30 School Supplies Every College Student Needs

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by Staff Writers

Published on October 5, 2021 · Updated on March 4, 2022

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30 School Supplies Every College Student Needs

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More than ever, college students are facing specialized academic demands and increased technology usage, which can leave them unsure of what school supplies they need for class. Students often have to take the hefty costs of tuition and other fees into consideration when deciding to invest in products for learning.

This list features 30 standout gadgets and college school supplies that address a variety of needs.

Top 30 School Supplies for College Students

For Class | For Studying

Price Legend

$ = Under $10 | $$ = $10-$25 | $$$ = $26-$50 | $$$$ = Over $50

For Class

Basic Pens

Zebra Pens, Z-Grip Retractable Ballpoint Pens

Having the right pens can make all the difference in school. These ballpoint pens can improve the quality and speed of note-taking and provide comfort during long writing sessions.


Bic Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencils

These pencils feature a dark lead that resists smudging and erases easily, which makes for clearer notes. The convenient mechanical action means there is no need for pencil sharpening.


Sharpie Chisel Tip Pocket Highlighters

Highlighters allow students to emphasize the most important text in their reading assignments or notes. These Sharpie highlighters offer bright, varied colors and a smear guard to keep ink from smudging when highlighting.

Pencil Case

EASTHILL Big Capacity Pencil and Pen Case

Hold and protect your college supplies in style with this large pencil case. The EASTHILL case can store up to 50 pens and up to 90 pencils along with other small school supplies. The zipper case comes in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, pink, and blue.


Oxford One-Subject Notebooks

This assorted six-pack allows students to easily sort their notes by subject or lesson. The 70 double-sided sheets in each notebook are three-hole punched, so they can be stored in binders and perforated for easy removal. Each sheet is durable and minimizes bleedthrough from pens and markers.


Samsill Three-Ring Binders

These three-ring binders can store up to 425 pages, and students can customize the spine to organize their notes and assignments by subject. These binders also feature interior pockets and come in white or black.


Five Star Four-Pocket Folders

These folders feature vertical pockets to hold papers and horizontal pockets that display handy reference charts, like measurement conversions. They come in assorted colors and are three-hole punched for easy binder storage.

Notebook Paper

Oxford Filler Paper, College Rule

These sheets are three-hole punched and designed for college students. The narrower lines accommodate more writing, and the sheets use up less space in binders and produce less waste.


Clever Fox Planner

While juggling lectures, homework assignments, essays, tests, and extracurriculars, college students can find it difficult to keep track of everything. Fortunately, a planner can help them stay organized. This undated planner includes monthly and weekly page layouts to help students keep track of short- and long-term goals.

Sticky Notes

Vanpad Sticky Notes

Sticky notes make it easy to attach reminders to nearly any surface. These 82-sheet pads feature colorful and sturdy pages.


Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Scientific Calculator

This scientific calculator has a large display that showcases formulas the same way as a textbook does. Solar-powered with a battery backup, this calculator also comes with a protective case.

Flash Drive

SanDisk Cruzer USB 2.0 Flash Drive

This 128GB flash drive provides students with a portable way to transfer videos, images, and other files.

Water Bottle

Thermoflask Water Bottle

This vacuum-insulated, BPA-free bottle keeps drinks at their ideal temperatures for longer. The food-grade stainless steel construction reduces condensation and resists rust.


Herschel Heritage Classic Backpack

This backpack pairs timeless Herschel Heritage style with tech-friendly accommodations. Users can secure their devices with a 15-inch laptop sleeve and an internal media pocket with a headphone port. A limited lifetime warranty ensures that you’ll be able to use this backpack well beyond your college career.


Microsoft Surface Go 2

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 features a high-resolution touchscreen, adjustable kickstand, Windows 11 software, and a removable keyboard cover. This device has up to 10 hours of battery life, allowing users to migrate between lecture halls and libraries all day without searching for an outlet.

Wireless Earbuds

TOZO T10 Bluetooth Wireless In-Ear Headphones

These wireless headphones offer great sound quality and a charging box that provides up to six hours of playtime with every charge. They automatically sync and pair with many Bluetooth devices.

For Studying

Binder Clips

DSTELIN Binder Clips

Binder clips allow students to fasten large stacks of papers without damaging or losing any sheets. These tempered steel clips provide a strong grip and can be easily removed and reused.


Amazon Basics Office Stapler

This office stapler can bind up to 10 pages and holds 200 staples. The rubber base grips on most surfaces, and the hinged back allows users to staple papers to other materials.


iBayam Multipurpose Scissors

These multipurpose scissors feature comfortable straight-handled grips and stainless steel blades that allow for precise cuts.


Scotch Magic Tape

Students can use tape to seal folders, make crafts, hang papers, and repair various items.

Paper Clips

Officemate Assorted Giant Paper Clips

Paper clips can help students stay organized. These clips come in assorted sizes and colors, and the vinyl coating prevents them from breaking down, rusting, or leaving marks on papers.

Note Cards

Amazon Basics Ruled Lined Index Cards

Perfect for making study or presentation notes, note cards should be on every student's college supplies checklist. These index cards are heavy-duty and lined on one side for a cleaner and more professional look.

Three-Hole Punch

Bostitch Office Hole Punch

This three-hole punch comes in a variety of colors and can punch up to 12 sheets of paper at once. The rubber base provides a stable grip on many surfaces.

Office Chair Pillow

Everlasting Comfort Lumbar Support Pillow for Office Chairs

This pillow is made with a breathable material and conforms around back curves for pain relief, back support, and posture control. The pillow also features adjustable straps and a lifetime warranty.

Desk Lamp

AFROG Multifunctional LED Desk Lamp

With a portable LED desk lamp, students will be well-equipped for late-night study sessions. This fixture features five lighting modes, five levels of brightness, and an auto-off timer. A rechargeable battery with a USB-compatible charging port allows students to use the lamp wirelessly.


DeskJet Plus 4155 Wireless Printer

Students who wish to print, scan, copy, and fax documents without relying on their college library’s printing system will enjoy the efficiency of this wireless printer. Users can easily connect this printer to all of their devices using the innovative HP Smart app. Students can also use the app to print files directly through document sharing programs like Google Drive and Dropbox from their phones.

Printer Paper

HP BrightWhite Printer Paper

This bright, thick paper is compatible with various printers and comes from renewable forest resources.

Wireless Mouse

ZERU Bluetooth Mouse

This sleek wireless mouse is compatible with over 99% of Bluetooth-capable devices and has a USB-compatible rechargeable battery that can stay charged for up to 500 hours.

Power Strip

Anker 12-Outlet Power Strip With Surge Protector

This mountable power strip features 12 outlets and a surge protector, providing room for all of your devices to charge. The strip also contains four fast-charging USB ports and overheating protection.

Pepper Spray

SABRE RED Pepper Spray Keychain

If students plan on walking around campus alone — especially at night — having pepper spray within reach may help them feel safer. This keychain-mounted, user-friendly spray supplies 25 bursts from a 10-foot distance.

Feature Image: Peter Cade / Stone / Getty Images

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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