Social competence has been related consistently and positively to academic accomplishments throughout the school-age years (see Wentzel 2013). In particular, children who enjoy positive relationships with their peers tend to be engaged in and even excel at academic tasks more than those who have peer relationship problems (see Wentzel and Muenks 2016 for a review). In light of this evidence, a central question concerns why these associations exist, what are the mechanisms by which social and academic domains of functioning are related? One strategy for understanding the nature of social competence with peers and its association with academic motivation and achievement is to identify social characteristics and outcomes related to peer approval and acceptance. This allows insight into the goals, values, and actions that peers expect in exchange for positive regard and identifies potential indirect pathways of influence. In addition, identifying ways in which peers interact with each other offers insights into how students provide each other with the necessary resources and create supportive contexts that directly promote academic motivation and achievement. This essay addresses these possibilities by describing academically-related correlates of peer acceptance and approval, and specific mechanisms of influence that might explain how peers can facilitate positive academic motivation and achievement in each other. To begin, types of peer relationships are described and evidence of significant associations between peer relationships and academic outcomes is presented.