Published: March 1, 2020

Want to leave a long-lasting impression that will tell the world who you are, what you care about and how you are willing to help your community?

Here’s an important way to do it: Participate in a historical event that only happens every 10 years by filling out the 2020 U.S. census survey. Depending on where you live in Boulder—on campus or off—you can impact CU Boulder’s future by participating in this unique civic engagement opportunity.

Between March 12 through June 5, take 10 minutes to answer 10 questions that could impact the Boulder community, the state of Colorado and your university for 10 years and beyond.

What is the census? It’s a national demographic snapshot of where we live, who we are and how many of us call the United States home. With this information, the federal government determines how to parse out billions of dollars in funding that could flow into communities like Boulder over the next decade for much-needed public services and infrastructure.

In turn, CU Boulder students, faculty and staff who live and work in Boulder benefit from federally funded programs, initiatives and services that trace back to census participation. An accurate count can impact the amount and distribution of Pell Grants and other resources to all levels of education.

CU Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano and CU Student Government (CUSG) student leaders are closely collaborating on a campuswide awareness initiative to encourage all CU Boulder students, faculty and staff to fill out the 2020 U.S. census to make a positive impact on the Boulder community.

“As Colorado’s flagship public research university, we consider it part of our mission to prepare informed and engaged citizens. This census calls upon all of us to define our community in a singular yet communal act that will support us in a multitude of ways over the next decade,” DiStefano said.

CUSG Census Engagement Chair Ciera Dykstra welcomes interested students to volunteer in the campus’s efforts to raise awareness and spur greater census participation. There will be upcoming announcements about events, tabling and educational opportunities, she said.

“Our generation is leading the charge on so many positive social issues today,” Dykstra said. “The more we can get students to understand how important this initiative is, there’s a greater chance we can leave our mark as alumni who cared about our campus and the community that surrounds it.”

If you are a student, you are encouraged to complete the census form according to directions provided by campus living community staff or by adhering to official U.S. Census Bureau communication based on where you live. This might mean filling out an online form, completing a paper survey, or responding by phone. The opportunity to participate will begin on March 12 and continue through June until all surveys are counted. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to participate in the census.

Got questions about the census? Visit the campus census webpage for more information.


The Census Bureau, which administers the U.S. Census every 10 years, is required by law to protect any personal information collected and to keep it strictly confidential. Your information can only be used to produce statistics. Regardless of how you respond, your information is secure. The census does not include questions about birthplace or citizenship, so anyone who resides in Boulder for most of the year should respond according to their current Boulder address on April 1. By law, your census responses cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way.

Students, faculty and staff living off campus in non-university housing will receive prompts from the U.S. Postal Service to complete the census online as a household starting March 12.

Starting April 7, students will complete the census paper forms provided by living community staff. Forms must be completed by April 24.

From April 2 to June 5, official U.S. Census Bureau staff will conduct the survey door to door.

Watch for announcements about events, tabling and education opportunities. Volunteers in this effort are welcome. Contact the CUSG Census Engagement team to learn more.

Learn more at the following information sessions being hosted by the city of Boulder: