2020 Census at Rutgers New Brunswick

Census 2020

The 2020 Census counts people where they live most of the time. Despite the current university operating status due to COVID-19, students should be counted based on where their residence would be during normal university operations.

How to Be Counted

Students Living On-Campus in Residence Halls

All undergraduate and graduate students who live in Rutgers housing (residence halls, suites, apartments and family apartments) will be counted by Rutgers through data already in university records. Rutgers will transfer this data to the US Census Bureau. On campus residents will not receive a 2020 Census form.

Because you are counted at Rutgers, you should not be counted by your parents or guardians. We ask you to notify family members of this fact.

Off-Campus Students
(Not living with parents or guardians)

If you live in an off-campus apartment, rental, sublease, etc., you should fill out a census form for your off-campus location. One form should be completed per apartment/housing unit.

You should not be counted by your parents or guardians. We ask you to notify family members of this fact.

Commuter Students
(Living with parents or guardians)

You should be counted by your parents or guardians. We ask you to notify family members of this fact.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the census, and why do I need to fill it out?
The census is a national effort taken by the U.S. government to count every resident, quantifying things like the populations of cities, number of households, and average household size. Not only does this provide important national data about our population and the economy, but it also provides the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds to communities impacting everything from higher education to health care to transportation.

Am I required to complete a census form?
If you are over 18, you are required to complete the census. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $100. Everyone living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. 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 2020 Census; if you are under 18, you are generally counted by your parent or legal guardian.

How do I complete the census?
Households will be able to respond to the 2020 Census online, over the phone, or through a paper questionnaire. If you do not respond in one of these three ways, census staff will come door to door.

When do Census forms begin getting mailed out?
For New Jersey residents, you will begin receiving your Census forms in the mail on March 12th. Once these are received, you can fill out the paper questionnaire, complete it online, or complete it over the phone.

Completing the census online seems easy. How specifically do I complete that?
Completing the census online takes about 15 minutes. All 2020 Census forms are mailed out. Once you receive our materials we mailed to you, you’ll see a User ID, which you can enter at https:/respond.census.gov/acs to begin your American Community Survey (2020 Census).

I’m living on-campus or off-campus in New Brunswick, but technically my permanent address is my parents’ house. Where should I tell the Census I live?
You should be counted at the residence where you live and sleep most of the time. For example: Are you a full-time Rutgers student living in Brett Hall or living off-campus but not living with parents or guardians? If so, you generally live and sleep at Rutgers about 2/3 of the year, and should be counted at that residence.

I’m currently living in a Rutgers residence hall. Do I need to fill out my own form, or will my residence hall count me?
Students in residence halls will be counted as part of the Census Group Quarters program, which residence halls are responsible for completing. You will not need to fill out your own form, unlike students who live off campus. Your parents or guardians should not count you at your home address.

I currently live in an off-campus house or apartment. Do I need to fill out my own form, or will Rutgers count me?
If you live off-campus, you will need to fill out your own form, as you are not counted under the Census Group Quarters program. Your parents or guardians should not count you at your home address.  One form should be completed per apartment/housing unit.

I’m an international student who lives on-campus or off-campus. Do I need to fill out the census?
Yes, as a resident of the United States, you will be counted wherever you live and sleep most of the time.

I’m studying abroad in the spring semester. Am I counted in the census?
Students should be counted where they live and sleep for the majority of the year. If you are only abroad for a semester, you should be counted at either your campus residence or parents’ home, depending on where you spend the most time/live.

I’m an undocumented student. Do I need to fill out the census? If so, do I need to report citizenship?
As an undocumented student, you are still a resident of the United States, and are required to be counted in the census. However, there are no questions about citizenship, and the U.S. Census Bureau will not be able to determine your citizenship status based off of your census form. Federal law prohibits the release of any identifiable information collected during the Census. No other government office or agency is permitted to have access to your Census response. This includes law enforcement! The information you provide is kept confidential. Census workers take an oath FOR LIFE to protect your information and keep it confidential. Any person who violates that oath can face jail for 5 years and/or fines up to $250,000.

Where can I get more information?
For more information, please contact Nancy Kranich at nancy.kranich@rutgers.edu

Are there opportunities for students and staff to get involved in Census outreach efforts on campus to help promote a complete count?
Yes, you can get hired as a Census taker!  Work schedules are flexible around your classes, and hourly rates are competitive, paying around $18-$19 per hour. Learn more: https://2020census.gov/en/jobs.html

Will the COVID-19 pandemic affect where I am counted?
In response to the changing circumstances of COVID-19, if a student is living in their home on April 1, Census Day, they should still be counted at their school residence hall since they live at this address most of the time.