Back to School Gift Guide

School is starting soon for a lot of college students. Even though many classes will, at least, start out remotely, there are still a lot of things your book worm will need when heading back to school. We know it can sometimes be difficult to navigate the world of online shopping, so iMore is here to help. We're constantly scouring the internet, testing products, and figuring out our absolute favorite products so you can find the perfect gift for the student in your life as they head back to school.

iPhone SE 2020 Black

iPhone SE 2020 Black (Image credit: Apple)

iPhone SE

This year is truly the year for a low-cost iPhone and the iPhone SE is, hands-down, the one you want for your student. Though it's entry-level price is the lowest of any iPhone, it's packed with powerful features, like the A13 processor chip (the same chip used on the iPhone 11), a 12MP camera, Portrait mode with Portrait lighting, and more.

from $399 Buy Now


The 32GB Wi-Fi-only iPad is perfect for any student. It's got everything you need to research and write papers, build class presentations, edit video clips, and binge watch TV late at night, even though you should be studying. At only $329, it's even cheaper than the iPad mini, but does it all on a bigger screen.

from $329 Buy Now

MacBook Air

MacBook Air (Image credit: iMore)

MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is the least expensive, lightest laptop in the Mac lineup and in 2018, it was given a major overhall. It has a Retina screen with True Tone display and Touch ID for more secure log in and online purchases. Students from participating schools get $100 off, making the price even sweeter.

from $1099 Buy Now

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS

The name says it all. The third-generation Apple Watch has many of the amazing features that the latest model does, but without the hefty price tag. The student in your life can send and receive text messages, get reminder alerts about when projects are due, and download audiobooks to listen to while out for a morning run.

from $279 Buy Now

Apple TV HD

If your college kid is moving into the dorms, the best gift you can get them is the gift of friendship in the form of Apple TV. The entire floor will be hanging out in their room all semester long watching TV. Your student will be everyone's favorite coed.

$149 Buy Now


Apple's AirPods are unique in that they instantly connect to your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and more thanks to the H1 chip inside. You can also trigger Siri for a little help with your listening activities and to control playback. If the student in your life doesn't like in-ear headphones, try Beats Solo3 for on-ear style or Beats Studio3 for over-the-ear listening.

from $159 Buy Now


If the student in your life is a music fan, nothing beats the beautiful sound of HomePod. They can have a dance party every night, and with any HomeKit connected devices, Siri can set the lights, lock the doors, and control playback on Apple TV. It fills any room with amazing depth and sound without taking up too much space on the countertop. It's the perfect gift for anyone that has a subscription to Apple Music. Now that AirPlay 2 is available, you might just want to get two!

$299 Buy Now

Apple Music

An Apple Music subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. With a subscription, you have access to thousands of albums across all genres of music and can download and listen to tunes offline if you're saving your data. There's a free trial, and after that, it's just $9.99 a month for a standard subscription or $14.99 for the whole family! Students get a special discount of only $4.99 per month!

from $5/m Buy Now

Anker Powercore+

Make it through the night and into the next morning with Anker's portable battery pack. It's small, lightweight, and has adds more than 46 hours of battery life to your iPhone. It's perfect for when your students are bearing down for an all-night study session in the library (or the nearby frat house).

$110 Buy Now

Tile Sticker On A Scooter

Tile Sticker On A Scooter (Image credit: Tile)

Tile Stickers

If the student in your life tends to lose their keys, wallet, hat ... mind ... all of the time, they need a Tile thing finder. This little ditty can be attached to just about anything and pairs with your iPhone so when you lose it, your iPhone can help you find it. It also works in the reverse. If you can't find your iPhone, you can press a button on the Tile and it'll send a signal to make your iPhone beep until you find it. The Tile Sticker makes it possible to track practically anything, even your school books. It uses a strong, waterproof adhesive. You just stick it on and you're good to go.

$34 Buy Now

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II

Bose makes a darn fine set of headphones. It's not just about the audio, which is impeccable, I might say. It's also about the comfort and these noise-canceling puppies are the most comfortable on the market right now. The second-generation model lets you adjust the amount of noise you want to be canceled without needing to use the app. It's a fantastic gift for music-loving students that want to block out unwanted noise, but also want the option of letting some sound in.

$279 Buy Now

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).