Wednesday, April 1, is Census Day. This is the day that the Census Bureau does a national push to get everyone to register for the Census, the once-in-a-decade count of everyone living in the United States. The whole process is easy, taking only around 10–12 minutes to complete.
It’s important to be counted in the right place. Students who normally live at school should be counted at the school, even if you’re temporarily living somewhere else due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every additional person responding to the US Census means an extra $20,000 in federal funding for local communities. Billions of dollars in federal funding will be distributed to your school’s community for services that affect you, like school safety, mental health services, and Pell Grants.
Living in a residence hall? You’re already counted. You don’t need to do anything, and you’re off the hook. And if you usually live with your parents during the school year, they should include you when they respond to the Census.
But if you normally live in an apartment or house—any off-campus housing—either alone or with roommates or others, this is where you come in. Wherever you were living on April 1, 2020, even if not there now due to the COVID-19 crisis, is where you should be counted.
You may have received an invitation in the mail to respond to the Census, and you can respond in three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. If you can’t get your mail right now, you can still respond to the Census online at 2020census.gov. Use the 12-character Census ID mailed to you or dropped at your door. Don’t have one? Just follow the on-screen prompts.
Whichever method you choose, make sure to use your normal address—where you usually live while you’re in school.
You should include everyone else who normally lives with you, too. If you don’t know some of the information asked about your roommate, or can’t verify whether your roommate has already responded for your home, please respond anyway for the entire household as best you can. The Census organization has tools to un-duplicate your responses, and it’s better to eliminate duplicates than miss you or your roommate entirely.
The goal of the Census is to count everybody once, only once, and in the right place. To help ensure this happens, the Census Bureau has created a video that explains how and why college students should respond to the Census.
Learn more about the US Census at the Census Information Portal.
Responding to the 2020 Census is easy, even when everything else gets difficult.
Help change the world, and be counted! Respond to the US Census today.
—This message is sponsored by IUP Votes.