What is the census?
The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the US Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands). Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail.
The 2020 Census will influence community funding and congressional representation. Participation in the census impacts programs like Pell Grants, health care services, food assistance, and more for the next decade.
For students who live on campus in student housing, census takers will work with student housing staff to ensure that you are counted.
Can I opt out?
No. Everyone living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five US territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands) is required by law to be counted in the 2020 census.
Should I be counted in my parent or guardian’s home for the census?
College students who are living at home should be counted at their home address.
College students who live away from home should be counted at the on- or off-campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time, even if they are at home on April 1, 2020. Even though students moved off campus due to COVID-19, they will be counted in the group quarters census for USI as if they were on campus as of April 1.
US college students who are living and attending college outside the United States are not counted in the census.
Foreign students living and attending college in the United States should be counted at the on- or off-campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time.
What information are you sharing with the Census Bureau?
USI is required to provide the following information about on campus residents: name, age, date of birth, sex, race and permanent address.
The Census Bureau never asks for social security numbers, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party or bank and credit card account numbers.
How will you share my information?
Housing and Residence Life chose to share data for the census electronically. The Census Bureau collects data in compliance with the privacy rules and regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The Census Bureau is required by law to protect this information (Title 13, US Code, Section 9). The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release responses in a way that could identify anyone. By law, the Census Bureau can only use responses to produce statistics. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, data is protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy.
Where can I go for more information?
For more information about the 2020 Census, please visit 2020census.gov.