Picking the gift can be the easy part. What should you write in the graduation card? In this post, you’ll find 78 ready to use wishes, messages, quotes, and sentiments, plus tips for customizing what to write in a graduation card. Plus some tips about what to avoid. Let’s get started!
What to Write in a Graduation Card (Quick Quote Guide)
You’re proud of a special graduate, and congratulations are in order, but what to write in a graduation card? You want to say just the right thing to let your graduate know you wish them well, but you’re not exactly a wordsmith.
So, what do you do? We’ve got the solution for you right here!
Refer to this guide that we’ve organized with 78 quotes from across the web. Whether it’s general well-wishes, funny quotes, personal messages for a family member, or sentimental expressions, we’ve got it covered for you.
78 graduation quotes? Yes, I know – that’s a lot. If you want a shortcut, just choose the one bolded message in each section.
These are my favorites and should make the process much faster.
15 Graduation Wishes and Congratulations
- “Wishing you the very best on your graduation day and beyond. Congratulations!”
- “Congratulations on your graduation and best wishes for your next adventure!”
- “Great results come from hard work. Well done!”
- “Congrats on your successful graduation.”
- “We’re proud of all of your accomplishments. Congratulations graduate!”
- “Best wishes for your future. Congratulations.”
- “Congrats on graduating! I wish you the very best in all your future endeavors. May success always find you.”
- “Cheers to the new graduate – let’s celebrate your success! I’m sending you my best wishes for a successful future.”
- “I wish you the best as you step ahead towards new challenges in life. Congrats and may all your other dreams be fulfilled.”
- “Congrats on your outstanding achievement. Wishing you all the best for the future and all its challenges and opportunities.”
- “Job well done! Here’s to your exciting new future and all the happiness that comes with it.”
- “Congratulations graduate! I am confident you will continue to succeed in life. Keep up the good work.”
- “Kudos for completing this important life step. Remember to always keep climbing the staircase.”
- “Today is your day. Wishing you all the best for what life now has in store for you.”
- “Wishing you many more successes in the future. Congratulations graduate!”
10 Funny Graduation Messages
- “Hard work: check! Good grades: check! Make some money: more checks!”
- “Congratulations on your graduation. Education is the key to unlocking your potential. The diploma helps a little too.”
- “We’re all so proud of you. Now that you’ve got your degree, you’ll be buying the beer, right?”
- “You’ve worked so hard and successfully completed your studies. Now the real work begins with your new teacher – LIFE!”
- “Congratulations! Now you can finally start getting paid for all your hard work.”
- “Good looks, brains, heart, and now a diploma too? You’ve really got it all! Congrats!”
- “Don’t forget to thank those who were always there for you during your time at school: Caffeine, Ramen, and Wikipedia.”
- “My hope for you is that your amazing college memories last longer than your student loans.”
- “Congratulations on getting through the easier part of life! Best wishes on the road ahead.”
- “Your brain is now worth thousands! You have the receipt to prove it!”
10 Card Messages for High School Grads
- “High school graduation isn’t the end of a tough journey. It is the beginning of a beautiful one…”
- “Congrats! [Future college] should be thrilled to have you!”
- “[College/ trade school/ job] will be such an exciting endeavor. Congratulations!”
- “Even with the added stress of [list their extra-curricular activities], you succeeded with flying colors. Congratulations!”
- “High school graduation is an exciting time. It marks both an ending and a beginning; it’s warm memories of the past and big dreams for the future.”
- “Congratulations on your high school graduation! We can’t wait to see what exciting things you’ll do next.”
- “We’re very proud of you for graduating high school, and happy about your college acceptance! Best of wishes on the road ahead.”
- “Congratulations on your high school graduation! It’s been an honor to watch you learn and grow, and we are very proud of the young woman/man that you are today.”
- “Congratulations on graduating high school. All the best starting college this fall, and be sure to visit us when you’re back in town!”
- “There are few times in life when you’ll put as much work into a single accomplishment as you did for the last four years. Celebrate!”
11 Wishes for College Graduation Cards
- “Congratulations on completing your college degree. Your hard work and determination is inspiring.”
- “May your degree unlock many doors to the success you very well deserve. Congratulations!”
- “A hearty congratulations on your college graduation and wishing you the best for the new beginning in life. May you reach all your goals.”
- “Congratulations on your outstanding achievement! Looking back, it was all worth it. Wishing you the best in the wonderful career you have chosen.”
- “Be proud of yourself. Many people never even start college, and many of those who do don’t finish. You did.”
- “For all the lack of sleep, late-night studies and hard work, your reward is here. Congratulations to you.”
