10 Best Dating Apps For College Students To Find Your First Love
Last Updated on February 23, 2023
Looking for love on campus? There’s an app for that! That shouldn’t come as a surprise, as there’s an app for pretty much everything these days – including dating.
In the not-so-distant past, the college dating scene involved going to parties, joining clubs, or just walking up to someone and asking them if they wanted to go out. Not anymore! Things have changed a lot, thanks to technology.
Applications that are specifically designed to connect people who are looking for relationships can be downloaded right onto your smartphone. While dating apps have certainly simplified the college dating scene and have made it a lot more convenient, if you’re new to it, you’re probably wondering what apps to use.
While there is a plethora of dating apps, some are better suited for people your age. Rather than wasting your time with apps that are better suited for retirees or divorcees, keep on reading to discover the best dating apps for college students.
Whether you’re looking for a committed relationship or just a quick hookup, below, you’ll find an app that can help to lead you toward college hunks or babes.
1. OkCupid: Best Dating App
First on our list of the best dating apps for college students is OkCupid. This dating site gets a lot of attention and for good reason. It uses a lot of really advanced algorithms that are specifically designed to help users find great matches – and they really work!
To use the app, you’ll need to sign up using your email address or Facebook account and answer a few questions regarding your basics, as well as a handful of questions that will help to display your personality. You also have the option of sharing some of your personal interests and can link your Instagram account.
One of the things that makes OkCupid awesome is the long list of optional questions that are designed to showcase your personality and what you’re looking for in a boyfriend/girlfriend/friend with benefits. They aren’t run-of-the-mill questions, and that’s what makes your answers so revealing; for example, you might be asked, “Would you consider hooking up with a serial killer?”
You don’t have to answer these questions if you don’t want to; it’s totally up to you. While they might seem silly and even comical, it’s probably a good idea for someone who might be interested in going out on a date with you to know whether or not you would hook up with a serial killer, right? If you do decide to answer these questions, you can opt to share your answers publicly, or you can keep them private. If you choose the latter option, the OkCupid algorithms will use your responses to pick matches for you.
2. Tinder: Best For Casual Dating
Full disclosure: Tinder is best for those who are looking for casual dating experiences, so if you’re looking for friends-with-benefits, it’s a great option; however, if you’re looking for romance, then we suggest trying another app on this list. With that said, unless you’ve been living on a secluded island, you’re probably well aware that Tinder is the first “swipe right, swipe left” dating app.
In fact, its claim to fame is that it changed the online dating scene. With Tinder, algorithms use location to generate matches and scan your Facebook profile to find out about your interest, so getting started with this dating app is super simple. Once you’ve completed the sign-up process, you can start swiping; a right swipe means “yes,” and a left swipe means “no,” and you’ll be matched with those who swipe right for your profile.
The original Tinder was already good for college students, but they recently launched a version that is specifically designed for college-aged peeps, called “Tinder U.” When you sign up with Tinder using an email address from a four-year accredited college or university, the swipes you receive will be for nearby college students. Awesome, right?
3. Ashley Madison: Best For Having Affairs
Speaking of hookups, if you’re just looking for fun, check out Ashley Madison, as this dating app is meant for hooking up. The site was founded in 2002, and with more than 60 million users, it’s one of the biggest dating sites in the world. It’s kind of a notorious app, as it’s known for being used to connect people who are looking to have affairs and one-night stands.
If these types of things interest you, then signing up is easy; just enter your contact details, create a username, add your ethnicity and birthday, and you have an account. You’ll also need to create a dating profile and upload a few pics.
As stated, there are more than 60 million users on Ashley Madison, and more than ¾ of them are men, so guys, expect some competition, and gals, you’ll have a good selection to choose from. You can browse through an unlimited amount of profiles, and if you want to keep your presence quiet, you can set your profile to anonymous.
If you find an Ashley Madison user who piques your interest, you can send him/her virtual gifts or direct messages. You can also view your messages that have been received recently on the homepage and respond to messages with a simple click.
4. Adult Friend Finder: Best For Hookups
This is another dating app for college students who are looking for casual relationships and hookups, so if that’s what you’re looking for, then this dating app may be able to help you score. While sign-up is free, using the site is easy, there’s a large base of active users, and Adult Friend Finder does guarantee to protect your privacy, which is all positive, but there are some downsides.
There are lots of ads that you’ll have to deal with, and as if that isn’t annoying enough, the app is littered with bots, inactive profiles, fake accounts, and scam artists, so do be advised and if you’re going to use the app, make sure you’re on the lookout for these things. Also, back in 2015, Adult Friend Finder experienced a major security breach, and while they claim that the issue has since been resolved, it’s something to keep in mind.
