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Census 2020

2020 Census: What College Students Need to Know to Be Counted in the Right Place

Virginia Hyer from the U.S. Census Bureau's Public Information Office explains that college students that normally live at school should be counted at school, even if they are temporarily living somewhere else due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


On campus or off, it’s easy to shape your future.

Every 10 years, the United States counts everyone living in the country, including college students like you. Your response to the 2020 Census will help make sure communities across the nation are accurately funded and represented for the next decade.

Take the Census Survey

Responding is easy.

  • If you live in off-campus housing that is not owned, leased, or managed by your college or university, such as a private house that you share with other students or a privately owned apartment, you can respond online, by phone, or by mail beginning in mid-March 2020. You should count yourself at your off-campus address, even if you spend time somewhere else during school breaks.
  • If you live in on-campus student housing like residence halls, off-campus residence halls, or other student housing facilities that are owned, leased, or managed by your college or university, U.S. Census Bureau employees will work with representatives from your building to ensure that you are counted. You may be asked to complete an individual census form.
  • If you are an international student, the same rules apply.

*Due to Salisbury University's participation in events like these we have earned the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. Read more about this classification.


  • Important Census 2020 dates and on campus events

    CENSUS 2020 DATES:

    • Mid- March invitations to complete the 2020 Census will be mailed to households
    • Postponed until further notice: Party with a Purpose (Kick off parties at various venues and area’s)
    • Postponed until further notice: Census Day (Launch Party)


    • Postponed until further notice: Party with a Purpose, Red Square Pop-up Tent
    • Postponed until further notice: Census 2020 Celebration, GSU, Wicomico Room and Academic Commons
  • Important statements from Census2020 site:

    For a full explanation please read the Census 2020 information located on their site.

    “Students who live in off-campus housing that is not designed specifically for students – such as a rental apartment or house – need to respond to the census themselves. They should not count on their landlord to fill out a 2020 Census questionnaire.  Residents of every housing unit should work together to fill out one questionnaire per household. They should include all roommates (nonstudents, too) who live and sleep in the home most of the time. The census will ask a few questions about each resident, such as age on Census Day (April 1, 2020), sex and date of birth.”

    Getting funds for those resources, however, depends on making sure students are counted in the right place each census. And in most instances, if they’re not living at their parents’ home, chances are the right place is in the town where they attend school. Basically, a student’s “home” is where they currently live while attending college. “Young college students may be going off on their own for the first time, and when they see a postcard or a census worker and are asked to take the census, they may not understand that they’re supposed to take it where they’re living,” said Evan Curtis, state planning coordinator and co-chair of the Utah Complete Count Committee. “They’re not just supposed to assume that their mom or dad will fill it in for them at home.”

Why is the Census important to me?

census residents
census residents

Residents & College Students

Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy. 

College students benefit from Federal student loans, legislation, campus funding, campus improvements, and health and social services.

census government
census government

Local government

Local government officials use the census to ensure public safety and plan new schools and hospitals.􀀅􀀒􀀍􀀄􀀃􀀁􀀎􀀒􀀏


Businesses & Real Estate

Businesses use Census Bureau data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, and these create jobs.􀀂Real estate developers and city planners use the census to plan new homes and improve neighborhoods.

What you should know about 2020

Once a decade, America comes together to participate in the decennial census, creating national awareness of the census provides the basis for reapportioning Congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing billions of dollars in federal funding to support your state, county, and community's vital programs.

house of representatives
house of representatives

It’s about fair representation.

Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.

constitution census
constitution census

It's in the Constitution

The U.S. Constitution requires a census every 10 years. The census covers the entire country and everyone living here. The first census was in 1790.


Your data are confidential.

Federal law protects your census responses. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics.

By law we cannot share your information with immigration enforcement agencies, law enforcement agencies, or allow it to be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits.


It’s about redistricting.

After each census, state officials use the results to redraw the boundaries of their congressional and state legislative districts, adapting to population shifts.


It means $675 billion.

Census data determine how more than $675 billion are spent, supporting your state, county and community’s vital programs.