LSU is dedicated to making sure that everyone counts.
The census is mandated by the Constitution. It counts every person living in the U.S. once, only once, and in the right place. The 2020 Census presents an important opportunity to make sure our community is accurately represented in the count that takes place every 10 years.
College students should count themselves according to where they live on April 1, 2020, which means the majority of students will be counted in their college community. Parents or guardians should only include students in college who live with them full time during the school year.
We're eager to empower students with access to clear information and the opportunity to be counted.
To learn how you can help make sure our community is fully represented, visit 2020Census.gov. Everyone counts.
College students as a population are hard to count.
To make it easier, here is how college students should participate:
- Students who live away from home should count themselves at the on- or off-campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time as of April 1, 2020.
- If you live in a residential hall on campus most of the time, census takers will work with a representative from your building to help you get counted.
- If you live at your family's home most of the time, you should be included at the count at your home address.
- If you live in off-campus housing most of the time, you will need to respond to the census yourself and will receive an invitation to participate.
- The same rules apply to international students.
As of March 15, 2020, the Census Bureau remains committed to making sure college students are counted.
The Census Bureau is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is aware that a number of colleges and universities have temporarily closed their campuses. They continue to be committed to ensuring that college students are counted.
In most cases, students living away from home at school should be counted at school even if they are temporarily elsewhere due to COVID-19 protective measures. Even if temporarily at their family's home on Census Day (April 1), students should generally be counted according to the ongoing residence criteria outlined in the section above.
Students living off campus in private housing can expect to receive an initial invitation in the mail before March 20. While some students may miss this invitation if they are temporarily at home or another location, the Census Bureau asks that they respond at my2020census.gov.
Why is it important?
Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions.
The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, provide data that will impact communities, and determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every every community, no matter the size or location.
Among other programs in our areas, census data helps communities respond to natural disasters and secure funding for hospitals and fire departments. The results also affect planning and funding for infrastructure, including highway planning and construction programs, and education, including Pell Grants.
What do I need to do?
Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone. It's a simple task that can be completed in a few minutes, such as while you're waiting for a class to start.
What will I be asked? What won't I be asked?
The few simple questions include things like age, sex, and the number of people who live in your home, including children.
The census will never ask for Social Security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, money or donations, or anything related to political parties.
Trust, Safety and Rumors
The U.S. Census Bureau is dedicated to protecting the 2020 Census from misinformation and disinformation.
It is also bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. In fact, every Census employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life.
When will I receive something?
Nearly every household will receive an invitation to participate in the census from either a postal or census worker.
March 12-20: You will receive an invitation to respond online. (Some households will also receive paper questionnaires.)
March 16-24: You will receive a reminder letter.
If you haven't responded yet:
March 26-April 3: You will receive a reminder postcard.
April 8-16: You will receive a reminder letter and paper questionnaire.
April 20-27: You will receive a final reminder postcard before a census worker follows up in person.