Indiana University Census 2020 in the world of COVID-19
The impact the Indiana University family has in our communities is immense. That is why it is critically important that all Indiana University students fill out the census questionnaire. It determines each of our campus communities’ ability to obtain federal funds over the next 10 years. There are one hundred and thirty-two federal offices that use census data to determine the distribution of over $675 billion of federal funds. Everything from medical and food assistance, child and senior programs, Pell Grants for students, wildlife, the arts, fire and safety, roads and so much more are dependent on receiving federal funding.
Our student impact is enormous and if all our students participated across all campuses, it could potentially infuse nearly $24 billion into our state over the next 10 years, making IU communities that much stronger.
COVID-19 has created a challenge in what was already a difficult task in gathering student information for the census. Below is a series of questions and answers to help you navigate how to fill out the census in this unusual academic period.
Everyone living in the United States and its five territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census, whether they are U.S. citizens or not. This includes international students studying in person at an IU campus.
Yes, you should still fill out the census. You are to fill out the census for the location that you would had normally lived in for the majority of the year and especially on April 1st. The presence of COVID-19 has made this confusing, since most students were asked to leave their campuses because of the virus. But, the U.S. Census Bureau requests that you fill out the questionnaire as if COVID-19 had not occurred, which means you would have used your campus address as the place you were located most of the year and especially on April 1st. The Census Bureau has methods to track duplication and they will have the ability to recognize which address you are listed on is actually the correct one.
If you are an IU student that was studying abroad and came back to the U.S. before April 1st, then you should fill out the census and use your campus address. If you were an IU student that was studying abroad and decided not to return to the U.S. even after your abroad experience was cancelled, then you do not fill out the census.
Yes. Everyone living in the United States and its five territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) is required by law to be counted in the census – whether they are citizens or not.
Citizens of foreign countries who are living in the U.S. during the 2020 Census, including students studying at universities should be counted at the U.S. residence where they live and sleep most of the time. International students who may have temporarily moved to another location to live because of COVID-19, should use the address where they would have been living for school as if COVID-19 had not occurred.
The recent changes to college town living due to the COVID-19 virus has caused some confusion. For census reporting purposes, Indiana University students should use the address of their college residence (i.e. your apartment on or near campus) that they ordinarily would have been living in on April 1 if the COVID-19 outbreak had not occurred. In other words, students should not use their parents/guardians’ address just because they moved home for the end of the semester, and parents or guardians should only include children in college who live with them full time during the school year.
Many things are confusing right now and we have provided an easy-to-follow guide below:
If you were living in a residence hall on your IU Campus prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, you do not need to fill out the Census: IU will do it for you. IU will utilize the “Group Quarter” option to report the Name, Campus Address, and Date of Birth of students who were living in IU’s residence halls in Spring 2020.
PLEASE NOTE: IU housing will be sending you notification of a group quarter upload between April 1st and 8th. If for any reason you do not want IU to respond to the Census Bureau on your behalf, just send an email from your IU email address to the contact listed in the email you received with the subject line “I am Opting Out of Group Quarter Reporting,” or call the phone number listed in the email to indicate that you want to opt out. April 8th at midnight is the last opportunity to Opt Out of the Group Quarter Reporting.
If you were living in a Greek House on your IU Campus (even if you have temporarily moved back to your parents’/guardians’ residence) you do not need to fill out the census, your Greek leaders will do it for you. Greek leaders are being contacted individually by the Census Bureau and they will provide instructions to the leaders on how to participate in the Group Quarters option.
If you lived in Off-Campus Housing owned by Indiana University, regardless of whether you recently moved out, you should complete a census questionnaire. You can use the e-response option on the Census Bureau website https://2020census.gov/ and put in the code you received from the census mailer or use your address and complete the form as if you were still living in the off-campus housing. If you had multiple roommates in your housing unit, you should work together to fill out one questionnaire for the household. You should include all roommates (including any nonstudents) who lived and slept in the home most of the time, even if they have gone to live at another location as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you lived in Private Off-Campus Housing you can use the e-response option on the Census Bureau website https://2020census.gov/ and put in the code you received from the census mailer or use your address and complete the form as if you were still living in the private off-campus housing.
You should not count on your landlord to fill out the questionnaire for you.
If you have or had multiple roommates in your housing unit, you should work together to fill out one questionnaire for the entire household. You should include all roommates (nonstudents, too) who lived and slept in the home most of the time, even if one or more of you has moved to a different residence in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you rent a portion of a home with no separate address, you should work with the others living at the address to fill out one questionnaire and use the e-response option on the Census Bureau website https://2020census.gov/. Include everyone who lives and sleeps at the address most of the time.
While you are required by law to participate, the Census Bureau is also required by law to protect your answers. Your responses are used only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau does not disclose any personal information. The information that Indiana University provides to the Census Bureau for any Group Quarter upload is protected as well.
Getting a complete and accurate census count is critically important. That's why your response is required by law. If you do not respond, the Census Bureau will follow up in person to collect your response.
The results are used to determine how much funding local communities receive for key public services and how many seats each state gets in Congress. State and local officials also use census counts to draw boundaries for congressional, state legislative, and school districts.
By law, the Census Bureau can use your responses only to produce statistics. 2020 Census results will help in directing billions of dollars in federal funds to communities for schools, roads, and other public services. Results from the 2020 Census will also help to determine the number of seats that each state has in Congress.
The Census Bureau takes the responsibility to protect your information very seriously. The Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015 ensures that your data is protected from cybersecurity risks. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. By law, the Census Bureau can use your responses only to produce statistics. If you respond online, all web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy. If you respond using a paper questionnaire, your completed questionnaire will be destroyed after processing.
No. Your information is completely confidential and protected by law and cannot be shared with any other government agencies, including law enforcement or immigration officials. Federal law (U.S. Code Title 13, Section 9) protects your privacy and keeps your answers safe and secure. By law, the Census Bureau can use your responses only to produce statistics.
Up to five invitations to respond to the 2020 census will be mailed to all addresses beginning in mid-March. Residents of apartments or houses will receive information multiple times about the different ways to respond to the census. This is the Census Bureau’s way of reminding people how important it is to fill out the questionnaire.
Information available through the Indiana Data Center Program estimates that every person in the state of Indiana counted in the census potentially creates *$2,710 in available federal funding. Over 10 years that’s nearly $30,000 per person. People who are not counted affect our campus communities’ ability to provide Pell Grant funding, maintain roads and bridges, provide funding for numerous social organizations that service children, seniors, wildlife, and the arts just to name a few, as well as affect your community’s representation in both the Indiana Legislature and Congress. It is extremely important that we COUNT EVERYONE, so we encourage you not to let yourself be missed.
* Figure is based on information available through the Indiana Data Center Program which is a federal-state partnership between the U.S. Census Bureau and the State of Indiana and is managed by the Indiana State Library in collaboration with its coordinating agencies, the Indiana Business Research Center, the Indiana Geographic Information Council and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The Indiana figure is the result of an analysis on 55 of the largest federal spending programs. Currently, there are 132 federal programs that actually use census data to determine distribution.