Peace Corps Announces the 2014 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities

University of Wisconsin-Madison reclaims the top spot among large schools

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 11, 2014 – For the first time in eight years, the University of Wisconsin-Madison leads Peace Corps’ 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities with 90 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. The school has long been one of the nation’s greatest recruiters, most recently holding the No. 1 spot from 2001 through 2006, and has been working to reclaim the top spot ever since. Western Washington University and Gonzaga University top the rankings of medium and small schools for the second consecutive year, with 65 and 22 currently serving graduates, respectively.

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The University of Washington and the University of Florida again tie – as they did in 2013 – this time for second place among large schools, each with 85 undergraduate alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. Among medium-sized schools, the University of Virginia and American University come in second and third, with 44 and 43 undergraduate alumni in service, respectively. Making its first appearance in the Top Colleges rankings, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry claims the No. 2 spot among small schools, with 17 currently serving alumni, and Carleton College jumps five spots from No. 8 in 2013 to No. 3 this year with 16 graduates in service.

“The same passion that launched the Peace Corps more than 50 years ago fuels progress in developing countries today thanks to the leadership and creativity that college graduates bring to their Peace Corps service,” Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “The unique Peace Corps experience helps recent graduates cultivate highly sought-after skills that will launch their careers in today’s global economy.”

College graduates with Peace Corps volunteer experience return home with a competitive edge for 21st century jobs and advanced educational opportunities. They have cross-cultural, leadership, language and community development skills along with a global perspective. They give back to their communities here in the United States and enrich the lives of those around them, helping to strengthen international ties and increase our country’s global competitiveness.

Hessler-Radelet will visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison today to celebrate the school’s No. 1 ranking and long-time support of the Peace Corps. The University is historically the second-highest producer of Peace Corps volunteers in the country, with more than 3,100 alumni who have served. The University of California, Berkeley maintains the top all-time spot. Among graduate schools, the University of Denver leads the rankings with 23 currently serving volunteers, climbing up from second place in 2013.

Below is a list of the top five colleges and universities in each undergraduate category, as well as the rankings for graduate schools and the all-time highest volunteer-producing schools. Find the complete 2014 rankings of the top 25 schools in each undergraduate category here. View the Peace Corps’ 2014 Top Colleges infographic here.

Large Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
More than 15,000 undergraduates

1. University of Wisconsin-Madison (90)
2. University of Washington (85)
2. University of Florida (85)
4. The Ohio State University (83)
5. University of Michigan (81)

Medium Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

1. Western Washington University (65)
2. University of Virginia (44)
3. American University (43)
4. The George Washington University (41)
5. Cornell University (29)
5. The University of Vermont (29)

Small Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
Less than 5,000 undergraduates

1. Gonzaga University (22)
2. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (17)
3. Carleton College (16)
3. Macalester College (16)
3. Pacific Lutheran University (16)

Graduate Schools – Total Volunteers:

1. University of Denver (23)
2. University of Washington (20)
2. Tulane University (20)
4. University of Florida (17)
5. University of Pittsburgh (13)
5. University of Minnesota Twin Cities (13)
5. University of South Florida (13)
5. The University of Texas at Austin (13)

Historical, Since 1961 – Total Volunteers:

1. University of California, Berkeley (3,576)
2. University of Wisconsin-Madison (3,112)
3. University of Washington (2,840)
4. University of Michigan (2,556)
5. University of Colorado Boulder (2,385)

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2013 data as of September 30, 2013, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices across the United States that work closely with prospective volunteers to ensure that all Americans who want to serve have the opportunity to do so. Find the recruitment office near you by visiting the Peace Corps website here.

Rankings of the 2013 Top Colleges and Universities can be found here.

About the Peace Corps: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences – and a global outlook – back to the United States that enriches the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Visit to learn more.

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