- “This degree is a stepping stone to assist you in realizing your full potential. Congratulations!”
- “You worked so hard for this degree, but it is everything that you learned that will propel you to success.”
- “Congratulations on your hard-earned degree. As is often said, ‘Find a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’.” We hope you find just the right job for YOU!”
- “Congrats on your college graduation! Wishing you all the best in your chosen vocation.”
- “Can’t wait to celebrate your college graduation! You probably have a great bash planned, especially with all the experience under your belt.”
15 Graduation Sentiments for Friends and Family
- “We’re proud of your accomplishments and the person you’ve become. Congratulations.”
- “Congrats on your graduation. We bet you feel like you can take on the world, and you can. But remember we’ll always be here for you.”
- “From when you were a little kid until today, you have only given us reasons to hold our heads up in pride. We are so happy to have you in our life. Congratulations and best wishes for a successful career.”
- “We are so amazed at how smart, caring and wonderful you are every day- we can not wait to see the places you go! You can do anything. We love you.”
- “Congratulations on your graduation, son/daughter. We are so proud to see our little bundle of joy grow into such a fine, mature adult. Continue doing us proud. Best wishes in your future. We love you.”
- “One degree = two happy parents! Congrats!”
- “Today you have made your uncle/aunt proud, my dear nephew/niece. I would like to congratulate you on the successful completion of your graduation.”
- “I still remember when your parents brought you home. Now I get the chance to remember this incredible milestone in your life. Congratulations on your graduation! I am so proud of you.”
- “What a wonderful young woman/man you have become! Calling you a graduate is a proud occasion, and I know that your future is brightest of them all. Congratulations on this special time in your life.”
- “Congratulations my friend on being a graduate. I hope that this is just the foundation of many accomplishments to come. It’s time for you to celebrate because today is the day you graduate.”
- “All of your hard work is paying off my friend. Congrats and let’s celebrate.”
- “We believed. You achieved. Way to go kiddo!”
- “This wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last time we get to brag about you.”
- “I’m so happy that our friendship survived through these hectic times. Congratulations, I am proud of you!”
- “Know what makes your graduation extra special? It’s having watched you grow up, sharing amazing memories with you, and knowing all the challenges you’ve worked through to get to this day. You did it, kid.”
9 Sentimental Graduation Sentiments
- “Remember that you can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. Congratulations on your graduation. We couldn’t be more proud.”
- “Prayers and blessings on your graduation and for your future.”
- “Take this great achievement and turn your dreams into your plans.”
- “Happy graduation day. Always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you’ll ever know. Congrats we love you.”
- “Remember to embrace life with passion and keep reaching for the stars.”
- “Chasing a dream requires hard work, passion, and many sacrifices. We can’t wait to see you accomplish everything your heart desires.”
- “Today is only the first of many amazing moments and I know life has many more in store for you.”
- “The journey of life brings both challenges and chances. May you snatch the chances and beat the challenges. Congratulations on graduating.”
- “Graduation isn’t the end of a tough journey. It is the beginning of a beautiful one. Start each day believing in yourself and watch the magic happen.”
8 Sarcastic Graduation Quotes
- “Now that you’ve graduated, maybe you will be smart enough to figure out how to pay back your student loans.”
- “We don’t know how you managed to get your degree with all the partying, sports, sleeping, and extracurricular activities, but we’re glad you did. Congrats.”
- “All that hard work for a piece of paper? Congratulations on getting your piece of paper.”
- “It’s been such a long journey. Did you ever think the day would finally come? I didn’t either!”
- “Congrats on filling a minimum job requirement!”
- “Even though I’m upset about losing my bet, congratulations on graduating! Just kidding, I always knew you could do it.”
- “Hate to break it to you, but that was the easiest part of your adult life.”
- “Do you realize that now you’ll be PAID to work instead of paying to work?”
You can also give them a few awful reasons to travel.
4 Things to Consider in Your Graduation Message:
1. The graduate’s personality type
When deciding on what to write in a graduation card, it’s important to think about the graduate’s personality type. You don’t want to write a message that could be taken the wrong way.
One graduate may have a humorous personality and enjoy a funny quote while another may be more serious and appreciate a sentimental note.
2. Attending the commencement ceremony (or not)
Whether you’re attending the commencement ceremony or not has much bearing on your graduation card message. For example, if you are attending the ceremony, your message could be something like this:
- “Congratulations! It’s an honor to be a part of your graduation day and watch you walk across the stage to receive your diploma.”
If you can’t make it to the ceremony, you can still choose a message that lets the graduate know your thoughts are with them on their special day. For example:
- “Thinking of you with love and pride on your graduation day.”
