6 best chat apps for students in higher education

Sara Ana Cemazar
December 7, 2023
min read

Students of today have been brought up in a digital-first world. Not only are they used to instant messaging and chat, but also expect it as an integral part of technology they use.

By integrating solutions that enable instant communication via chat for students, universities can meet these expectations head-on.

Especially, for students engaged in remote learning or those adapting to digital platforms, education chat becomes an indispensable tool for collaboration and study, seamlessly bridging the gap between traditional and digital education spaces.

Chat for students: use cases

Let's explore some practical use cases for apps streamlining chat for students:

1. Live chat on the website

  • Recruitment and admissions: 75% of students expect a personalized response from educational institutions within 24 hours of their initial inquiry. Prospective students often have numerous questions about courses, campus life, and application processes. A live chat feature on university websites enables immediate engagement, providing personalized responses and guidance.
  • Answering FAQs: Common queries about deadlines, course requirements, or campus facilities can be efficiently addressed through chat. This not only saves time for both students and administration but also streamlines information dissemination.

2. Chat embedded in the Learning Management System (LMS) or as a stand-alone app

  • Student-to-student communication: This feature fosters a collaborative learning environment where students can discuss assignments, share study resources, or form study groups.
  • Student-teacher communication: Education chat enables direct communication between students and teachers, allowing for quick clarification of doubts, submission of assignments, or scheduling of one-on-one sessions.
  • Student-staff communication: Essential for managing administrative aspects like housing, finances, or bureaucratic procedures. Students can easily inquire about their tuition fee deadlines or housing assignments, ensuring smooth operational flow.

Best chat for students and the education industry

Let's dive into some of the best apps that enable quick and customized chat for students in the education sector.

1. Rocket.Chat

chat for students

Rocket.Chat is a versatile, open-source collaboration platform designed for secure hybrid and remote learning environments. As a top-rated education chat platform, it's used by over 700 schools and universities worldwide, offering features that support seamless campus communications while prioritizing data privacy and compliance with regulations like GDPR.

How students use Rocket.Chat?

  • Enhanced Collaboration: Students can create or join various teams, channels, and discussions, facilitating both synchronous and asynchronous communication. This fosters a dynamic digital learning environment and boosts student engagement.
  • Streamlined Administrative Communication: Rocket.Chat simplifies interactions with university staff, allowing students to efficiently manage matters related to housing, finances, and other bureaucratic processes.
  • Inter-University and External Communication: Students can connect with peers from other universities, as well as external entities and companies, promoting a broader educational network.

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

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2. LiveChat

chat for students

LiveChat is a widely used customer service platform that has found its niche in the educational sector. Known for its intuitive interface and robust functionality, this app simplifies chat for students and facilitates real-time digital communication with education institutions.

How Students Use LiveChat

  • Immediate Support: Students can get instant answers to their queries regarding admissions, courses, and campus facilities, enhancing their overall experience with the institution.
  • Accessible Help for Remote Learning: LiveChat provides a platform for students engaged in remote learning to seek assistance, whether for technical support or academic queries.
  • Feedback and Suggestions: Students can easily give feedback on courses and campus services, contributing to the improvement of educational offerings.

3. WhatsApp

chat for students

WhatsApp, a globally popular chat app, is extensively used in the education sector for its simplicity and widespread accessibility. Its end-to-end encryption ensures secure communication, making it a reliable chat for students and educators alike.

How Students Use WhatsApp

  • Group Discussions and Study Groups: Students frequently use WhatsApp to form study groups, discuss course materials, and collaborate on assignments.
  • Direct Communication with Educators: It allows for personal and group chat for students with teachers, enabling quick resolution of academic queries and efficient dissemination of information.

4. Slack

chat for students

Slack is a sophisticated communication platform widely recognized for its organizational efficiency and collaboration features. In the education sector, Slack provides a structured environment for communication, making it suitable for more formal and organized educational interactions.

How Students Use Slack

  • Organized Course Discussions: Slack channels can be dedicated to specific courses or topics, enabling structured and topic-specific discussions among students and educators.
  • Direct Messaging for Personalized Communication: Students can directly message professors or peers for individual queries or discussions, facilitating personalized learning experiences.
  • Project Collaboration: Its features support project management and collaboration, making it ideal for group assignments and research projects.

5. Discord

chat for students

Originally popular among gamers, Discord has emerged as a favorite chat app in the education sector for its flexibility and community-focused features. It offers voice, video, and text communication, which are highly adaptable for various educational purposes.

How Students Use Discord

  • Community Building: Students create and join communities or 'servers' related to their educational interests or specific courses.
  • Study Groups and Tutoring: Discord allows for the formation of study groups and tutoring sessions with voice and video capabilities, enhancing the interactive learning experience.

6. GroupMe

chat for students

GroupMe is a simple, user-friendly chat for students that excels in straightforward communication. It’s particularly effective for coordinating and staying connected in large groups, such as class cohorts or club members.

How Students Use GroupMe

  • Class Announcements and Updates: Instructors and students use GroupMe for disseminating class announcements, schedule changes, and important updates.
  • Study Group Coordination: Students often form study groups on GroupMe to share notes, coordinate study sessions, and discuss coursework.
  • Event Planning and Club Communication: It’s a popular tool among student organizations for planning events and managing club communications.

How to choose the best chat for students?

Choosing the right chat solution for an educational institution doesn't come easy. There are many use cases to cover. Meanwhile, universities are often limited in budget but have to adhere to stringent data privacy regulations to protect student data.

A communication tool is one of the most important parts of educational software stack. To fit into an already complex infrastructure, many universities choose to deploy open source software that meets their flexibility, security, and budgetary needs.

Learn how Rocket.Chat supports secure hybrid and remote learning environments for higher education institutions and their partners.

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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