Universities Help with Census
Because the U.S. Census Bureau tracks students where they attend college, regardless of permanent address, local census workers are relying heavily on university housing staffs and campus directory information to ensure an accurate 2010 count.
NMU will begin the process on April 1 by providing a census worker with the names and addresses of students living in the residence halls. Universities can release such directory information without consent unless a student has opted out of its disclosure. The worker will return later and provide housing staff with personally addressed envelopes containing the one-page census form to be completed by each student.
“We will piggyback the distribution of the census surveys with our mandatory house meetings that were previously scheduled for the first week of April to cover end-of-the-year checkout procedures,” said Jeff Korpi (Housing and Residence Life). “Our staff will hand out the envelopes, emphasize the importance of filling them out and encourage them to complete them at the meeting so they can return it to the staff and not have to worry about remembering to do it later.”
Each resident adviser will follow up with students who miss the meetings to distribute remaining envelopes. NMU will collect all of the surveys and turn them over to the census worker. After determining which students are unaccounted for, NMU will either make another effort to contact them or provide the minimum information requested on the census survey, as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The survey period runs from April 1 through May 14, but NMU will complete its obligations before the end of the semester.
Traditional door-to-door survey methods will be used for off-campus students. Arrangements for counting students in the campus apartments are still being finalized.