Did you expect your college dating life to be like a steamy movie? Singles would fall over you the moment you stepped on campus, and you’d have your pick of eligible students.
But then you got to college, and reality smacked you in the face. It turns out the singles aren’t hanging out at the quad, waiting for the love of their lives to walk by. No, college and grad students are so busy with school and extracurriculars that it’s hard to find dates.
Let’s rephrase that. It’s hard to find dates the traditional way. We did our homework and found the best grad school and college dating apps for singles. No matter what you want out of your next relationship or hookup, these apps have you covered.
5 Best College Dating Apps
EliteSingles – Best for Busy College and Grad Students
You barely have time to date with your busy schedule. The last thing you want to do is spend hours a day pouring over “matches” that aren’t even close to what you want.
And that’s a great reason to sign up for EliteSingles.
The intelligent matching algorithm analyzes your education, location, relationship preferences, and personality. Then, it matches you to 3-7 people a day. The matches might be fewer, but the quality is higher, so you can save time when looking for a date.
If you want a dating app that will fit into your busy life, this is the one for you. And you can grab a basic membership for free. It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular dating apps for college and grad students.
The League – Best for Students who Prioritize Privacy
You have big dreams after college and don’t want your dating life squashing them. In other words, you’d prefer to build a wall between your dating life and your professional connections. Otherwise, you could swipe right into a date with the person managing your internship over summer break.
Now, that would be awkward. Fortunately, The League is the solution to this problem.
You can block your professional connections from finding your dating profile by connecting your profile to LinkedIn. Those connections won’t be able to penetrate the digital wall, so you’ll be safe to browse for a date. But that’s not the only reason we think this is one of the best college dating apps out there.
The dating app is designed for high performers and those with ambition, making it a perfect fit for college and grad students. With such high-quality singles, you won’t have any trouble finding someone on your level.
Are you excited about what The League has to offer? Set up a free profile today.
Zoosk – The Best App for Growing with You
You’re going to change quite a bit during your college and grad school years. At first, you might prefer hookups and casual flings, only to look for long-lasting love as you get closer to going out into the “real world.”
That’s why we love Zoosk for grad school and college dating.
See, this dating app welcomes change and adjusts to your goals. It analyzes every heart, smiley face, and vote you send. Then, the SmartPick technology gets to work to find you that special someone…even if it’s just for the night.
Because it never stops analyzing your activity, it’ll grow with you as you get closer to receiving your degree.
Ready to ditch the flings and look for long-lasting love? Interact with the app to let it know, and it’ll help you find your match before receiving your diploma. Let it get to know you today by signing up for a free trial.
eHarmony – Best for College Students Who Are Anti Drama and Pro LTR
Are your memories of dating in high school a bit…mixed?
Sure, it was fun, but the drama was enough to stage a major production. Now that you’re in college or grad school, the idea of inviting the drama back into your life isn’t all that thrilling. You’re probably ready for something stable that might even lead to marriage.
That’s why we love eHarmony. You’ll take some time signing up to let eHarmony get to know the real you. Then, it’ll match you with people that have the personality and traits you’re looking for in a mate. That means less drama and more fun.
And here’s something we really love about eHarmony…
If graduation is closing in, you might be thinking about marriage as a long-term goal. Well, it doesn’t have to be that far in the future when using eHarmony.
A study back in 2013 found that more married couples met on eHarmony than on any other dating site. And those marriages proved to be solid, with a lower divorce rate compared to couples that met on other platforms.
Are you ready to say goodbye to drama and hello to long-term love? Start by creating a free profile today.
Tinder – Best for Finding Other College Students
The best college dating apps generally have a mix of college students and graduates. While that’s great for some singles, you might want to focus solely on finding other college students to date. Tinder U has entered the chat.
The new feature is available in the U.S. and U.K. and allows college students to match with people on their campus or at nearby colleges.
You’ll need to give Tinder your .edu email address to activate the feature. Then, you’ll see profiles from students at your school and nearby schools first.
Looking for a study date or want to pair up with the cross-town rivalry? This cool feature has you covered. First, though, create your free Tinder profile.
Why Are These Dating Apps Great for College Students?