- “Even though we’ll miss seeing you in your cap and gown, we would never miss this chance to tell you we’re proud of you.”
3. Words of encouragement
Graduation is an exciting time, but it can also be scary for the graduate as well because he/she is venturing into a whole new chapter of life. If you’re older or more experienced, your message can offer encouraging words to build the graduate up and give them direction.
- ‘Whatever you do, never stop learning, exploring, growing and challenging yourself to be your best.”
- “Wherever the road leads, remember we will always be there to support and cheer you on.”
4. When the graduate is a close friend or relative
Your message can be personal and extra special if the graduate is a close friend or relative because you can mention childhood memories or past experiences like this:
- “It seems like just yesterday you were just starting school and now, you’re receiving your diploma. It’s been a joy to watch you grow and achieve so much these past four years.”
What NOT to Write in a Graduation Card: 4 Things
1. Don’t be bossy. A graduation card is an opportunity for you to encourage the graduate, so refrain from telling them what they should or shouldn’t do. Give them helpful advice without being bossy.
- “I hope you feel great about what you’ve accomplished, and I hope you’ll continue to be a person who shows up day in and day out for those things that are worthwhile and important in life.”
2. Don’t mention embarrassing memories. A graduate should feel confident and pleased with their accomplishments. Don’t bring up an embarrassing mistake they’ve made in the past.
3. Don’t use sarcasm or risky jokes unless you’re sure the graduate will take it in good humor.
4. Don’t tell the graduate what jobs to take. You may know of job openings or people with influence, but this is not what to write in a graduation card. Save it for another time.
6 Tips About Writing a Graduation Card
1. Polish and fix mistakes
Before you pen your message in the graduation card, handwrite it on paper or type it in a word processor so that you can edit and polish it. You might even go one step further and use a grammar tool, like Grammarly, to get your message just right.
2. Tell them you’re proud of them
Let the graduate know you are happy and proud of them for doing what it took to reach graduation.
- “You are an achiever. You have made us all proud; keep up the good work. Congratulations on graduation.”
3. Be specific
Mention distinguished awards and accomplishments. Describe how much the graduate has grown and flourished over the time you’ve known them.
- “Congratulations on graduating with honors. We’re so proud of you!”
- “You’ve always been a hard worker driven by your passions and dreams. Congratulations!”
4. Personalize the message
Mention the name of the graduate’s college or degree that they earned.
- “Congratulations on earning your bachelor degree. We know you worked so hard for it.”
5. Be reassuring
Reassure them of their future with encouraging words and wise advice.
- “Congratulations! Make sure that you treat your education as a springboard and not a finish line.”
- “Congrats on your outstanding achievement. Wishing you all the best for the future and all its challenges and opportunities.”
6. End with a personal expression
Send them off with love and well-wishes for future success and happiness.
- “To a happy ending and a new beginning. Wishing you the best on your new chapter. Congratulations!”
Sign off with sincere and heartfelt phrases such as:
- “Lots of love,”
- “Wishing you the best in life,”
- “With love and pride today and always!”
- “You did it! Wishing you all the best!”
Note: Some of the graduation quotes are from/inspired by the following sources: Shutterfly, Greeting Card Poet, Hallmark, Gifts.com, Good Housekeeping, American Greetings, and Leanin’ Tree.
Know someone who is retiring? Here’s what to write in a retirement card.
Whether it’s a sibling, child, grandchild, niece or nephew, friend or neighbor, chances are there’s always someone you know who is graduating soon.
Keep this guide of 78 quotes handy, and you’ll never need to worry again about what to write in a graduation card.
Have a tip or graduation message to add? Let us know below!
- About the Author
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Hi, I’m Dena Haines. And I’m co-founder of Storyteller Travel. I love to cover food, animals, and destinations around the world.
I also blog about photography at Storyteller Tech.
Friday 14th of May 2021
This was very helpful as I had three that were graduating this year! Didn’t want all my expressions to sound cookie cutter type. Thanks for all the suggestions too!
Thursday 13th of August 2020
I like your suggestion to consider the personality and sense of humor of the graduate when choosing what to write in a card. My younger sister will be getting her master's degree in early childhood education, and I'm thinking about getting her a custom sash and card to show how proud I am of her. Thanks for teaching me how to pick the perfect message for her once I find the right card to give!
Wednesday 22nd of January 2020
I like how you said that ending with a personal expression is a good way to show our love and well-wishes for the person graduating. My niece will be graduating from high school this spring, and I want to show how proud I am by getting her a card and a custom graduation stole to wear. I wasn't sure what message to write in the card, so thanks for sharing your suggestions here!