One of the most frequent questions I get asked by college students is “When is the best time to submit an application?”  If you are finishing your 3rd year of college (and thus will be included in the class of 2010) the answer is Right Now!

Here’s why….

1) While the good people of the More Peace Corps campaign are doing their darndest to try and get more funding for Peace Corps (more funding = more slots for volunteers = more possibilities for applicants), the sad reality is that the organization has been on a bit of a starvation diet for the past 8+ years.

2) In the meantime, recent events have provided a once-in-a-generation wake up call for people whose only goal in life was to land a six figure job on Wall Street.  So, people are re-discovering the notion of service.

3) All the while students like you have come of age and most of you have never known the notion of not volunteering (gramatically, an ugly proposition, but what I mean is volunteering and service has become as integral a part of your education- and your educational expectations- as say algebra and a foreign language).

So, we find ourselves in the midst of a perfect storm where demand for volunteer positions will greatly exceed the number of available slots.

By submitting your application now, you’ll give yourself a great lead time to try and secure a volunteer position for after you graduate. And, most importantly you will have the summer to work with your recruiter on ways to strengthen your chances.  Want to be an English teacher?  Why not spend the summer working or volunteering with an ESL organization?  Interested in health outreach?  Go find an organization in your community (where you go to school or where your family lives) that does health outreach.

If you are interested in joining the Peace Corps, the summer between your Junior and Senior years of college offers you an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often… time to make yourself a stronger candidate!