Dating Apps For College Students

Online Dating

Best Dating Apps For College Students (Feb. 2024)

Ashayla Blakely

Written by: Ashayla Blakely

Ashayla Blakely

Ashayla Blakely is an experienced storyteller who has fun writing authentic and relatable content for DatingAdvice.com. As a hopeless romantic, Ashayla has always enjoyed sharing good conversation and advice about dating. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Telecommunications from the University of Florida. She is currently enrolled in the graduate program at Florida State University's film school. You can often catch her with a script in her hand, calling out the shots in her many directorial roles on set.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Reviewed by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is a dating and relationship expert who has penned over 1,800 lifestyle articles in the last decade, and she still never tires of interviewing dating professionals and featuring actionable advice for singles. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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College students learn more than how to make it to an 8 AM class on time. It’s a time when people party, gain the freshman 15, and make connections that can last a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship or casual dating, a handful of dating apps can help make dating a lot easier for you during college. 

Here is our list of the best dating apps for college students. All are free to join and worth giving a try! 

1. Match

★★★★★
4.9/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “Match has facilitated the most dates and relationships of any dating site, and its large audience and high success rate make it our top review…” Full Review »

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College dating isn’t always just about a hookup on a Friday night. Some people — myself included — would like to marry their college sweetheart. Match is a great app to use if you’re looking for something a little more serious than a study buddy. Match helps members focus on long-term compatibility and pursue a healthy relationship  –– basically it’s a chance to date like adults. 

Match is a great option if you’re on a budget because it’s free to connect and send messages to compatible profiles. Free members can chat with the daily recommendations in the Top Picks list. If you want to go beyond messaging only these users, you can upgrade to a premium membership or sign up to attend Match’s virtual and in-person events. Both of these options help daters feel more comfortable with online dating and meeting new people who have similar goals and interests.

★★★★★
4.8/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “EliteSingles is a leading dating site just for busy, single professionals. More than 80% of members have earned a college degree, and most are looking for a serious commitment…” Full Review »

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EliteSingles is a high-end dating platform for busy professionals who are looking for a serious relationship. The EliteSingles vision is to provide singles with a quality online dating experience by maintaining the industry’s highest standards. A single professional won’t have to lower their standards to find a date on EliteSingles. The online dating site offers an intelligent matchmaking process that matches members based on their preferences on everything from religion to education. 

Compatibility is at the forefront of the EliteSingles matchmaking process. Members often find attractive dating results coming to their inbox. The EliteSingles team shared that 90% of members are above the age of 30 and 80% hold an advanced degree. 

EliteSingles has smart tools that can help educated singles find their perfect match without settling or having to commit a lot of time to swiping.

“Looking for someone who is educated and motivated hasn’t always been easy for me. After checking out Elite Singles, I decided to give it a try. I had to play around with the settings a little, but the people I am being suggested are precisely what I am looking for. So far, so good,” said Claire, an EliteSingles member in a review

★★★★★
4.5/5.0

Relationships: Dates and Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by gender, age, education, more

Our Experts Say: “ChristianMingle is among the largest dating sites in the industry that only caters to single Christian men and women, and the site has some of the best search filters and safety features…” Full Review »

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College life can get pretty busy and before you know it you realize that you missed three Sunday services in a row –– trust me, I’ve been there. Finding a partner who shares the same faith can be an important motivation to keep your religious traditions going. The dating app Christian Mingle can encourage young singles to prioritize their faith and find dates who feel the same way. Christian Mingle is a faith-based dating app that matches Christian women and men in meaningful and long-lasting relationships. 

Christian Mingle has helped over 15 million members meet Christian singles. All members share a commitment to Christian values, and their shared belief system can be a strong foundation for purposeful connections. Christian Mingle helps support a God-centered relationship with fun features, including profile likes, anonymous browsing, curated matches, and faith-centered profile prompts. Christian Mingle has been a champion for Christian dating in the online world, and many testimonials and reviews back its dating services. 

★★★★
4.1/5.0

Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “BlackPeopleMeet.com is the one of the largest and most popular dating sites for black and biracial singles, and the site is used by more than 5 million people a month…” Full Review »

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BlackPeopleMeet is a unique dating service tailored to African-American singles. This niche dating app offers Black men and women a space where #BlackLove can thrive. Daters can find a sense of community while online dating, and that can be an invaluable experience. 

BlackPeopleMeet members receive more than a few flirty messages in their DM’s. BlackPeopleMeet surrounds new members with like-minded people who not only look like them but share similar interests. Sparks fly as members chat about similar upbringings and shared values or beliefs

College students often want to find a local date so they don’t have to travel far from campus for romance. Fortunately, BlackPeopleMeet has a geo feature that can identify nearby matches and highlight profiles within a certain mile radius.

5. Tinder

With every swipe right or swipe left, the Tinder dating app helps a single person get one step closer to finding a perfect match. Tinder is a popular college dating app where students never have to worry about being alone on a Saturday night.

