What College Students Should Ask for This Holiday Season

By Chris Hassan
Posted December 12, 2012 11:00 AM

Holidays gifts college students can use.
Holidays gifts college students can use.
Between studying for finals and making travel arrangements, the last thing some college students have time to do is put together a list of items their parents can buy them this holiday season. However, if mom or dad has asked what kind of present they would like to unwrap this year, it is in their best interest to see what is hot this season. Students could end up starting the new semester with an item that can make their road to earning a bachelor's degree a little smoother.

Here are a few items current and future college students may want to consider asking for this holiday season:

Microsoft Surface

While people of all ages have shown a fondness for Apple's iPad, Microsoft recently introduced its answer to the tablet computer with the Surface. Although similar to the iPad in design, the Surface features a cover that doubles as a keyboard, making the device something of a combination of a laptop and tablet.

Matthew Miller, a father and contributor to ZDNet, recently highlighted the Surface's potential as a holiday gift for college students based on his daughter's experience with the product. With little instruction, Miller's 16-year-old daughter figured out how to use the device, and had Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer and music all running at once on the Surface.

"I think … college students will love the Surface with full Office functionality, cool user interface, colorful keyboard options, weight that doesn't break their backs, long battery life to keep them going, and a price competitive to other large screen tablets," Miller wrote.

Leather Portfolio

Four years flies by quicker than college students think, which is why it is never too early to start thinking about the future, including the impending job search. This is why CBS MoneyWatch contributor Lynn O'Shaughnessy recommends parents buy their degree seekers a leather portfolio. Whether students are interviewing for jobs or internships, having a slick accessory to neatly store their resume, notepad and other supplies in may help them stand out as classy and organized candidates.

Gift Cards

Earning a college degree has never been more expensive. If students have to purchase textbooks for the spring semester, many of them may be starting the new year with a little less cash in their bank accounts. However, one way to make college life a little easier is for students to ask for gift cards to some of their favorite spots. Whether they frequently find themselves running to their local Target to stock up on supplies, or simply enjoy a cup of Starbucks coffee every morning before class, a few gift cards can keep them from shelling out their own money, at least for a little while.

We recommend