Census for students

The 2010 Census is currently taking place and college students are required to fill out forms with the rest of America.

The United States Constitution requires that a Census count be taken every 10 years of everyone in the United States. Both citizens and non-citizens are counted. Forms will be mailed this month to students living off campus and April-May forms will be delivered to students living on-campus

It is important that college students complete their forms as soon as they receive them and return them as soon as possible.

Mae Emerson of the Big Rapids City Township is trying to get the counts in of citizens of the city and is working with Ferris as well.

“What I’ve done is I’ve made some posters and took them to off-campus apartment complexes, townhouses, and University Park suites,” said Emerson.

She said it is important for students to know that people who are not citizens of the United States are being counted as well.

Emerson said she has been working with some Ferris professors on gathering Census information. A rally is set to be taking place between April 5 and 10. She said the exact date is not yet known.

“We’re trying to make students aware of the importance of the census,” said Emerson. She mentioned college students are one of the hardest groups to encourage to send back their forms.

Emerson is trying to get a project started through Ferris in the residence halls and in off-campus housing to see who can get in the highest number of form returns.

She said some students ask themselves why they should fill it out and if it even impacts their life. Census data affects college tuition, grants and loan programs.

“Some people are doing studies on how to get grants to help people out,” said Emerson.

Over $400 million dollars worth of funding goes out nationwide. Much of the funding is mandated. If students do not send their forms in as quickly as they receive them, census workers will have to go door-to-door to collect them.

Emerson added, “That’s a very expensive process.”

Students are counted based on wherever they are living for six months throughout the year. Those who are living on campus will be counted at that residence on April 1.

Claire Gould, president of Student Government, is working with the Census information on campus. Gould could not be reached for comment.

If students are interested in getting involved with the Census, they can participate in on-campus activities or pursue a temporary Census job.

More information can be found out about the 2010 Census at 2010census.gov. n