The Best Dating Apps for College Students

The Best Dating Apps for College Students
The Best Dating Apps for College Students

Finding friends in college is tough, and dating can be even tougher. A recent study showed that many college students use dating apps to meet people.

Even after the pandemic, more than 80% of students said they used dating apps as much or even more than before.

So, which dating apps are the best for college students? One app is popular, but several others are also good for students looking to date.

The Best Dating Apps for College Students


1. Tinder

  • Basic version: Free
  • Paid options: Tinder Plus (costs between $4.99 a month to $19.99 for a year), Tinder Gold (between $14.99 a month to $59.99 a year), and Tinder Platinum (between $19.99 a month to $79.99 a year).

Tinder is the top dating app for college students and is known for its easy way to find people nearby. You can set how far away you want your matches to be and specify your sexual orientation and gender. If both people swipe right, they match and can chat.

What makes Tinder popular in college is its Tinder U feature. You sign up using your college email address and can mostly see profiles from your campus. With around 85% of students on dating apps using Tinder, finding a match is pretty likely.


2. Bumble

  • Basic version: Free
  • Paid options: Bumble Boost (costs between $9.99 a month to $33.99 for six months), Bumble Premium (between $22.99 a month to $139.99 for a lifetime), and Spotlight (prices range from $1.67 to $5.99 each).

Bumble gives women the control to initiate conversation in heterosexual matches, which helps reduce unwanted messages. In matches with people of the same sex, anyone can make the first move. It also has safety features like ensuring photos are real and allowing you to chat within the app so you don’t have to give out personal information too soon.

What sets Bumble apart from other dating apps is that it also has options for finding friends and professional networking, making it a great tool for college students to meet new people in different areas of their lives.


3. Hinge

  • Basic version: Free
  • Paid option: Premium (costs between $14.99 to $29.99 a month).

Hinge lets users share photos and respond to fun prompts to create their profile. The app helps you find people based on where and what you like. But what’s different about Hinge is that it tries to match you with people who are friends of your friends on Facebook.

Hinge doesn’t just throw a bunch of profiles at you. Instead, it selects a specific group of people for you. You can like and comment on parts of someone’s profile that stand out to you. If someone does the same for you, you can chat to get to know each other better.


4. Grindr

  • Basic version: Free
  • Paid options: XTRA ($24.99 a month), Unlimited ($49.99 a month).

Grindr is a dating app for gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer men designed to help them meet other men nearby. Users create a profile with a photo and a brief bio, then look for potential matches. The app shows other users based on how close they are to you. Once you find someone you like, you can exchange photos and decide whether to meet in person.

While some people use Grindr to find long-term relationships, it’s often used for casual meet-ups.


5. Coffee Meets Bagel

  • Basic version: Free
  • Paid options: Premium (costs between $34.99 a month to $179.99 a year), Beans (prices range from $1.99 to $24.99).

Coffee Meets Bagel is a dating app that gives you better matches than just swiping around. It suggests people you might like based on its smart algorithm. If you see someone you’re interested in, you like their profile to start a conversation.

The app checks your social media and common friends to find people who might be a good match for you. Every day, it sends you a group of potential matches based on your likes and dislikes, getting smarter about your preferences over time.


6. HER

  • Basic version: Free
  • Paid options: Premium (between $7.50 and $14.99 monthly.

HER is a dating and social networking app designed for lesbian, bisexual, queer, nonbinary, transgender, and gender-nonconforming individuals. Queer people created it, and it aims to be a welcoming and safe space for its users.

When using HER to find a date, you can specify 16 different sexual orientations and 18 gender identities to match with someone who fits your preferences. You browse through profiles, and if you like someone, you can match them to start chatting. Besides dating, HER lets you make friends and stay updated on local LGBTQ+ events.


7. OkCupid

  • Basic version: Free
  • Paid options: Basic ($5.99 to $11.99 a month), Premium ($19.99 to $39.99 a month), and Boosts ($4.99 to $6.99 each).

OkCupid has been around since 2004, making it one of the older dating apps. You can post photos and write about yourself, your hobbies, and what you’re looking for in a date. You also answer 15 questions, and OkCupid uses your answers to determine how well you match with other people.

After you finish your profile, you can start looking for matches. If you find someone interesting, you can like their answers or write comments on them. You can also search for people who gave specific answers that you like.