PeerForward teams prove power of peer influence

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For decades, progress toward closing the gap in higher education achievement between high-income and low-income students has practically been nil. We believe students in low-income communities can change that. They are the solution. When systems serving youth adopt this mindset, the world will change. Activated youth can drive significant improvement in outcomes that make a real difference in their lives and the lives of others in their communities.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh put this hypothesis to the test when they conducted a rigorous, quasi-experimental study on the impact of College Summit’s PeerForward teams who ran campaigns in their schools to get their classmates and peers to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early. Compared to comparable schools that did not have a peer-to-peer strategy, PeerForward schools experienced a 26% greater early FAFSA completion rate. We urge you to download the evaluation report here.

The finding is not only statistically significant, but it gives the youth activation movement an emphatic proof point for the efficacy of peer influence and youth leadership. We are very proud of  the College Summit Peer Leaders, their faculty advisors and coaches who work tirelessly on behalf of the entire student body, turning from self to service with dramatic effect



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