Every 10 years, the Census Bureau administers a survey to gather information about the nation’s people and economy. Federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties, academia (that's us!), and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race, and other factors. Personal information collected by the Census Bureau is protected and private information is never published. The census will never ask for your social security number, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party.


Census 101:

Why is taking the Census Important?

The data collected from the census impacts your community in a BIG way - from determining the number of seats in the House of Representatives to determining how federal funding is allocated for programs like Medicaid, the National School Lunch Program, and Section 8 Housing. Furthermore, college students benefit from Federal student loans, legislation, campus funding, campus improvements, and health and social services - all in some way impacted by census data.  For example - based on Census results, the federal government will allocate millions of dollars to finance Burlington's schools, improve hospitals, restore parks, build roads, provide for families in need, and fund countless other valuable public resources. That’s why YOU count.

Dive deep into the importance of census data →

Who should participate?

Everybody! UVM students currently living in a residence hall or an off-campus apartment/home should fill out the census survey. If you currently live at home, your parent or legal guardian should count you in their submission.

See who is required to respond to the census →

How do I fill out the census?

There are three ways to complete the census -  on-line, by phone, or by mail.  

Note: If you are not living in your off-campus home while you are taking classes remotely due to the coronavirus and you have not rerouted your mail to your temporary address, we encourage you to fill out the Census online or by phone.

Learn more about responding to the census 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I, as a college student, fill out the census?

Yes! College students are counted in the communities where they go to school and live the majority of the year. Most college students should be counted at their college address, either on campus or off campus, if you're still unsure if this means you, Check out the Census Bureau's breakdown of which college students are counted.

I moved back home because of the COVID-19 virus, should I still take the census?

Yes. College students should count themselves at their on-campus or off-campus address, even if you stay somewhere else during school breaks or are now living elsewhere as a result of the coronavirus.

How many questions are on the Census? How long will it take? 

The 2020 Census is only 12 questions long and should only take you around 15-20 minutes.

Is the Census Safe?

Yes.  Your personal information is kept confidential. Under Title 13, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business - even to law enforcement agencies. The law ensures that your private data is protected and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics. You are kept anonymous. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home.

Are there questions about citizenship on the census?

No. There are no citizenship questions on the 2020 Census.

What won't I have to answer on the Census?

During the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask you for:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Money or donations.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party.
  • Your bank or credit card account numbers.
  • Additionally, there is no citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks you for one of these things, it's a scam, and you should not cooperate. Learn more about Avoiding Census Fraud and Scams.

Won't my family include me in their census?

Not unless you still live at home! The census is taken by 'household' meaning if you are living on-campus or on your own in an area house/apartment you should fill out your own survey regardless of whether you have a family member claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.   College students should count themselves at their on-campus or off-campus address, even if you stay somewhere else during school breaks or are now living elsewhere as a result of the coronavirus.

I took the Census. Now What?

While you're riding those good vibes for fullfilling your civic duty - think about other ways you can be counted. Continue to let your voice be heard by ensuring you are registered to vote in local, state, and national elections.  UVM's Turbovote makes voting easy by walking you through the steps of checking your registratin status, registering you to vote, and providing you with options for casting your ballot when the time comes - including how to cast an absentee ballot if you are voting out-of-state.  

Check out UVM's TurboVote →