Could colleges be effected by an inaccurate Census count?

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WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – We’re just a few short days from November, which means the census is gearing up to hire more workers to make sure each state provides the most accurate headcount possible.

One area school is teaming up with the Census to do just that.

About 6,500 colleges accept the Pell Grant, a federally funded grant for college students. But without an accurate headcount, the amount awarded to those students annually could drop. So, West Liberty University is pushing to make sure that doesn’t happen.  

There’s a number of federally funded grants that are contingent on the census for proper funding. And since most college students have yet to fill out their own Census form in their lifetime, it’s important they know how crucial it is.

A lot of grants and federal funding is based on the census. So, we want to make sure that we here in the northern panhandle, and particularly in at West Liberty have an accurate count.

STEVE GREINER- PRESIDENT, WLU

There are several students at not just West Liberty University but campuses across the U.S that are from out of state and live on Campus for 9 to 12 months a year—making them a resident.

The residency means that, if you are living here most of the year, which our students do, regardless of where your home is this is where your residence is considered. We want to make sure that we get an accurate count because the census is incredibly important particularly for West Virginia right now.

STEVE GREINER- PRESIDENT, WLU

But to get that accurate count, they must target every student. And since most students who aren’t freshmen live off-campus, it can be a hard task.

Especially the students that are all off campus, they don’t really walk in the same directions as the people on campus do. For instance, if you live in Beta Hall, you’re going to be walking across the quad every single day whether they are in Main Hall or Campbell Hall. But if you’re not, if you’re commuting, you may just park next to the library, go to the library, go to Ming Hall and then go home for lunch or dinner.

ISABELLA YAKICIC- STUDENT GOVERNMENT PRESIDENT, WLU

That’s why Isabella and the rest of the Student Government Association are teaming up so they can ensure students take part in the 20-20 Census.

Our target is to really get people to have this exploited out. Whether it be in the classrooms, or some way shape or form, target where the students always are. So that’s what we’re going to work towards in the Spring.

ISABELLA YAKICIC- STUDENT GOVERNMENT PRESIDENT, WLU

The Census is taken once every decade. So, in January of 20-20, it will start. An accurate count helps to distribute more than 675 billion dollars in federal funds annually. And if you don’t want someone coming to knock on your door, fill your form out by April first.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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