Is there anything in the works to get students to fill out the census?

Date: June 2020


Dear Deans:

I haven’t (yet) seen Cornell do anything to encourage census responses from its students, which is particularly alarming for the reasons outlined in this article.

Do you know if there is anything in the works to get students to fill out the census? Is there someone else I should write to about this, besides the Graduate School?


Count Me Please!


Dear Count Me Please!:

Thanks very much for raising this important issue. I reached out to Cornell’s lead for community relations efforts. He appreciates your interest. The Cornell Chronicle ran an article on why it is important for students to be counted in the census, especially to help the Ithaca area secure vital resources that support quality of life for graduate students, such as transportation as in the article you mentioned. 

To complete your 2020 Census questionnaire, visit For census purposes, university students, including graduate students, are considered residents of the place where they live while attending school, i.e., you are counted at your off-campus or on-campus residence here in the Ithaca region. The U.S. Census counts everyone living in the U.S., including non-citizens.

Cornell has provided U.S. Census 2020 FAQs explaining that the 2020 Census will influence funding for community resources and has implications for representation in the U.S. Congress. Community resources include transportation, adult education grants, science and engineering education, student wellness programs, and community mental health services. 

Responding to the U.S. Census is safe. Personal information is kept confidential by law, and responses can only be used to produce statistics. You are kept anonymous, and the Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home.

The Cornell Population Center has more information posted about the 2020 Census. View the U.S. Census Bureau video.

Thanks again for caring about this important activity, with significant impacts for your local Cornell community.

Warm regards,


Barbara A. Knuth
Dean of the Graduate School