Best SWAG for College, Teacher Appreciation and School Giveaways

school spirit promotional t-shirtsEducation and academic groups and interests vary from staff to students and alumni young and old. Planning for successful giveaways and branding campaigns in the education sector ranges from college giveaways for recruiting to teacher appreciation, school spirit items for local sporting events and fundraising at all levels.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind as you browse these top recommended product picks for education theme giveaways:

  • Students can be tough to please, but remember they always enjoy trendy items. They will be way more likely to use something cool like tech gadgets rather than the same boring giveaways that have been around for years.
  • Don’t sacrifice quality in favor of saving your budget. For a budget conscious marketing campaign, get accurate counts for the quantity you will need, then order close to what you know will be used, rather than estimating high quantities and having many leftovers with poor quality. Many promotional product companies have budget-friendly options in very low quantities.

While all these hand-picked suggestions for branded giveaways relate to education and academic settings, the recommendations are organized by various academic sectors to best fit your needs. Browse through each one or jump to the market sector that fits your education group. For your convenience the suggested products are linked in the product thumbnails at the end of each sector.

College Giveaways for Recruiting Events

stylus pen with check listSchedules for college recruiters vary from moderately busy around the office to hectic during college fair season. Here are some ideas for cool giveaway stuff at college fairs and a few tips to keep in mind for the latest trends in college swag. Hopefully these ideas will help you check one thing off your list; what to buy for college giveaways.

Consider ordering your giveaways in a variety of colors. Think outside the box from the usual maroon sweatshirt with gold imprint. You will need those too, but you can also go for an assortment of trendy, fun colors and still add your name and logo in school colors.

Some promotional products companies are offering color choices at low quantities giving you the opportunity to mix colors without breaking your budget. The key here is to keep the imprint the same for all colors. That means you will have only one setup fee and your bulk discounts are based on total quantity. We found that nearly half of our orders for carabiners are in assorted colors!

school spirit ideas - carabiner

Mix up the colors in a large container for a colorful display. As students pick
through to find their favorite color you will have a bit longer to start up a conversation. And that way students won’t all end up with identical stuff; they can easily tell which is theirs. One final note on colors; when you do want choose your brand colors order items like nice quality custom pens. A great combination for recruiting giveaways would be pens in colors to team spirit ideas - lanyards and promotional t-shirtsrepresent your brand and journal books in a fun assortment of colors!

Next, you probably plan to have some free stuff that everyone passing by can grab like candy and chapsticks as well as some more generous giveaways set aside for students that show more interest in your campus. Have students share photos of themselves with the giveaway on their favorite social media. Even better yet, join them
in the picture. Hint: if you are wearing a shirt with your school logo, they will remember your school and that photo moment long after the day’s events. And you will be a familiar face the next time the student comes to campus.

College Promo Giveaways for Recruiting Events

  • Smartphone wallets
  • Retractable ear buds
  • Portable power bank chargers
  • Journal books & moleskins
  • Nice pen with a stylus
  • Sling bags and string bags

College Student | Campus Life Promo Giveaways

Space is limited for college students so choose giveaway items that are useful and but still throw in a little fun. Living in the dorm or an apartment will mean limited elbow room so smaller items and everyday-use items are the ones that will get used the most. Think about stuff they will be buying anyway and you have a come up with a successful marketing campaign with your college name on something that gets used everyday.

  • Laundry bags
  • Lightweight screen printed t-shirts
  • Carabiners for keys
  • Tech Gadgets
  • Highlighters and markers
  • Water bottles and coffee mugs

Staff and Teacher Appreciation

school spirit days and fundraising

The school year is filled with activities and opportunities to build spirit for your academic community and show appreciation for teachers and staff. Whether the annual school carnival is coming up, or homecoming events, or Back to School Night; it’s always a good idea to have giveaways in stock that are branded with your school logo, team name and mascot, or simply your contact info. And of course academic planners for managing school schedules throughout the school year will get used every single day!

Staff and Teacher Appreciation Giveaways

  • Academic planners
  • Lanyards & badge holders
  • Awards and plaques
  • Lunch bags and Canvas tote bags
  • Presentation folders
  • Fridge magnets for sport schedules

School Spirit, Sports and Fundraising Giveaway Ideas

fundraiser eventsSchool groups spread the word and build community spirit in a variety of ways and through a wide range of activities. Logo apparel to promote the event is always a hit, and there are a lot more choices out there too. Here are some creative ideas to build excitement a few weeks in advance of an event and also giveaways to hand out during the activity. Even some ideas for giveaways that you may not have thought about that will provide great visibility around your community and get used all season long.

  • T-Shirts and sweatshirts
  • Stadium cups for the concession stand
  • Koozies and can coolers
  • Stadium blankets and stadium cushions
  • Large beverage coolers for tailgating


That concludes our tips and top-pick product suggestions on best SWAG for college and branded school giveaways. Be sure to share this list with your school group or college recruiting team as a buying guide for your event planning discussions.

There are certainly more academic themes to focus on that could be included. If you want our top-picks for additional academic events or more school-related topics, leave a note in the comments and we’ll be glad to add them. What products have you had success with?

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