Census 2020

Dear students,

I hope your semester is off to a good start. As you may be aware, this year marks the decennial census. In March, households will begin receiving official mail from the Census Bureau inviting them to respond to the Census 2020 online, by phone, or by mail. Even if you plan to leave the Richmond region after you graduate, it’s important that you are counted where you spend the majority of your time. For most students, that means here in Richmond.

The Census provides important data that everyone from lawmakers to business owners use to support the community. The data collected will help the Richmond area get federal funds, so please be sure to participate!

Below is some important information to keep in mind to ensure that you are counted in the location you spend the majority of your time:

  • On-Campus: If you live on campus in a VCU residence hall, VCU will include you in a process for collecting information from “Group Quarters.”
  • Off-Campus: If you live off-campus, one person from your household will fill out the Census. You will get a postcard in the mail during March 2020 inviting you to fill out the form online or by phone. Talk to your roommates about the Census and make sure everyone in your unit is counted.
  • Commuter: If you are a commuter, you are counted where you live. If you live with a guardian, they count you. If you live on your own, please fill out the form where you live.
  • International Students: If you are an international student studying in the U.S. this spring, you will be counted in the Census depending on where you live (on-campus/off-campus/commuter).
  • Study Abroad: If you are studying abroad for the entire duration of the Census, mid-March to late July,  then you are not counted. If you leave after the Census starts or come back before the Census ends, then you are counted.

We would also like to make you aware of the US Census Day awareness program, hosted by the VCU Votes Student Coalition, on April 1 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the Compass.

You can read more about Census 2020 online here and learn more about the uses for Census Bureau data here.

Be a Ram and be counted!


Dr. Reuban B. Rodriguez
Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students