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Originally published Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:01 PM

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UW, Western, Gonzaga send many students to Peace Corps

Washington universities and colleges once again were leaders in an annual ranking of schools that send the most students to volunteer in the Peace Corps.

Seattle Times higher education reporter

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Two Washington universities and a private college once again are leaders on the list of schools that send the most volunteers to work in the Peace Corps.

The University of Washington came in second among large colleges and universities, edged out of first place by the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The UW came in first last year.

Western Washington University was the top-ranked medium-sized school in the nation, and Gonzaga University was the top-ranked small school.

Last February, the UW, WWU and Gonzaga were all ranked No. 1 in the annual list — the first time since the Peace Corps began ranking schools that all three categories were led by schools from a single state.

The UW sent 85 volunteers into the Peace Corps in 2013. It also sent 20 graduate students, giving its graduate programs a No. 2 ranking.

Western sent 65 volunteers in 2013, and Gonzaga sent 22.

Pacific Lutheran University also made the top-five list among small schools, tying for third place by sending 16 volunteers to the Peace Corps in 2013.

The Peace Corps was started by President Kennedy in 1961. The program looks for people with college degrees and a record of volunteerism, along with specific skills and some foreign-language experience.

About a third of applicants are accepted.

Since 1961, the UW has sent a total of 2,840 volunteers, earning it a third-place ranking among all schools in the nation, with only the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, sending more students.

Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or On Twitter @katherinelong

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