College students a tough sell on completing Census form

College students a tough sell on completing Census form

Trying getting anything through a college mail system and into the hands of a student in the dorms is hard enough. Now try to send them a form that looks like junk mail and get them to return it in a timely manner. It's "Mission Impossible," particularly when the Census Bureau tries to reach students when they are still hungover from Spring Break.

College-age students are traditionally much harder to reach compared to older residents who have a more stable living environment. Most students also keep their parent's address as their "permanent address," but the Census wants them counted in the dorms.

Colleges across the state are working on a number of outreach measures to make sure students understand their obligations.

Barbara Ronningen, Minnesota state demographic center demographer, says students need to be counted in order to help colleges and the state figure out funding.

"The data we collect has an important bearing on college financial aid and demographics on campus," she says. "Students need to be counted in the place they spend most of their time, which would be their college residence."

And let's be honest. No one wants a stranger knocking on their door when they fail to mail back a simple questionnaire.

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