Peace Corps Web Traffic, Online Applications Continue to Rise

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 14, 2004 – This past year, the Peace Corps continued to see increases in website visitors and online applications, a trend that has been in place since President George W. Bush announced plans to increase the number of Peace Corps volunteers in his January 2002 State of the Union Address.

“As Peace Corps continues to move forward in the 21st century, we are finding that more and more applicants are turning to technology to research the Peace Corps and decide whether to apply,” said Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. “One of our goals has been to reach out to potential volunteers to provide them as much information as possible to aid their decision. The Internet is a powerful medium in that we can really show potential volunteers what is involved in Peace Corps service.”

In 2003, approximately 5.7 million people visited the Peace Corps website, a 32 percent increase over the previous year. The increase in website visitors also coincides with a redesign of the Peace Corps website.

Launched in September 2003, the website is part of the national recruitment and awareness campaign titled "Life Is Calling. How Far Will You Go?" The redesigned website incorporates a number of technologies and features to increase application acquisition, better serve a more diverse Peace Corps audience, and educate Americans about Peace Corps\' goals and accomplishments. Since the launch of the new website, the Peace Corps has seen a 44 percent increase in online inquiries about Peace Corps service.

In conjunction with the increase in people visiting the website, more applicants are also turning to the web to complete their Peace Corps application. Last year, 70 percent of all applications to become a Peace Corps volunteer were submitted online. Since President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union speech, the Peace Corps has received over 14,000 online applications, and more than 200,000 inquiries about volunteering in the Peace Corps. Thousands of additional applicants used the website to educate themselves about opportunities for service, to locate recruiting events, and to read and view stories of volunteers serving in the field.

Since 1961, more than 170,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, 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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