Census 2020 at WMU

What College students need to know to be counted in the right place

WMU and other college students affected by temporary closures should still be counted for Census 2020 where they lived while at school. Students who lived at WMU in on-campus housing have been included in the University count and do not need to complete a census survey. Click on the image above to learn more about Census 2020 reporting for college students, or visit the Census 2020 website.

Census Frequently Asked Questions

 Sample Census 2020 paper questionnaire

Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a population count of every person in the United States. Data from the census provide the basis for distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to communities across the country to support vital programs impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy. Census data is also used to redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts and accurately determine the number of congressional seats each states has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In mid-March, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census.

Colleges and universities have many incentives to alleviate students’ confusion and fears and to help them get counted in the right way. While many students may think they should be counted at their parents’ address, the policy is that people should fill out the census for the address they live in on April 1, 2020. Students may be difficult to reach and unclear on the importance of a complete count. Additionally, international students may think they shouldn’t be counted; however, the Census applies to all people living in the United States on the official date, not just those with citizenship statusWestern Michigan University is committed to ensuring our students are fully represented in the count

In addition to a responsibility to help achieve a correct count of students, colleges and universities can view the Census as a learning opportunity and a tool for living out their civic mission. The Census is a critical tool for our democracy and it is important that students understand it and the roles they can play in ensuring its accuracy.

Households will be able to respond to the 2020 Census online, over the phone, or through a paper questionnaire. This is a sample of the bilingual paper questionnaire that will be used during the 2020 Census. This version excludes some features that will be made available to households starting in March 2020, such as the URL for online response and the contact information for phone response. 

Wanted: Census workers

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting to fill hundreds of thousands of temporary positions across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. The pay rate for Michigan workers is about $20 an hour. Learn more.