17 Fun and Meaningful Award Ideas for College Students

Student Recognition Ideas

award ideas for college students

College can be an incredibly fun time for students, but it’s not without its challenges. Between juggling homework, theses, and job applications, your students are likely stressed out much of the time!

While you can’t help them manage their busy schedules, you can acknowledge their hard work and unique quirks with fun and meaningful awards. Try out some of these award ideas for college students to boost morale in your university.

1. Superlatives

Superlative awards are one of the most popular parts of high school. Almost anyone can recall at least category from when they graduated, like Best Couple, Class Sweetheart, or Most Likely to Succeed. You can easily adapt this concept for college. Try some fun ideas that poke a little fun, while still showing your students you know them as individuals. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Most Likely to Drink 5 Cups of Coffee in One Class
  • Most Likely to Wear Pajamas in Class or Most Likely to Wear a Suit to Class
  • Most Likely to Know the Answer to Every Question
  • Most Likely to Start a Debate Over Anything
  • Most Likely to Take Impeccable Notes

2. Awards for High-performing Students

Giving high-performing students a small award, either in class or in privacy, for their achievements is a gesture that can go a long way. Extra validation can make a big difference, especially during high-pressure times like midterms or finals. Hand out certificates acknowledging one of the following achievements:

  • Top Math/History/Biology Student of the Year
  • Top Grade in the Course
  • Highest Test Score

3. Rewards for Students Who Study Together

Students often study together during college – there’s so much work to be done, and it always goes faster when you’re in a group! If you have a student you know shows up to help support others during test prep, reward them for their willingness and ability to cooperate with others. Some ideas to help recognize their collaboration are:

  • Most Dedicated Study Group
  • Biggest Team Player
  • Best Group Project of the Semester
  • The Test Prep Dream Team

4. Awards for Students with Perfect Attendance

If your class is at 8 AM, then this is one of those award ideas for college students that should be mandatory! College students have a lot going on, so simply making it to class all the time is an achievement that deserves acknowledgment. Whether it’s a certificate or a gift card for the local coffee shop to keep them punctual, it’s a worthwhile thing to celebrate. Awards relating to punctuality can include:

  • Most Punctual
  • Most Likely to Be the First to Class
  • Perfect Attendance
  • Most Visits to Office Hours

5. Certificates for Students Who Audited the Course

Students audit courses for a variety of reasons, but since they don’t receive official credit, giving students who audit a class an award is worthwhile. While all students are pursuing their educations and broadening their horizons by attending college, there’s something extra special about students taking on a course just for the sake of learning. Reward students who often go unacknowledged for going above and beyond with a certificate of completion.

No matter what awards you choose to celebrate your college students this season, PaperDirect has the certificates, trophies, and other awards you need to thank them for their hard work – or dedication to wearing PJs to class. Browse our range of recognition products today!