Colleges and the 2020 Census

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is working with Census to share updates on the 2020 Census.

Census has posted an updated document here.

Given that many students who usually reside on college campuses may not currently be on campus, Census has 3 updates/reminders:

Colleges that chose the paper (drop off/pick up) method are urged to move to e-response;
In most cases, students who would ordinarily be on campus full-time but are living away from home at school should be counted at school, even if they are temporarily elsewhere (such as home) due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
Off-campus students can complete a response through the Internet at
The Student Privacy Policy Office or SPPO has provided information on the implications of FERPA under each of the enumeration methods here.

Please contact SPPO at if you have questions.


The Department recently issued techncial assistance on the applicability of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the disclosure by IHEs or postsecondary institutions of certain personally identifiable information (PII) from student education records to representatives of the U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) in connection with the 2020 Census.

Department of Education Resources

Census Resources


Postsecondary School Officials
Data Sharing