How the 2020 Census impacts UH students
The time of the census has come again with the turn of the decade. Since 1790, the U.S. Census has surveyed the entire country every ten years to count each person living in the United States.
College students are considered a hard-to-count population, according to the American Library Association. However, an accurate count of the UH population is required to fund many programs on campus such as student safety, Federal Pell Grants, scholarships, community mental health services and more, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 2020.
Some students said they aren’t sure about when and how they need to fill out their census information, and others said they aren’t aware of the impact the census can have on the University.
“I think some also just don’t care or know that it’s important for them,” said marketing sophomore Sumaya Siddiqui. “They might feel like they’re just one person, so they question if their one voice would even matter.”
Census data determines the allocation of more than $1.5 trillion each year for essential federal programs such as campus facility improvements, scholarships, research and more, according to the American Library Association.
“In order to have our voices heard, we should submit a census form if we’re expected to,” said Siddiqui.
The census forms are required for every U.S. citizen. After each census, states use the records to reapportion seats in the House of Representatives and adapt to population shifts by redrawing congressional and state legislative districts, according to the American Library Association.
All of your information is confidential and used only for statistical purposes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Federal law protects each and every response from being shared with immigration law services, law enforcement agencies or any government welfare services.
Filling out a form
The Census Bureau has created three options to respond: online, through the mail or over the phone. The bureau said households will receive detailed information on how and where to respond by mail starting in mid-March.
If a student is a commuter living at home, they should be included in their parents’ census form, according to the Census Bureau. If a student is a commuter that does not live with their parents, they should fill out a census form for the residence where they live and sleep most of the time.
Any student living on campus at the time of the census take, April 1, should not fill out a census form. The Census Bureau emphasizes that a student’s parents should not list them on their census forms because they will not be living there on census day. Students will be counted with UH through a residence administrator.
To give students the opportunity to learn more about the 2020 U.S. Census, the Hobby School of Public Affairs will host a symposium at 4 p.m. on Monday in the M.D. Anderson Library.
“If we don’t take the initiative to be represented, then how are we going to expect any change,” said psychology junior Sara Waseem.