Cornell a top contributor of graduates to Teach For America

Sixty Cornell graduates will join Teach For America this year, ranking Cornell third among the top 20 large colleges and universities contributing graduating seniors to its teaching corps. The young alumni will teach in urban and rural public schools across the country.

For the past three years Cornell has ranked among the top 10 universities of its size. This year, nearly 11 percent of Cornell's senior class applied to Teach For America, and Teach For America received a record-breaking 46,000 applications; admission was more selective than ever before, with an acceptance rate of 12 percent.

Teach For America recruits top college graduates from all academic majors and backgrounds who have demonstrated outstanding achievement, perseverance and leadership and commit to teach for two years in underserved schools. This fall, more than 8,200 corps members will teach in 39 regions across the country. Some 20,000 Teach For America alumni work within education and other sectors to create systemic changes to help end education inequity.

In the United States today, Teach For America reports, 9-year-olds in low-income communities are three grade levels behind their peers in high-income communities, and half won't graduate from high school. Those who do graduate will read and do math, on average, at the level of eighth graders in high-income communities. The organization's goal is to give all American children the opportunity to attain an excellent education.

Founded in 1990, Teach For America receives funding from businesses, foundations, government organizations and individuals in the regions where corps members teach. Its projected operating revenue for the 2010 fiscal year is $189 million.

Teach For America is a member of the national service network AmeriCorps. Corps members are eligible to receive loan forbearance and interest payment on qualified student loans and an education award of $4,725 at the end of each year of service.

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John Carberry