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 Learn how California State University, Northridge (CSUN) increases enrollment & belonging with Nearpeer


Newly-released results from CSUN's 12,000+ student Fall Class

Measured via randomized controlled trial (RCT), the gold standard to definitively measure impact and remove all bias

Nearpeer at CSUN Banner

"Nearpeer made us a lot of promises –

and they delivered on every one of them."

David Dufault-Hunter, CSUN Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services

Nearpeer's enrollment impact


new Fall students

Launched in just 2 weeks, CSUN achieved great results. 

In May 2022, CSUN's enrollment team, led by Dr. David Dufault-Hunter, selected Nearpeer to grow first-year and transfer enrollment by creating a greater sense of belonging among recruits.  

David decided to structure this Nearpeer program as a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to gain the most accurate, irrefutable measure of Nearpeer's enrollment impact.

Overall student


new enrollment

Transfer student


new enrollment

Black student


new enrollment

First-gen student


new enrollment

Why does an RCT matter?

CSUN wanted to accurately measure Nearpeer's impact, remove all bias, and exclude the impact from 10+ student supports already available, including chatbots, peer mentoring, orientation, advising, EAB Navigate app, and more.

So CSUN randomized their incoming class into two similar groups of students. One group was offered Nearpeer, and the other group didn't know Nearpeer existed. CSUN then compared these two groups.

RCT 2 groups

Did you know?

This ongoing RCT is the largest and newest study of its kind on the impact of belonging on new student enrollment, persistence, and inclusion.

What is Nearpeer? Watch this CSUN video for incoming students

With introduction by CSUN Associated Students President Shayan Moshtael and Vice President Eden Shashoua

"Now, using Nearpeer, the international and transfer student experience has improved greatly for our students because now they're meeting students from across the world before they even come here." 

Aaron Lindberg, CSUN Director of Admissions

Nearpeer is student-centric, different, and easily launched

CSUN's Aaron Lindberg, Dir. of Admissions, in 2022 "Admit It" podcast. Aaron leads a 30-person domestic and international recruiting team.


transfer melt

"Our transfer students are a significant concern to us...[with Nearpeer] there is a 22% higher likelihood that they would enroll."

David Dufault-Hunter, CSUN Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services

two male students

⇑ equity + inclusion

"Our black student population at CSUN has been on the decline. So to see this platform being something that encourages our black students to consider CSUN and ultimately enroll is a pretty significant encouragement for us."

David Dufault-Hunter, CSUN AVP for Enrollment Services

With Nearpeer, CSUN students gain a momentum that also improves their persistence and success as they progress through their first year and beyond. 


Black student first-year persistence

The momentum from Nearpeer resulted in even larger impact over time, including an impressive 12% lift - 7.8 percentage points - in Black student enrollment through Spring 2023 among new students who committed to enroll for Fall 2022. 

Student leaders love Nearpeer

"Yes, 100%, I definitely believe Nearpeer is helping with our student government's mission."

 Shayan Moshtael, President, Associated Students, CSUN

More meaningful recruiting events

"On the Nearpeer platform, students were connecting with one another in anticipation of the event…So we were already seeing the connections that were made in the platform being manifest in the actual interaction and engagement they were having with one another and with the institution."

AVP David Dufault-Hunter on their SOAR event for admitted students

CSUN outdoor event

Over 50X 

return on investment

$1 spent on Nearpeer's programs results in over $50 in tuition and related revenue from CSUN's higher enrollment, resulting in millions of additional dollars

Nearpeer's programs are extremely cost-effective, even for budget-constrained institutions

Why do CSUN's first-year and transfer students love Nearpeer? Hear directly from new students

Leaders are improving recruiting, retention, and inclusion dramatically and easily with higher ed's most student-centric space for belonging and connection.

Our peer-to-peer engagement platform ensures students "find their people" and feel like they belong, improving enrollment, retention, and success.

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2023 report cover shadow

Get the 2023 report

For a deeper dive on CSUN's program, results, and what's next

Click here for access


Ready to learn more about Nearpeer?

quotes from students about how much they appreciate Nearpeer