The Best Free Dating Apps for Students

Posted 26 Jan 2021

Being single is awesome. Being single in a pandemic, not so much. Whilst lockdown has cleared the streets of canoodling doe-eyed couples (hooray!) it also means we can’t get out there and test the rocky waters of the student sea. This, along with the upcoming digital cringe-fest that will be Valentine’s Day, calls for an intervention. Even more so if you’ve been binge-watching series like Bridgerton and are now yearning for your very own Simon Basset.

Well, your cry for help has been heard. Our intervention leads us to one thing and one thing only… virtual dating. Don’t roll your eyes and close the page! Yes, navigating the online world of digital dating is a minefield. But lucky for you, we’re hear to help you get through it unscathed.

We’ve narrowed down the best free dating apps for students, so you can find your perfect match from the comfort of quarantine...

Tinder

You can’t talk about dating apps and not include the very foundation upon which the system was built! Tinder is the Godfather of all dating apps. We love to hate it, we hate to love it. Have you ever really been single if you haven’t encountered a so-awful-it’s-hilarious Tinder exchange?!

Whether you’re a fan or not, Tinder is used by SO many people that you can’t overlook the possibility of finding romance on there. The way it works is that you swipe left or right based on someone’s photos, bio and interests. But let’s be real, it’s the photos that do the talking! It’s very easy to use (minus the odd accidental super like) which makes it an easy fix on a boring Saturday in lockdown. P.S. all that finger swiping totally counts as exercise, okay?!

Use If: 

You don’t mind choosing matches almost solely on looks, you don’t have the patience to fill in all the matchmaker questions on dating websites.

Don’t Use If: 

You’re looking for a really serious relationship. It can be done, but most swipers are just looking for a ‘bit of fun’ *eye roll*

Bumble

The dating app where women make the first move! This app pushes females to be confident and lead the conversation. Empowering, right? What’s more, the time limit on those initial messages means you’ve just got to bite the bullet and talk. It stops the awkward dwindling and ‘will they reply/like me/think I’m attractive’ inner demon talk getting in the way! Bumble is also not limited to seeking love – you can change the settings to find a bestie or even a new job on there… WILD!

Use If: 

You’re a female and want to take full control of initiating conversation OR you’re a male and want to lose the pressure of having to message first!

Don’t Use If: 

You’re a slow replier! You’ll lose matches and get stressed out with the time limit.

Uni-Dating

A student only dating app! Users must sign up with their university email address, so you can guarantee that everyone on here is a student. Whilst swiping through, you can see users’ University, Course and Year of Study. This makes it easier to start a conversation and even find mutual friends or a common interest. The app was developed for students by students, which makes it pretty student-friendly if you’re asking us.

Use If: 

You’re a student looking to date a student. BNOC’s included.

Don’t Use If: 

You’re not a student or may as well not be since you never go to lectures.

Hinge

This dating app is based on finding matches with similar interests to you. If you’ve got some great stories and life experiences to tell, this is your time to shine! Hinge allows you to display your own personal answers to various prompt questions on your public bio. That way, potential matches can find out a bit more about you than what a one-liner bio allows. Whether you volunteered in an elephant sanctuary in Asia or are a pro pint-puller in a rowdy pub, Hinge gives you the chance to tell your story and find a fitting match.

Use If: 

You’re serious about finding a relationship. Hinge’s algorithm suggests who you’re ‘Most Compatible With’ and even suggests people for you to meet. The covid-friendly wingman we all need.

Don’t Use If: 

You’re not comfortable talking about yourself and don’t want people to be notified when you’ve ‘liked’ them.

Happn

This app is perfect for students living in the city, given that it shows you users that you’ve walked past already or are likely to cross paths with. Did someone say fate? This may not be as effective in a national lockdown where the most interaction you’re getting is with your fridge door, but if you live with us at true it’ll still be able to show you other users in the building and nearby! Did someone say true romance? Whilst not limited to students, Happn is great for showing you people on campus, in your building of residence or even in your local supermarket!

Use If: 

You want to meet someone in your local area who hangs out in the same places.

Don’t Use If: 

You live outside of the city! This app isn’t for rural folk.

Grindr

By far the most popular dating app for the LGBTQ Community. This app is generally for casual hookups but can still be a great way to meet other gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer people. Remember that whilst popular amongst students, Grindr is not limited to students. Therefore, you’re likely to come across many non-student users residing in your local area. It’s also known to get quite risqué so if you don’t feel comfortable with this, it might be a better idea to get involved in your University’s LGBTQ community instead.

Use If: 

You’re looking to enter the minefield of LGBTQ singletons.

Don’t Use If: 

You want a PG virtual dating experience – Grindr’s known to get a bit raunchy!


This brings us to the end of the list, but fear not - there's still hope! This Valentine's Day at true, we're focusing all on Palentine's. Who needs love anyway? Join us as we go speed 'friendship' dating virtually. Don't worry, it won't be awkward. We've got games and hilarously random prompt questions to break the ice. You could find yourself with a brand new true match, whether they're in the friendzone or not... 

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With help from Save the Student.

Posted 26 Jan 2021