These Are The Dating Apps That College Students Actually Use

Even though you’re surrounded by fellow students when you’re in college, sometimes you find that you’re just don't want to date anyone in your sociology lecture. Or your freshman composition class. Or your physics study group. Or even in your entire dorm. Whether you want to digitally swipe through classmates you haven’t met yet, expand your range to look for students at nearby colleges, or go out with someone who's not attending college or has already graduated, there’s an answer to your conundrum: a dating app.

Today, more people meet their partners on dating apps than in any other way. This is true for couples of all sexual orientations, but particularly true for same-sex couples. And dating apps are very popular among people in their late teens and early 20s. One survey found that 75% of adults ages 18-24 use Tinder — and that’s just one app.


So, you’re a college student who wants to use a dating app. Which app do you use? I conducted a quick social media survey to find out. Turns out that while there are college-specific dating apps out there, the dating apps college students use aren’t too different from the dating apps twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings use. And that's without even going into sliding into someone's Instagram DMs. If you want to use a dating app in college, these are your best bets.


How it works: As you probably know, Tinder is the original "swiping app." Swipe right on people you’re interested in and left on people you’re not. If you match, you can start talking. Tinder also offers a college student-only feature called Tinder U.

One review: “The only dating app you need to have. Very easy to use and you can always find someone to chat up. The filters are very helpful and you can sift and find matches nearby.”


How it works: You swipe right on people you’re into and left on people you’re not. The Bumble twist: If you’re a woman who matched with a man, you’re the only one who can initiate a convo.

One review: “I love using Bumble. As a woman, I like that it gives me control in a conversation and I don’t get weird messages from guys.”


How it works: On HER, a dating app for queer women, nonbinary folks, and trans men, you can “like” profiles of people you’re interested in. If you match with each other, you can start talking. There’s also a social media-style feed where you can find out about local events and chat with members.

One review: “I love it. I get to talk to cute girls in my area without having the issue of accidentally asking a straight girl out.”


How it works: If you're into someone's Hinge profile, you can “heart” one of their photos or one of their answers to three prompts. If you match, you can start talking.

One review: “It’s not like other dating apps and really does a great job of connecting you with the right people. Of course some people get flaky and don’t reply, but Hinge offers you many people with similar interests.”


How it works: OkCupid has lengthier profiles than other dating apps, plus numerous questions you can answer. If you’re into someone’s profile, you can swipe right on them and send a message. However, people can only read messages from people that they’ve liked.

One review: “The set of prompts supports deeper connections than any other app I’ve used. The set of questions to automatically judge compatibility is impressive and unique to this app.”

Coffee Meets Bagel

How it works: Every day, Coffee Meets Bagel sends you a select number of “bagels.” You can “like” or “pass” on each bagel, and if you match on each other, you can start talking.

One review: “Love how this site encourages real conversation and meeting up in person. I like that it gives you something deeper to talk about then ‘yo what are you doing?’ It’s like they are encouraging real relationships and not just flings.”
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