Find Matches for Each Stage of the College Experience – College dating often starts with casual relationships and ends in long-term love. These dating apps give you access to both, along with everything in between.
Match with Ambitious Singles – You don’t want to work your way through college or grad school only to end up with a partner that isn’t as motivated as you. These apps are full of ambitious singles that can’t wait to take the world by storm.
Safety First – Dating on a college campus can be dangerous, but these apps focus on safety. Features like profile verification can protect you while out on the dating scene.
Go Beyond the Surface Level – Higher education teaches you to look beyond the surface and explore the unseen and unsaid. These dating apps are personality-focused, so you can stop scraping the surface and get to know people.
How to Balance Online Dating and Coursework
College and grad school can keep you so busy you might think you can’t add anything else into the mix. Thus, you might be thinking about waiting until you have your diploma in hand. That’s not ideal, though, so there has to be a better way, right?
There sure is. We’ve come up with some strategies to help you balance online dating with your coursework.
First, we recommend turning off notifications inside of the dating apps you use, especially during the school week. Then, you can focus on your studies instead of grabbing your phone every time it pings or dings.
Also, set aside a block of time each day to browse for singles and check out your matches. Once you connect with someone, you can use that time to communicate on the app. If you have trouble sticking to the schedule, set a timer and close the app once it goes off.
Finally, be clear about your time-related boundaries early and often when dating online. If you encounter a time vampire, let the match know your boundaries. And don’t worry if the match keeps trying to cross them. That’s a sign that you need to disconnect so the single can find fresh blood somewhere else.
Distance Settings for Online Dating in College
If you plan to stick to digital dating, you can open yourself up to singles around the world. However, you’ll want to stick a little closer to campus if in-person dates are on the agenda. So, why is this such a big deal for college students?
First, less than half of students have cars on campus, making it hard to travel far to date in person.
Second, even college students with cars rarely have the time to drive far to meet up. There’s just too much going on in college.
That’s why we recommend starting with a small radius. You can set the distance to a mile or two so you can hike over if needed. And remember, you can always expand the radius if you aren’t getting the results you want.
Avoiding Catfishes and Scams When Dating Online
Your school administrators have probably talked a lot about staying safe while dating on campus. You also need to keep safety in mind when looking for love in the virtual world.
First, use dating apps that verify profiles so you can avoid catfish and creeps that are looking for some dangerous fun.
Then, set up a video call before catching feelings. Some apps, like eHarmony and Tinder, have video chat built into the platform. You can also use Zoom, Skype, or another service to connect outside of the app.
It’s a good idea to check your match’s social media accounts before getting swept up in a virtual love affair. These days, pretty much everyone has a profile on Instagram, Facebook, and other networks, so do a deep dive to make sure the person is a good (and safe) fit.
Can College Students Find Long-Term Relationships Online?
Have you heard that college is just about hookup culture? Sure, you can meet up for sex, but that’s where the story ends.
It turns out that’s greatly exaggerated, as researchers for the University of Texas at Austin discovered. The researchers surveyed more than 24,000 college students across 22 campuses, and here’s what they found:
62 percent had engaged in hookups
61 percent stated they’d been on dates
Eight percent had hooked up without being in an LTR or going on dates
26.5 percent never hooked up while in college
The evidence is clear. You can use these dating apps to find a long-term relationship or a hookup. Don’t let your goals make you think you need to sit on the sidelines. Get out there and have some fun!
Should You Swipe Right on a Professor’s Pic?
As much as you’d like to imagine your professors retiring to homes full of cats and papers to grade, they have lives, too. And if they’re single, those lives may very well involve dating. Some professors use the same dating apps college students use, so you might come across one or two during your time online.
Most colleges and universities prohibit professors and students from dating. And even those that don’t have rules in place should. Let’s just say it usually doesn’t end well. If you come across a professor, it’s best to ignore the profile and move on.
And as much as you might want to share the info with your buddies, staying quiet is ideal in this situation. You don’t want it to get back to your professor, so remain tight-lipped and look for singles that aren’t in charge of your grades.
But here’s another scenario… What if a professor matches with you?
In this, your best bet is to unmatch and go your separate ways. If the professor continues to pursue you, consider speaking to authority at your college or grad school about your next steps.