Tinder logo
The Tinder app is often used to find potential matches on and off college campus.

Tinder is free to join and has updated features for searching, swiping, and chatting with potential matches. Users can message, video chat, browse through various profiles, and more. If you wish to make your dating profile stand out, you can upgrade to a premium membership and access more features. 

Tinder has a reputation for being a hookup app for young people. And it’s true over 50% of Tinder members are under 25. However, many Tinder users have found new friends, romantic relationships, and even true love thanks to the swiping app. Tinder doesn’t box members into developing one relationship with one person – the swiping tools offer many options and opportunities to explore the dating scene.

6. Bumble 

Bumble is an online dating app that challenges the status quo. This isn’t the typical online dating experience. Bumble launched in 2014 and has made a huge impact on the online dating industry. As a feminist dating app, Bumble puts women at the forefront of making the first move with men on the dating platform. 

Bumble logo
Bumble fosters meaningful relationships by putting the needs of women first.

Female users are the only ones who can slide into a single man’s DMs after a match on Bumble. The team implemented a woman-led system to establish kindness and respect from the get-go of all encounters. 

If you thought that was unique, check this out –– in 2016 Bumble became more than just a dating app. The Bumble team wanted to help people find connections that aren’t just romantic. Bumble BFF was created for single people to find nearby friends, while Bumble Bizz provides job networking for career-driven individuals.

7. Hinge 

Hinge is the dating app that was designed to be deleted. Online dating can offer short-term fun, but the goal for many singles is to find a real relationship and delete all your dating app accounts. The Hinge team has designed a system where singles have control and can express their personalities in a way that attracts new matches. Hinge uses a matchmaking algorithm to produce quality matches and interesting conversations.

Hinge logo
Hinge is a popular dating app for serious relationship seekers.

“Other dating apps were like shooting fish in a barrel. But my girlfriend and I clicked right away on Hinge, and the conversation was effortless. We’ve been together for over a year,” said Jake, a Hinge user in a review on the homepage. 

Hinge is also a great dating app for college students who are new to the online dating scene. There’s so much to explore and members can swipe on curated lists to find a compatible match. Hinge offers promising Most Compatible suggestions and has detailed profiles that require three prompts and six photos, plus personal information about religion, lifestyle, and goals.

8. Facebook Dating

Facebook Dating is a growing dating platform designed by Meta to enhance its social network. Since 2018, Facebook Dating has gained some attention because it offers completely free messaging for all users. Although the app is rather green, it still offers great resources for swiping and chatting with new people.

Facebook Dating logo
A college student must download the Facebook app to access this free service.

Members can browse profiles and find commonalities thanks to the detailed information provided. Facebook Dating’s mission is to help people find love through similar interests and mutual friends. 

Any person who joins Facebook Dating must have an account with Facebook. Which a lot of college students already have. Facebook Dating brings local singles together online and also highlights local events that both single people are planning to attend. This provides a great opportunity for members to meet single people in real life.

FAQs: What’s the Best College Hookup App?

Many a student has gotten laid from Tinder, but it’s actually not our favorite app for pure hookup seekers. Tinder caters to all types of singles, so it’ll take some time to find those who are DTF and arrange a hot date. A dedicated casual hookup site changes the game by bringing together horny people who all share the same desire to enjoy casual sex. If you’re looking for a quickie or one-night stand, we recommend trying Ashley Madison.

★★★★
4.0/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dates, Affairs

Match System: Search by age, location, appearance, and more

Our Experts Say: “With its massive user base and advanced privacy features, Ashley Madison is the #1 site for discreet hookups, dates, or relationships…” Full Review »

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Ashley Madison is widely known as an affair dating service for married people, but it’s done a lot for hookup culture as well. Young single people can join Ashley Madison for free and explore dating profiles full of innuendo and fantasy.

Women can chat for free on Ashley Madison, so it could be an affordable way to expand your romantic options, without any of your classmates or peers being the wiser!

Where Can I Find LGBTQ+ Singles to Date?

Pretty much all mainstream dating apps today cater to single people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, but they may have the biggest selection for same-sex matching or fluid dating. The popular gay dating app Grindr will have exponentially more local dating options for gay, bisexual, and queer men, while the lesbian dating app HER has women of all identities covered. Both popular dating apps have free features to get started, and Grindr Xtra offers additional features and search filters to enjoy.

Online Dating for College Students is Growing

Online dating has created a lot of opportunities for people to date. College students now have the chance to find local dates from the comfort of their dorms. If you’re not a big fan of parties or bar hopping, a dating app can help you stay connected to the dating world. 

Although college dating can be complicated at times, it’s still fun to explore what you like and don’t like in relationships as a young person. In fact, according to HBCU Buzz, dating in college plays a major role in adult relationships. From friendships to romantic partners, college relationships can last you a lifetime.

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