Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer-Producing Schools

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2003 – Today, Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez released the names of colleges and universities across America with the greatest number of Peace Corps volunteers currently serving overseas.

Announcing the top volunteer-producing schools has become an annual tradition for the Peace Corps. For two years in a row, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor have held the top two spots, respectively, in the large school category. The University of Wisconsin sent 123 graduates to the Peace Corps in 2002, and the University of Michigan sent 95.

The top two producing medium-size schools are the University of Virginia with 68 and Cornell University with 50 graduates who went overseas in 2002. Tufts University and Carleton College hold the top two spots for small schools with 31 and 25 graduates who joined the Peace Corps last year.

For the purposes of fairly ranking the schools according to the size of the student body, small schools are those with less than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-size schools are those with up to 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools are those with more than 15,000 undergraduates.

“The Peace Corps is proud of the recruitment support it continues to receive from some of the finest institutions in the country,” said Vasquez. “The Peace Corps is grateful for the productive working relationships it has with the staff and students of each school allowing the agency to increase its recruiting numbers each year.”

The majority of volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps over the past 42 years have been college graduates. Currently, 86 percent of the volunteers have an undergraduate degree and 12 percent have graduate degrees or have studied at the graduate level.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS awareness and education, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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