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March 03, 2020

Higher education institutions work together to accurately count college students

University of Missouri System, MDHEWD partner to create census toolkit

The Missouri Complete Count Higher Education Working Group, made up of representatives from both public and private colleges and universities, was formed to ensure the most accurate count possible for the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.

“Students often get counted in the wrong location, or not at all,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education. “By partnering together to spread the word, we hope to eliminate any myths associated with the census, and help students understand where and how they should be counted.” 

The University of Missouri System, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development, created a toolkit that administrators can use to reach their hard-to-count student populations. The toolkit provides checklists of actions and resources, as well as a suite of unbranded images and messages that Missouri colleges and universities can use to share the importance of the 2020 census.

The constitutionally mandated U.S. Census occurs every 10 years. Its data determines the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding to support vital state, county, and community programs. These funds, grants, and support are based on population totals and breakdowns of sex, age, race, and other factors.

“Getting the most accurate and complete count during the census is incredibly important for Missouri’s future,” said Mulligan. “We are confident that the work the University of Missouri System has done, along with the cooperation we have received from other institutions, will improve our ability to reach hard-to-count groups and secure funding that corresponds closely with our state’s population.”     

Commissioner Mulligan is also serving on Governor Parson’s Complete Count Committee in order to coordinate with other members of state government.

Starting on March 12, the U.S. Census Bureau will mail households cards that will be used to count the population. This year, an online option will be available for the first time. Missourians can respond to the census online, by phone, or by mail.

The higher education toolkit can be found here.


About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.