You’ll find lots of, shall we say, “open-minded” individuals on Adult Friend Finder, and when we say “open-minded,” we really mean it (if you catch our drift).
This is the place where people go when they want to let off some steam or when they want to get freaky and try out new things and perhaps fetishes but don’t want to be judged; for example, the site welcomes those who are into kink, polyamory, and swinging, so if these kinds of things – or other unusual things – are what you’re into, then there’s a good chance that you’ll find what you’re looking for on Adult Friend Finder.
5. Friendsy: Best For College Students
This dating app is kind of like Facebook when it first started, back when it was intended for college students only. Just like you need to when signing up with the now mega social media giant (now officially known as “Meta”), you’ll need to use a .edu email address in order to create an account with Friendsy. The purpose of this app is to make it easier for college students to meet one another on campus.
There are super-targeted filtering options; for example, you can choose to only see the profiles of Senior accounting majors at your school. This targeted filtering is a plus, in our view, as it increases the chances of finding those who share common interests.
Friendsy is similar to Tinder in that it’s a swipe-based dating app, a swipe to the right means “yes,” and a swipe to the left means “no,” and if someone swipes right for you, you’ll be able to send messages, etc. You can also send “hints” to other users, which let you know when someone is interested in you.
6. Match: Best For Online Dating
There’s no doubt you’ve heard of the match, one of the biggest, most well-established, and widely used online dating sites. At over 20 years old, it might be older than you! Why has the match been around for so long? Well, it’s simple, really: it works! There are literally countless success stories of couples finding love via the site. The magic is in the advanced algorithms that the site uses, which have been carefully designed after carefully analyzing specific data sets.
After you create a profile and choose your dating preferences, you can start viewing any other match user, as the site doesn’t limit the number of profiles you can access. You’ll also receive suggestions based on the criteria you select, which you can modify whenever you want.
7. Hinge: Best For Finding Love
Next up, we offer Hinge. This dating app is sort of like a blend of Tinder and OkCupid, our two top picks. You’ll be asked to fill in some basic info about yourself, such as your current location, where you’re from, your height, and a few other key bits of info.
Like OkCupid, you’ll answer a few questions and will select three to showcase on your public profile. Rather than judging users on photos alone, you’ll have a more personal experience and will be able to better showcase your personality.
There are a lot of filters on Hinge, which lets you fine-tune your search. There’s also a “dealbreaker” feature, which will further narrow your search; for instance, if dating someone who has a particular political preference is a big no-no for you, you can choose that preference as your dealbreaker.
When you find profiles you like, rather than liking the entire profile, you’ll have to select either an answer to a question or a picture to try and match up. Another notable feature: you can link your Instagram account.
8. eHarmony: Best For Serious Relationships
This is another dating site that you’ve probably heard of, as it’s super-popular and has been around since online dating became a thing. eHarmony is more geared toward people who are looking for committed relationships. In fact, at one time, eHarmony was responsible for creating the most marriages on all dating sites. Responses to lengthy questionnaires that inquire about your specifics in terms of your personality and dating preferences are used to create matches.
Expect to invest a good bit of time into answering the questionnaires, a worthwhile investment if you’re serious about finding someone who is as serious about finding someone as you are. There really is a good chance that you could end up finding – and marrying – your one-and-only on this dating site.
9. Zoosk: Best For Finding Perfect Partner
With more than 30 million users – a large percentage of whom are college-aged – Zoosk is an online dating app is another great app you can try. Rather than using quizzes, this app uses a smart system that monitors your actions, such as who you like and message, to suggest potential matches.
If you prefer, you can fill out a bio, or you can share who your perfect match would be and your idea of the perfect date. The app boasts a lot of cool features, including messaging and location, as well as the ability to see specific ages and sexes.
The cutting-edge user interface, combined with ease of use, are two elements that users say they really like about Zoosk. There’s also a photo verification option, which allows users to prove that they really look like the pictures they share, another unique and awesome feature.
Most users report that they have had good luck with the site and claim that they enjoy that it gives them the opportunity to be as personal – or impersonal – as they like.
10. Bumble: Best For Women
Finally, there’s Bumble, which is totally unique, as women have to make the first move on this dating app. The reason? To hopefully reduce the number of unsolicited messages they receive from weirdo dudes, which is supposed to “level the playing field,” so to speak, and change traditional dating dynamics by encouraging respect and equality right off the bat.
Bumble is another dating app that uses the “swipe” approach to show possible matches; however, unlike other sites that use this method, matches expire within 24 hours. Ladies, this means that you have a narrow window to come up with a line that will impress any matches you’re interested in!
There are tons of great dating sites for college students, but in our opinion, the 10 options featured here top the list. Whether you’re looking for a lasting relationship, a fling, or just a one-time hookup, there’s a good chance one of these sites will help you achieve your goal.
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