30 Essential Back to School Supplies Every Student Needs

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back to school supplies

The start of the new school year means it’s time to stock up on supplies. Whether you’re a sixth grader or a beginning college, preparing for the new school year requires compiling a well-thought-out list of back to school supplies. I’ve compiled a thorough list of 30 must-have goods in this post to ensure you’re prepared for a successful year. These items range from helpful equipment to stylish accessories and will unquestionably prepare you for the fascinating path of study and growth. Let’s start now!

30 Back to School Supplies

1. Book Bag

Every student needs a book bag to carry their stuff in. This Under Armour book bag might be the one that you need. It is a reliable, water-repellent backpack. Check it out below.

2. Ink Pens

Older students need ink pens. These TUL Prestige ink pens have a medium point. They come in packs of four. I used to lose pens a lot when I was in school. You may need to grab two or three packs.
TUL Prestige Metal Liquid Ink Rollerball Pens, Medium Point, 0.7 mm, Assorted Barrels, Black Ink, Pack Of 4

3. Notebook Paper

Next on the school supplies list is notebook paper. Students will use a lot of notebook paper during the school year. Mead Notebook paper is the standard. This pack comes with 200 sheets. It would be good to grab multiple packs of this item.
Mead Notebook Filler Paper - 200 Sheets - Printed - Spiral - 16 lb Basis Weight - Letter 8.50in. x 11in. - White Paper - 200 / Pack

4. Pencils

Students should make sure they have their No. 2 pencils. Here is a box of 96 that should last you the whole school year. As you lose or lend pencils out during the year, you’ll be happy that you grabbed this box of 96.

5. Binders

Students need binders for different classes. You can never go wrong with a classic three-ring binder. Below are some white ring binders. You could also get some that are different colors.

6. Art Supply Set

This art supply set features colored pencils, paintbrushes, sketch pads, and other items. This item would probably be on a back to school supplies list for elementary or middle schoolers. Art supplies can be expensive, so see if you can find this item during a back-to-school sale.

7. Calculator

Every student needs a calculator. You can’t go wrong by purchasing a Texas Instrument. These calculators are helpful, especially when you get into more advanced classes.

Texas Instruments 30X Simple Calculator

8. Crayons

Younger students will need crayons. Crayola has a 24-count box that should fill your needs. They have 48-count and 96-count crayon boxes as well. It just depends on what you need.

9. Lunch Box

You will need a lunch box if you bring your lunch to school. The one below is nice, simple, and very affordable. Make sure that your lunch box has enough space for your food. Also, go for something other than the cheapest one.

10. Index Cards

Students need index cards to write down notes. Walgreens and other stores have them in packs of 100. You can also click on the link below and purchase them online.

Wexford Ruled Index Cards 3 x 5 Inch - 100 ea - School Supplies

11. Wite-Out Tape

Wite-Out tape is next on the school supplies list. If you make an error when writing with an ink pen, it comes in the clutch. You will make an error. I still make errors when I’m writing sometime. My Wite-out take is always ready.
BIC(R) Wite-Out(R) Multipurpose Correction Tape, Single Line, 26.20ft., White

12. Scissors

The next item that is on the list is a pair of scissors. Scotch has them in packs of three. Click on the link below to see what other options are available.

13. Folders

Students will need separate folders for each class. Office Max has some suitable varieties. Click on the image below to see how much they cost.
OfficeMax 2-Pocket Poly Folders, Navy

14. Subject Dividers

Subject dividers come in handy if you want to separate your notes in your notebook. You can grab some packs and organize yourself for the semester.

15. Planner

I’ve been using planners since middle school. They come in handy. They will help you remember things. The planner below lets you plan something for up to 18 months. If you want to get organized, a planner is a must-have, especially if you are a high school or college student.

16. Combination Lock

If you’re in middle or high school, you will need a combination lock for your locker. Masterlock is the industry leader. They have combo locks and key locks if you prefer that one.

17. Pencil Sharpener

A pencil sharpener will be needed if you use pencils more than pens. This is for younger students on their school supply list. Check this one below.
Black Radiance Dual Pencil Sharpener - 1 ea

18. Laptop

Depending on your grade, it’s a must to have a laptop. The Dell laptop might be what you need. It comes with Windows 10 and has a lot of up-to-date features.

19. Printer

In college, I had a printer. It came in handy. I didn’t have to worry about going to a computer lab and finding out the printer was broken. I could print anything in my dorm. The printer below has a scanner and a copier.

20. Ink

What good is having a printer without any ink? Ink can be expensive, but there are deals out there. You can also check eBay and Amazon.

21. Stapler

Next up on the school supplies list is a stapler. As you become an older student, you may need a stapler. It would be best to staple the pages together when it’s time to turn in papers or other assignments. It’s better to have one than not.
Pointe International Economy Stapler, Black

22. Color Pencils

Color pencils will come in handy for your art class and special projects. Many people like colored pencils instead of crayons.

23. Paper Clips

Paper clips are another small item that you may need. Below are some that Office Depot sells.
Office Depot(R) Brand Paper Clips, Jumbo, Silver, Box Of 100 Clips

24. Post-it notes

Students use Post-it notes all the time, especially in college. You will use them for notes and more. This may be a must-have item on the school supplies list.

25. Highlighters

Highlighters are good for students middle school age and older. You can use them to take notes and write things in your textbooks if you choose to.

26. Hole Puncher

The next item on the list is a hole puncher. This one should be able to get the job done.
Sparco Transparent 3-Hole Punch, Translucent Magenta

27. Flash Drive

People don’t use flash drives as much as they used to because of Google Drive and Dropbox. They still are good to use from time to time.

28. Dictionary

You will use a dictionary when you’re in high school and college. It will help you when you’re working on those late-night papers.

29. Hand Sanitizer

This one is self-explanatory. You will need hand sanitizer, especially in the world that we are in today. Grab some before it is sold out again.

30. Notebook

It doesn’t matter if you are in grade school, private school, or college; you will need a notebook. There are different kinds to choose from, including spiral notebooks and composition notebooks. Find one that you like and purchase it before school starts back.



Having something nice for the first week of school would be best.

If you know someone that needs a list of back-to-school items, feel free to share this list with them. Make sure that you sign up for Rakuten. You can get cash back on some of these items if you purchase them online through their website. Click here to sign up for Rakuten now.

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Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.