Ferris State is helping to ensure students are accounted for in the 2020 Census to provide more accurate data to serve the community.
When Ferris students are included in the 2020 Census, the accurate data that is presented to the government will supply more government funding for the area. For this reason, Ferris was given a grant that enabled them to hire student Caitlin St. Clair, in August. St. Clair worked with the university and community to create plans to advertise the census and to educate students on what it means for the community.
“Each uncounted person in the census equals $1800 a year and $18k over the next ten years in federal funding,” coordinator of CLACS Career and Volunteer Centers, Michele Albright said. “In the 2010 Census, Big Rapids missed the student population of approximately 7k in the counts due to poor Census timing, process and information.”
Albright’s role on campus is to seek out opportunities for students to be involved in services. When she was contacted by the Fremont Area Foundation and the Michigan Nonprofit Association to be a part of the Census 2020 advisory hub, she made it a top priority to make sure students were counted in next year’s Census.
Students also believe it is important to be part of the data that helps fund the area.
“It’s important for students to be accounted for because it gives us a sense of the body of students we have here at Ferris, and how many people we have living in Big Rapids,” Ferris sophomore Collin Clover said. “I feel like everyone should do it. It’s good to get students involved in the census to give us a better understanding of how many people are in the nation.”
Other students believe spreading awareness and including the additional students to next year’s Census will benefit Big Rapids.
“If you have more people aware, more people will be willing to make themselves known and then there will be more money for the community,” Ferris freshman Kourtney Jones said.
There will be a Census 2020 meeting for students and community members of Big Rapids Monday, Nov. 21.
For more information regarding the 2020 Census contact CLACS in the University Center or visit Ferris State’s website.