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The Peace Corps touts how many initial “applications” it receives, but this is a cover for the fact that there is currently no surplus of applicants who are medically qualified to become Peace Corps Volunteers. Only medically fit applicants can become Volunteers, so emphasizing the number of initial “applicant” pool is irrelevant and misleading.
Indeed, for the Peace Corps to tout the number of initial “applicants” – the number before the medical screening process – is intentionally misleading. The Peace Corps knows that applicants might not be interested in joining the Peace Corps if they knew that the agency is having trouble filling its slots.
The truth is that there is no selectivity at the Peace Corps – other than to determine if the applicant is ambulatory. 100% of the applicants who are medically fit are invited to training and service as a Volunteer.
This means that applicants who are medically fit have virtually unlimited leverage with the Peace Corps to control the placement process...
One excellent indication of the health of a Peace Corps country program is its early quit rate, the percentage of Volunteers who do not complete their 26-27 month term of service. The Peace Corps refers to this as the Early Termination (ET) rate. With the ET rate, we see Volunteers talking with their feet about their experience in that program. If they quit early, an applicant should wonder about the quality of that program.
The Peace Corps invites applicants to choose the country in which they prefer to serve. Peace Corps Wiki presents the ET rate data here on a country by country basis to enable applicants to make an informed choice.
Peace Corps Wiki recommends that applicants request to be sent to a country with a low ET rate.
Peace Corps Wiki recommends that applicants avoid any country with an ET rate of 30% or greater. They should be cautious about any country with an ET rate of more than 20%. They should request to be sent to a country with an ET rate of less than 20%.
Read More About ET Rates
One excellent indication of the health of a Peace Corps country program is the survey responses of the Volunteers. It is easy to take these rankings and rank the countries. With the rankings from the Volunteer surveys, applicants are empowered to request to be posted to a high ranked country.
The Peace Corps invites applicants to choose the country in which they prefer to serve. Peace Corps Wiki presents the rankings from the survey data on a country by country basis to enable applicants to make an informed choice.
Peace Corps Wiki recommends that applicants request to be sent to a country with high ranked survey responses.
Peace Corps Wiki recommends that applicants avoid any country which is ranked in the bottom third of the surveys. They should be cautious about any country in the middle third. They should request to be sent to a country in the top third.
Read More About the Volunteer Survey Results
Founded in 1979, NPCA has struggled financially because so few of the returned Volunteers find it in their interest to become members. As a consequence, NPCA has become financially enmeshed with the Peace Corps and has no appetite to defend applicants and the Volunteers because this might jeopardize this financial life-line.
NPCA’s entanglement with the Peace Corps is clear: from 2003 to 2010 the Peace Corps provided $790,639.44 to the NPCA to pay for operating expenses. Source: FOIA Request Number 10-065. NPCA’s annual report for 2013 reveals NPCA’s financially vulnerable condition. Its membership revenues were only $198,120 compared to membership expenses of $147,962. It raised $247,137 in donations but its fundraising expenses were $102,097.
The bottom line is troubling: NPCA ran a deficit of $148,000. It comes then as no surprise that this annual report emphasizes the bottom line for NPCA: “A close and collaborative relationship with the Peace Corps is fundamental to our organizational goals.” NPCA won’t act to empower the applicants. It won’t defend the interests of the Volunteers in the field or press the Peace Corps to act more professionally in managing them. That’s too risky given its shaky finances and financial dependence on the Peace Corps.
Read More About the NPCA
Since 1961, the Peace Corps has shared with the world America's most precious resource—its people. Peace Corps Volunteers serve in 73 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Collaborating with local community members, Volunteers work in areas like education, youth outreach and community development, the environment, and information technology.
Serving for two years in the Peace Corps may seem like a long time, but Close of Service may come faster than you expect. Volunteers can make the most of their time in-country through well organized material, collaboration and knowledge sharing. Current Volunteers should still keep in mind their own safety and security, cultural sensitivity, and the fact they are in-country representing the United States. See Manual Section 204 regarding Volunteer conduct and Section 543 regarding Volunteer use of information technology tools.
Your time as a Peace Corps Volunteer doesn't end when your two years of service are over. The time you spent in the Peace Corps will continue to enrich your life, both personally and professionally, for many years. And, in keeping with the Peace Corps' third goal, you'll have new opportunities every day to share what you've learned in the Peace Corps with fellow Americans.
Peace Corps Wiki is a collaborative project whose goal is to create a free, interactive, and up-to-date source of information about serving as a Volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps. Anyone is welcome to edit, add, or create an entry. So far there are a total of 3,144 pages that have been written and edited by (R)PCVs and friends of the Peace Corps from around the world. This wiki, designed and operated by returned Peace Corps Volunteers, offers a transparent source of information about the agency's operations and volunteer service.Peace Corps Wiki welcomes all articles, content, and points of view. This site represents the cumulative effort of thousands of Peace Corps volunteers from around the world, and strives to maintain an objective and neutral point of view. The content of this site belong to the wiki's members and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps. For official Peace Corps policy, please see their official website.