March 26, 2010
10-056

Thressea Boyd
Director of Communications

Carly Floyd (Intern)

Every Student Counts in 2010

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University has partnered with the Lowndes County Complete Count Committee to achieve a complete and accurate count of the Lowndes County population in 2010.

Part of a larger effort by the U.S. Census Bureau to increase participation in the 2010 census, the partnership will involve sharing information about the census at VSU and encouraging students to complete and return their 2010 census forms. Every year, the federal government distributes more than $400 billion to state, local and tribal governments based on census data. Leaders use the data to guide planning decisions on where to build new schools, roads, hospitals, child-care and senior centers, and more. The data also determines the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives and affects college and university grant and loan programs.

“VSU students, particularly those living off-campus, need to realize the importance of filling out the 2010 census for their local Valdosta addresses,” said Rob Kellner, director of Auxiliary Services. “Many students think they should fill out the form for their permanent addresses, costing the Valdosta community millions of dollars of much-needed government funding. We want to eradicate this problem during the 2010 census through education and awareness.”

Census forms will be delivered or mailed to students living off campus in mid-March 2010. Census workers will visit households of students living off campus who do not return forms. Students living on campus will receive a census form from residence hall staff.
“One challenge with counting college students is the timing,” Kellner said. “The door-to-door count does not begin until May, after the majority of our students have left for the semester. It is extremely important that each student complete their form before the end of the semester.”

Information shared with the U.S. Census Bureau is completely confidential. By law, the bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.

For more information visit VSU’s census Web site at http://www.valdosta.edu/news/census/.