The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

April 1, 2020 was Census Day - but you have until October 15 to be counted. Your participation matters more than ever!

Residence Halls and other University-owned housing  If you were living in the residence halls or other University-owned housing, you do not need to do anything as you will be counted at your college address by the university. This also applies to you even if you recently left your residence halls and returned home to your permanent residence due to guidance from U-M or public health authorities related to COVID-19.


Off-campus Housing  If you lived in off-campus housing on April 1 (or were no longer on or near campus on/before April 1 due to guidance from U-M or public health authorities), you should use your off-campus address (not permanent address) and follow the Census Bureau instructions for Responding to the 2020 Census without a Census ID number.

Study Abroad  College students who were STUDYING ABROAD at the time of the census are usually not counted in the census at all. However, many students have come home early due to COVID-19. If you have returned to the U.S. by April 1, 2020, you can be counted at the place considered your “usual residence” as of Census Day, which may be your school address or permanent residence.

Census FAQs

What is the census?

It happens once every 10 years and counts every person living in the U.S. and the five U.S. territories. It includes seven questions on participant demographics and is confidential.

People have been counted in the census every 10 years since 1790.

Why does it matter?

It provides data to inform how more than $675 billion in federal funds is spent annually to support resources such as schools, hospitals and fire departments.The results also are used to determine how many representatives each state has in Congress and inform the redrawing of congressional district boundaries.

Who is counted?

Everyone living in the U.S. on April 1, 2020 regardless of citizenship. All students, including international students, are encouraged to participate.

How do I participate if I live in a residence hall?

If you live on-campus, there’s nothing you have to do. How easy is that? You will be automatically counted.

What if I live OFF campus?

You want to respond to the Census with where you lived on April 1, 2020 (or would have been living if not for COVID-19). You don't need an invitation to be counted. You can:

  • Do it right from your cell phone (details coming soon!)
  • Online at
  • Wait for a Census taker to drop by your off-campus residence
  • Respond to an invitation mailed to you

You can also answer by phone! There’s really no wrong way to be counted. Just be counted.

What if I live in a fraternity or sorority?

You're in luck. The Census will coordinate a point person in your house to handle all the counting for you.

Do I get counted based on where I live here, or my permanent address back home?

The Census is counting you based on where you are at the time you answer the Census. So, if you're enrolled for Winter Term, then you should answer the Census as an Ann Arbor resident at your student address.

What if my family counts me back home?

No worries. The Census will cross-reference and remove any duplicates. You’ll get counted just once.

What happens to my answers?

Your personal information is kept confidential. Federal law protects your information, and your data are used only for statistical purposes.

What will I be asked?

It includes seven questions on participant demographics.

Have additional questions? Visit

Census 101: What You Need to Know