Going to college is a life-changing experience. It’s a coming-of-age chapter when you’re finally able to break out on your own, pursue your career ambitions, nurture your growth into adulthood — and explore new romantic passions.
The problem with looking for love in college is often a lack of time, resources, and even people. You’re often so slammed with studies and in a cash crunch that it’s hard to get out and meet people. Plus, after a while, you tend to run into the same familiar faces, making it hard to make any new connections.
That’s where dating apps come in. Whether you’re looking for no-strings-attached flings or a serious relationship that will last beyond graduation, there are all kinds of matchmaking services that can help you find what you’re looking for. Here are eight dating apps that have received A+ grades from college students all over the country.
Price: Free; optional upgrades start at $3.99
Tinder is arguably the go-to app for Millenials who want an active social life. For that reason, it has a huge user base, so not only is it easy to use (all it takes is a swipe!), it’s easy to connect with someone local who’s interested in you. While it’s notorious for being a hookup app, lots of users have hopes of finding a meaningful relationship, so Tinder is a solid option no matter what you’re after.
Price: Free; optional upgrades start at $2.99
Happn took the concept behind Craigslist Missed Connections and shot it with Cupid’s arrow. It only connects you with users you’ve crossed paths with, meaning if you were feeling too shy to introduce yourself to that cutie in the campus coffee shop, all hope may not be lost. So long as you both confirm you’ve made eyes across a crowded room, the app will open the lines of communication.
Price: Free; optional upgrades start at $1.99
Bumble may very well be an answered prayer for any woman who has ever had buyers remorse over swiping right. After matching on this app, women have 24 hours to respond to their potential love interest. If they don’t, the match disappears — no awkward rejection conversation necessary! (Male users get one daily 24-hour extend option, giving the object of their affection an extra day to respond.) It’s also great for guys who are tired of having to come up with new ways of initiating a conversation with a match. Plus, it can be switched to BFF mode for users who are looking for friendship.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Price: Free; optional upgrades start at $0.99
Coffee Meets Bagel was designed to make it easier to find a serious, long-term relationship when you’re pressed for time. It takes away the work (and drudgery) of swiping through profiles and waiting for a match by sending you one “bagel” every day, or a match picked especially for you based on your profile. If you both indicate interest in each other, you’ll have eight days to strike up a conversation. The app also allows you to tailor your profile in greater detail than apps like Tinder and Bumble, so you increase your odds of matching up with the type of person you’re looking for.
Price: Free; optional upgrade of $6.99
If you’re only interested in dating fellow college students, Friendsy may be the app for you, because you can only sign up if you have a .edu email address. You can even specify the age and major you’re interested in partnering up with. It also allows you to be open about what type of relationship you’re interested in with each person you match up with. That means you can come clean about just wanting to hook up with that med student hottie and your hopes of pursuing something serious with that dog-loving aspiring architect.
Price: $7 per month
If your days of dating just for fun and finding your next fling are over, Hinge may be for you, because it was made for users who are looking for the real deal. It takes dating profiles a step further than others by including more personal details about you and what you’re looking for in a partner. Plus, it’s got a $7 monthly fee, which while affordable, tends to deter signups from people who don’t have love on the brain.
Price: Free; optional upgrades start at $38.99
Another app designed just for college students, DateMySchool allows its users to connect with only verified college students and alumni. You can tailor your profile so you match with people according to their age, school, and area of study. You can also make your profile available only to the institutions of your choice, so there’s no risk of connecting with a potential partner from a rival school!
If you loathe your school’s absence policy, your chemistry professor, or anything else (regardless of its college connection,) then Hater may be your matchmaking soulmate. It fans the flames of passion by bringing together folks with common burning hatreds. The app learns about you by asking whether you like, love, dislike, or hate a given idea, real-life person, or activity, and allows you to match with others based on what they’re gaga or gagging over. Who knew that seeing the glass as half empty was a way of finding your other half?
Whether you’re looking for a long- or short-term romantic connection, there are lots of great dating apps to choose from as an undergrad or postgraduate. Your college years are an exciting time, and they can be even more thrilling if you have someone special to share them with — whether you want them around for a week or a lifetime.