Census 2020: How to Count College Students

Published on March 27, 2020

Census Day is April 1! But due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), many Arlington college students who would normally be at school on April 1 have come home.  Students who normally live at school should be counted as if they are at school — even if they are temporarily living at home due to school closures for the COVID-19 pandemic.


Check out this helpful video where the US Census Bureau explains it all!

Students who normally live in college-owned housing such as dorms or fraternity/sorority houses: Colleges and universities are working with the Census Bureau to count you as if you were still in school housing. You do not need to fill out a census form.

  • Parents: do not count your student — they will be counted at school.

Students who live in off-campus housing: You should have received your own Census invitation. Fill it out online and use the address where you live at school. Even if you have returned home, fill out the Census form online separately from your parents using the address where you live at school.

  • Students: Be sure to coordinate with any roommates so that only one questionnaire is completed for your household.

  • Parents:  Do not include your student in your Census response — they will be counted individually at their school address.

Students who live with their parents during the school year: You should be included in your  parents' Census response.

Counting students who have been temporarily displaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic is critical for communities that are home to large numbers of college students. Like Arlington -  which is also home to many students living in dorms and off-campus housing -  these areas rely on census data for federal funding for emergency and public health services, educational grants, infrastructure and other services that support students and the wider community.

It has never been easier to respond to the Census! Go to my2020Census.gov and fill it out today!

Learn more: Census Bureau Statement on Modifying 2020 Census Operations to Make Sure College Students are Counted


APRIL 1, 2020 IS CENSUS DAY! The U.S. Census counts every resident in the nation, including right here in Arlington County. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, America gets just one chance each decade to count its population. The collected data help to determine things like the number of seats Virginia has in the House of Representatives, and how to distribute federal funds to local communities like ours.