Peace Corps Announces Annual Rankings of Top Colleges and Universities

Rankings Include Three New Schools In Top Spots

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2007 After 20 years of the University of Wisconsin-Madison being the top producer of Peace Corps Volunteers, another university has taken over the top spot. This year, the University of Washington\'s 110 currently serving alumni positions them in first place for the first time since 1981.

In fact, all three of this year\'s top producers are new to that spot. In the medium-sized schools category George Washington University vaults four spots to No. 1. In the small schools category, the University of Puget Sound also jumps four spots to the top.

In the large schools category, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is still a close second to Washington with 106 Volunteers, followed by the University of Colorado-Boulder with 100. In the second annual graduate school rankings, the University of Michigan finds company at the top with the University of Washington. Both schools have 20 graduate school alumni serving.

"Peace Corps allows graduates to take their skills outside the classroom and make a real difference in the lives of people who can most use their help," said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter. "The over 1,200 institutions of higher learning that have Volunteers overseas, sharing what they have learned, should be proud of their contributions."

Overall, the University of California-Berkeley has produced the most Peace Corps Volunteers since 1961 with 3,282. This year, the University of Colorado-Boulder became only the sixth school to surpass the 2,000 Volunteer mark and is poised to move into the No. 5 historical spot overall.

The highest new entries this year include the University of Pittsburgh at No. 15 on the large schools list, Miami University of Ohio at No. 12 on the medium-sized schools list, and Butler University at No. 15 on the small schools list. The most impressive movers this year include Arizona State University which moves up 16 spots to debut at No. 19 on the large schools list, Northern Arizona University which moves up 10 spots to No. 10 on the medium-sized schools list, and Carleton College which jumps from No. 20 to No. 2 on the small schools list.

Other schools debuting or reentering this year\'s list include: the University of Georgia (No. 19) and the University of California-San Diego (No. 24) on the large schools list; Clemson University (No. 21), Appalachian State University (No. 23), California State University-Chico (No. 23), the University of Rhode Island (No. 23), and Washington University in St. Louis (No. 23) on the medium-sized schools list; and St. Mary\'s College of Maryland (No. 18), Bucknell University (No. 21), Pepperdine University (No. 21), Beloit College (No. 24), Clark University (No. 24), and Elon University (No. 24) in the small schools list.

Schools are ranked according to the size of the student body. Small schools are those with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-size schools are those between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools are those with more than 15,000 undergraduates. To view the entire "Peace Corps Top Colleges 2007" list, visit the Media Resources section.

Although it is not a requirement for service, the majority of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps over the past 45 years have been college graduates. Currently, 93 percent of Volunteers have at least an undergraduate degree, with 12 percent of those also possessing a graduate level degree. However, over the years, the Peace Corps has also enjoyed the support and interest of high school graduates and community college graduates.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 45-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Since 1961, more than 187,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Vohelped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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