Every 10 years, as directed by the U.S. Constitution, the American government attempts to count every person in residence in the country.
Students who live in apartments or houses (even if you are no longer there because of COVID-19) should fill out the census online or using the paper copy you received in the mail. Students in dorms will be automatically counted and do not need to complete the census.
College students are often under-counted, but getting an accurate count makes a huge difference in the resources our community receives for the next decade!
Why does it matter?
These counts are essential since they’re used to allocate billions of dollars in federal funding, and in 2016 alone, Virginia received over $17 billion from federal spending programs guided by data from the 2010 Census. Each time a person is not counted by the Census, state and local governments miss out on about $20,000 for the 10-year cycle before the next Census. These are programs that fund student loans, SNAP and WIC, school lunches, and Medicaid – programs that are essential to so many individuals in our community.
The census is also used to inform the number of representatives that should be elected from every state for the U.S. House of Representatives, and is used for essential planning around schools, fire stations, roads, and more.
Students make a difference!
College students are considered a hard-to-count population, because they are often young, mobile, and renters – all are factors that lead to low response rates.
We know COVID-19 has changed a LOT of our daily routines. The census hopes to capture you where you live and sleep most of the time, before any changes that might have taken place because of the Coronavirus.
- Students who live most of the year in a college apartment or house should not be included in their parents’ response – they should fill out the census on their own accord.
- For students with housemates or roommates: only one resident of your house or apartment needs to fill out the census.
- International students should fill out the Census.
- Students who lived on-Grounds will be counted by a residence administrator at UVA; they will not need to fill out a form.
When the Census misses people in a community, its residents are disadvantaged politically and economically. Thank you for doing your part and filling out the 2020 Census!