Hope College is in the top-10 nationwide among small colleges and universities producing Peace Corps Volunteers in 2008.

Hope is the only school from Michigan in the top-25 for small colleges and universities for 2008, according to the "Peace Corps Top Colleges and Universities 2009" listings released on Monday, Jan. 12.  With 18 alumni serving as Peace Corps Volunteers, Hope is in a five-way tie for 10th on the listing with Colgate University, Dartmouth College, Gustavus Adolphus College and Willamette University.  In last year's report, Hope ranked 24th nationally for 2007 with 14 alumni serving as volunteers.

The Peace Corps ranks schools according to the size of the student body.  Small schools are those with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-size schools have between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates.  Hope has 3,238 students this year.

The number of alumni volunteers among the top 25 in each of the three undergraduate size categories ranges from 42 to 104 for large colleges and universities; from 19 to 57 for medium colleges and universities; and from 15 to 35 for small colleges and universities.

Although it is not a requirement for service, the majority of volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since its founding 47 years ago have been college graduates.  Currently, 83 percent of volunteers have at least an undergraduate degree, with 11 percent of those also possessing a graduate-level degree.

Since its inception in 1961, the Peace Corps has received volunteers from over 3,000 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico, with more than 195,000 volunteers serving in a total of 139 countries.  Currently there are 7,876 Peace Corps Volunteers serving in 76 countries.

Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age.  Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

Michigan State University and the University of Michigan are also in the top-25 undergraduate listings, in the category for large colleges and universities.  Michigan State University ranked third with 89 alumni volunteers, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ranked fifth with 82 alumni volunteers.  The University of Michigan is also in the report's top-five listing for the number of volunteers that it has produced historically, with a total of 2,276 since 1961.

The entire "Peace Corps Top Colleges" list can be found on the Peace Corps Web site at http://www.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/stats/schools2009.pdf