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Swag Ideas for College Students by BookWear®

Student Swag Giveaways for Recruiting and Admissions, College Fairs, Orientation, and More!

BRANDING is HUGE for colleges, swag ideas are a powerful tool to bring organic awareness to your brand. Positive branding helps every facet of the school: academics, sports, enrollment, recruiting, endowments, image, alumni membership, etc. It is the public “SPIRIT” of your campus.

Your best ambassadors for marketing and branding are current and prospective students. If they are wearing a t-shirt or sporting a product with your school logo on it, they are positively spreading your brand. Importantly, they are displaying it to your main audience, their peers. It’s premium advertising that is spontaneous.

“I want to put your T-shirt on!” Inspire that feeling in a student and you have a terrific agent for your school. BookWear® can help with that. We print your logo on a shirt and compress the shirt it into a little brick of cotton. Your graphics and message get printed on what looks like a book cover and the compressed shirt goes inside.

It looks like a book but obviously has something other than pages inside. Your message gets connected to a TANGIBLE gift. That’s important. Every time that shirt is worn that recipient is reminded of the suprising package and your message. And they’re parading your brand in front of everyone they see.

Mail BookWear® like a postcard, or we’ll mail it for you. Look at the back of the USC “book” cover above. It’s designed as a mailing label. It gets sent to 6,000 accepted students every year. USC has ordered it for 17 years in a row. That’s a lot of campus ambassadors showing off their brand!

BookWear® offers endless possibilities for creative swag ideas for college students. Here are eight concepts to inspire your recruiting strategy.

1. T-Shirt in a Book

Tshirt Swag Ideas for College Students Princeton

T-SHIRT in a “BOOK”! This is a fun way to get a t-shirt into the hands and onto the body of prospective students. The shirt is printed with your logo and then compressed into a little brick of cotton. It’s then inserted into a “book” cover. The front cover, spine, and back cover of the book is customized with your graphics and message. 

When the recipient gets this, they will read your message and open it! It creates surprise and mystery. It adds incentive to put the shirt on and identify with your brand. The message is often “Welcome to Campus!” or “Congratulations on Your Acceptance!” Make a Splash with your message in the creative BookWear® package. Mail BookWear® like a thick postcard, or we’ll mail it for you.

2. Sunglasses in a Book

College Student Swag Ideas Sunglasses

“Your future is so bright you’ll need shades!” That could be the title to this little book, and a great message to prospective students. The book cover gets your graphics and text on it and inside is a pair of sunglasses customized with your logo. Cool! Your message gets seen and so does your brand. You design the book cover or we’ll do it for you. 

3.  Flag in a Book

Tshirt Swag Ideas for College Students Princeton

Raise a flag for campus spirit. This is a great gift for an incoming student. Your logo will look good on either the 12” x 18” small flag or the 22” x 36” large flag. A full-color print on the book and the flag is included. Polyester fabric with two grommets on the left side for hanging the flag. Get your message out there in style! This will do it.

4. Custom Puzzle in a Book

Swag Ideas for College Students Purdue Puzzle

“You’re the Missing Piece” could be the title of this book, especially if it’s a capital campaign seeking donors. The puzzle is a full color image of your choice. Purdue used it to commemorate the groundbreaking of a new engineering building. Use it for a capital campaign by mailing it to potential donors. We can insert additional info cards or products inside with the puzzle.

5. Custom Socks

College Swag Ideas

Get your marketing and recruiting promotion off on the right foot. The book cover has your message and graphics on it. The recipient doesn’t know what’s inside and is compelled to read and open it, making it a very effective communications tool. The socks and book cover are fully customizable. The front cover, spine, and back cover of the book are yours to design. Then mail it like a thick postcard to your list. Or we’ll mail it for you.

6. Pillowcase in a Book

Swag Ideas for College Students Pillow

Dreams made real. This little book/gift combination puts your message on a tangible package. Your brand is printed on the 20” x 30” pillowcase as well as your graphics and text on the book cover. This story and gift are surprising and real, making your message stand out. It’s novel and creative.

7. Luggage Tag in a Book

Swag Ideas for College Students Luggage Tags

Travel the world in style with an embroidered luggage tag on your bag. This one is embroidered on the front and has a clear pocket on the back for a card with contact information. It’s easily seen and comes with a rubberized attachment loop. The recipient will remember your message and this “book” for a long time.

8. Surprise is in the Bag

Popcorn College Swag Ideas

Whether it’s recruiting, marketing or fundraising this package literally “POPS!”. It has a customized bag of microwave popcorn inside. Put a “Pop Quiz” on the bag with instructions to find answers on your website. That drives traffic to your site, especially if there’s a prize offered. This makes a unique, fun and surprising package that is sure to be read and opened.


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Why BookWear for College Student Swag?

Don’t settle for run-of-the-mill swag ideas for college students. New and prospective college students love t-shirts and promotional products emblazoned with a logo, especially of universities and college campuses. And those college campuses love having students and prospective students parading around publically with their logo on display. Such swag ideas strike an emotional connection with college students, and they make for terrific marketing, recruiting, and orientation giveaways for colleges and universities!

swag ideas for college students

So how to most effectively make this match? By making it a fun surprise; put the college or university story on a “book” and have a compressed t-shirt inside. BookWear® puts the campus photos, graphics, logo, and message on the “book” cover and a surprise gift inside (t-shirt or 30 other gifts). This is a patented, fun, and effective way to bring a smile, story and SWAG gift to the student.

Hundreds of college campuses use BookWear® to tell their story. Many of the mail this “book” out like a thick postcard. It lands on thousands of students desks and gets noticed, read, and opened, making it very effective for marketing, recruiting, and promotions. The college can design the package or BookWear® will create it for them. See how Calvin College leverage BookWear as one of the most brilliant swag ideas for college students.


Effective College Student Recruiting Giveaways

College student recruiting giveaways can empower a university’s recruitment strategy and stimulate the potential to acquire quality students. As an ideal supplement to any school’s college recruiting strategy, student giveaways provide a tangible means to engage with prospective college students and make them feel as one with the university.

Student Giveaways

“Surprise is the most powerful marketing tool.” Harvard Business Review


The most effective giveaways for college students are not only practical items, but surprising and meaningful gifts that contain inspiring, uplifting, and motivating messages.

If something like this seems like the ideal supplement to recruit more college students, then consider BookWear® college giveaways to be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.


What is BookWear®?

You may be wondering what is BookWear®? BookWear® is a “book” that tells your unique story. The photos, graphics, and content of your college or university are printed on the cover.

Inside BookWear® is a surprise giveaway which can be a number of useful items that college students will love, like compressed t-shirts, laundry bags, sunglasses, socks, and more. But what makes BookWear® truly better than most college student giveaways is that it is very creative and surprising. It can be custom-tailored with any logo, design elements, messaging, and more. Additional info cards can be inserted inside.

Choose from 12 stock gifts to go inside BookWear®. Mail your giveaways to new or prospective students like a thick postcard. You can do the mailing yourself or let our experienced team here at BookWear® handle the process for you. Our goal is to fulfill every order with 100% customer satisfaction.

For more ideas, see University & College Case Studies.


Learn More About BookWear®

To explore how BookWear® can help with building and sharing your own unique ideas, contact us for more information and ordering by sending an e.mail to .. Thank You!
SAGE 69978 • UPIC: Book1122


About the Author:
Jack Gyr is the founder of BookWear®. He has helped countless colleges and universities develop highly effective college student recruiting strategies using BookWear. You can reach Jack by contacting BookWear directly, or connecting with him on LinkedIn.