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With the Census fast approaching on April 1, 2020, we are taking a look at why the census is so important, how Minnesota may be impacted, and ways in which students can help assure that an accurate count is conducted.


Colleges and the census

Students should be counted where they live most of the time, or where they are residing on April 1, 2020. Why might it be difficult to get a complete count of college students? Which college students would be more difficult to count?

According to census rules, people should be counted (“enumerated,” in census-speak) at a residence if they:

  • Live or stay at the residence most of the time; OR
  • Stayed there on April 1, 2010 and had no permanent place to live; OR
  • Stay at the residence more time than any other place they might live or stay.

Thus college students should be counted at their college address, either on campus or off campus. Students would be counted at their parents’ home only if they live and sleep there most of the year. Regardless of these rules, students should still check with their school to confirm how they are counted, because the difference between being counted or not can affect both federal funding and political representation for that college town. When you are counted in the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.