#TUProud to be Counted: It’s Time to Complete the 2020 Census!

It has never been easier to respond to the Census on your own, whether online, over the phone or by mail. Here’s what you need to know to be counted, especially in light of COVID-19:


Students who live in private off-campus housing – such as a rental apartment or house – need to respond to the census themselves. They should not count on their landlord to fill out a 2020 Census questionnaire. Due to COVID-19, the Census Bureau is encouraging students who live in off-campus, private residences to count themselves at the location where they would have been living on April 1, 2020. This includes those who have terminated leases and have gone home early due to school closures.

Residents of every housing unit should work together to fill out one questionnaire per household. They should include all housemates/roommates (including nonstudents, family members, etc.) who live and sleep in the home most of the time.

The Census Bureau sent a letter to every residence nationwide between March 12-20, with a Census ID number and instructions to complete the Census. However, if you haven’t received the letter yet, or do not have access to it currently, you can still complete the census online, without a Census ID. 

Visit 2020census.gov to get counted!


No further action needed at this time. Housing and Residence Life at TU is working directly with the Census Bureau to provide information about our on-campus students. College students living in on-campus housing are counted through their university as part of the Census Bureau’s Group Quarters Operation, which counts all students living in university owned housing

**Please embed this video: https://youtu.be/B4Ee8ol_LxY* 


The United States has counted its population every 10 years since 1790, counting everyone living in the country on April 1. The results of the Census help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities. This federal funding helps our community in many critical areas, from education and nutrition programs, to transportation, infrastructure, and medical research. In addition, the Census provides data necessary to appoint representatives among the states for the House of Representatives and to redistrict legislative districts.

According to Baltimore County, our community loses $1,800 of funding for each person who goes uncounted, so a complete count is more important than ever. Because of this, Towson University is proud to be in partnership with Baltimore County and the United States Census Bureau, to ensure our entire campus community is counted.

All 2020 Census responses are kept confidential and private, by law. Your responses cannot be shared and cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way.


TU students use critical local resources in the local area, including roads, public transportation and health clinics.

Getting funds for those resources, however, depends on making sure students are counted in the right place each census. And in most instances, if they’re not living at their parents’ home, chances are the right place is in the town where they attend school.

Basically, a student’s “home” is where they currently live while attending college.

Because of this, when responding to the 2020 Census, TU students should be counted where they would be living and sleeping most of the time as of April 1, 2020, if it weren’t for the COVID-19 outbreak.

Parents or guardians should only include children in college who live with them full time during the school year. They should not list college students studying or living abroad on April 1.


As institutions such as Towson University respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Census Bureau has provided specific guidance for college communities affected:

“In general, students in colleges and universities temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus will still be counted as part of this process.  Even if they are home on census day, April 1, they should be counted according to the residence criteria which states they should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time.”

In other words, the Census Bureau is proceeding as if students are still at their campus (either on- or off-campus) residences, NOT at whatever residence they’ve relocated to because of these closures.


Have any questions? Contact the Census Bureau directly at 2020census.gov, or the Office of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility at TU – civicengagement@towson.edu or social media at @TUEngaged

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This post was written by Rixham, Judith R.