who are balancing life and school.

1. Book Bag

Does the adult student in your life have a book bag that's big enough, light enough, and not embarrassing? There are lots and lots of designs to choose from. Some are even eco-friendly. If your student is a fashion horse, maybe a nice, large leather tote with shoulder straps would be a hit. If they're the practical type, a backpack might be more appropriate.

Read about Esther Lombardi's top ten choices.

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2. The Adult Student's Guide to Survival & Success by Al Siebert and Mary Karr

The Adult Student's Guide to Survival & Success by Al Siebert and Mary Karr
Al Siebert and Mary Karr
This handy study guide is filled with practical ideas, including tips for studying and acing tests. It's small enough to carry around in a book bag, and the price is right.

3. Major in Success, 5th Edition, by Patrick Combs

Major in Success
Patrick Combs
Another affordable gift for students of all ages, this book explains why extraordinary drive is the most important "major" you can choose. It's filled with hot tips and examples of well-known people who found success through passion and enthusiasm for their field. This book is an inspiration.

4. Reading Glasses

The older we get, the more many of us need a little help seeing the words on the page. Reading glasses are simply magnifiers that come in different strengths. Find out if your reader needs +1, +1.5, etc., and then go shopping. Glasses come in some very fun colors and styles, and some are even small enough to fit into a pen-like case. Perfect for a book bag.

Esther Lombardi, Guide to Classic Literature, reviews her top five in her article, Top Five Reading Glasses.

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5. Pens and Highlighters

When you need something small, consider a collection of pens and highlighters. Snoop around a little to find out if your student likes blue ink or black. What's his or her favorite color for highlighting? There are some pretty fun products available out there. Be creative.
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6. Bookmarks

How many times have you seen a torn scrap of paper marking a chapter in a text book? Oof. Help your student do better than that. Every book store has a rack or eight of bookmarks. Select the images you know will mean something to your adult student. Make your gift fun, inspirational, or both.

One of my favorite ways to mark pages is with Post-It Page Markers from 3M. You can get them in packs of five different colors. I like these bookmarks because they don't fall out and are easily moved without making a mark on the page.

If you know a bookmark collector, check out Esther Lombardi's wonderful list of collections.

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7. Date Book or Student Planner

A date book or student planner is one of the most important things you'll find in a successful student's book bag. It's a must for keeping track of assignments, due dates, and exams. The address section is also a good place to jot down new networking contacts. Date books come in all sizes and formats. If you're not sure which one your adult student would like best, consider a gift certificate.

8. Starbucks Coffee

If your student loves a good cup of coffee, give them the gift of Starbucks for those late-night study sessions before the big exam. Gift packs come with mugs and a selection of coffees. Some even include teas and chocolates.

Want to know more about coffee and tea? Sean Paajanen is About.com's guide to these wonderful beverages.

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9. Itty Bitty Book Light

The Itty Bitty Booklight, or one of the many similar products out there, is perfect for the student who reads in bed when all the rest of the lights in the house are out. Your student will love using this light not only on textbooks, but on those hard-to-put-down novels as well.

For reviews on four other book lights, check out Esther Lombardi's list.

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10. Alarm Clock

I know, everyone has a favorite way to wake up. I have a friend who has one of those alarm clocks that slowly turns a light on, like the sun is coming up. Find out how your adult student likes to wake up, and buy them a reliable alarm clock that will get them to school or work on time after a long night of studying.
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