Getting Counted in the 2020 Census


A message to the Rutgers–New Brunswick community from Salvador B. Mena, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Rutgers University—New Brunswick:

To Our Rutgers–New Brunswick Community,

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives for the time being and shifted us from our normal routines. Despite the current state of our daily lives, our civic duty to participate in the census remains important. The government has begun to reach out to residents across the nation as part of the 2020 census. Today, I would like to encourage and remind you to respond as your contribution matters.

The census is a national effort to count every resident in their local community and through this population count, provides the basis in determining the number of congressional representatives our state holds and the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funds to our communities. This impacts many things from higher education to transportation and infrastructure to health care.

By now, most residences should have received census forms in the mail, and I want to inform you of how Rutgers students are counted to accurately represent our regional and local population. The census counts people where they live the majority (two-thirds) of the year.

Rutgers students are counted by the census in the following manner:

  • For undergraduate and graduate students who live in Rutgers housing: you will be counted by Rutgers through data already in university records. Rutgers will transfer these anonymous data to the U.S. Census Bureau. While our current university operating status due to COVID-19 is different, students will still be counted based on what their residence would be during normal university operations. You should not be counted by your parents or guardians.
  • For students living 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.
  • For students who commute from their home (permanent address): You should be counted by your parents or guardians.

The U.S. Census can be completed through the mail, by phone, or online. For more resources and answers to questions, please visit the Student Affairs 2020 census website we’ve created.

Thank you for your assistance in this important responsibility we have.


Salvador B. Mena, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Rutgers University–New Brunswick