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Gifts to make a college grad happy and financially savvy

Graduation ceremony

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Graduation season is here, which means you have some gifts to purchase.

Americans spent $4.77 billion on graduation gifts in 2015, according to the National Retail Federation, with individuals shelling out an average $103. Cash accounted for more than half of that. Yet you have lots of ways to give money, and a number of them also teach financial smarts.

Of course, it's always a good idea to make sure that what you're gifting gives pleasure as well as new life skills, said certified financial planner Marguerita Cheng, chief executive of Blue Ocean Global Wealth. You don't want to be the person giving the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner on Mother's Day.

But even with that caveat, you have plenty of options. Read on to find the graduation gifts that financial advisors recommend.

— By Kelley Holland, special to CNBC.com

Posted 13 May 2016

Jens Schlueter | Getty Images