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The 2020 Census in the era of COVID-19

Contributed by Doreen Hettich-Atkins on 03/22/20 

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The Census Bureau has issued guidance that college students should still be counted at the residence they live while attending school, even if they have returned home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 The importance of counting college students where they spend the majority of their year cannot be underestimated, particularly in small college towns like Ithaca, NY.  The Census impacts representation at the state and federal level, access to state and federal funding, as well as provision of social services.  Having Ithaca College and Cornell students undercounted, particularly in this challenging year impacted by COVID-19 could have a devastating impact on Tompkins County. 

Students who were living on-campus, you don’t need to do anything.  You will be counted through the “group quarters” enumeration process created by the Census Bureau. Only information that is considered directory information as stated in the College’s FERPA Policy will be shared with the Census Bureau. 

Off-campus students, you should designate one member of your apartment to complete the Census for all of you by going to  You won’t have a “code” unless you’ve received the mail from your apartment, but you can complete the Census by entering your address. 

Thank you all for paying attention to this important matter at this very challenging time! 



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