Peer endorsement is a major influence on today’s college-going population. Put simply, in an age of authenticity, the messenger matters. Forward-thinking colleges are approaching getting students to engage with campus services with this in mind and implementing student success strategies that leverage peer mentorship to foster sense of belonging and uplift critical resources.

Here’s why that investment is paying off.

According to the US Surgeon General, about 1 in 2 adults report experiencing loneliness and social isolation, with young people being among the most vulnerable in society.

This lack of social connection at such a pivotal time of transition – like starting college – is bound to bring about emotional stress. Mental health and stress have been shown to be a primary cause of students dropping out of college. While many colleges and universities have invested in increasing mental health support services, a lot of institutions are struggling to get students to effectively utilize these services.

Peer mentorship as a strategy benefits from students’ openness with others like them. Students are more likely to turn to their peers than anyone else on campus if they need support. A recent survey from Inside Higher Ed confirmed this with 73 percent of students stating they feel most comfortable sharing important information with their peers, compared to just 8 percent who feel comfortable talking to student affairs professionals.

Read the full article about peer mentorship at Higher Education Dive.