Release: California Census 2020 Campaign Announces Partnership with California’s Major Higher Education Systems

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 4, 2020
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California Census 2020 Campaign Announces Partnership with California’s Major Higher Education Systems

SACRAMENTO – Today, the California For All – Census 2020 Campaign announced commitments by California’s major higher education systems to ensure college students participate in the Census. The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, California Community Colleges, the California State University Chancellor’s Office, and the University of California’s Office of the President will partner to conduct outreach activities at campuses across the state.

This partnership recognizes the need to effectively educate and motivate students ahead of the 2020 Census. The Census counts students where they reside or spend most of their time as of April 1, 2020, meaning most students will be counted in their college community. The student population has historically been undercounted in past Census enumerations, and the California Census 2020 Campaign is committed to changing that trend.

“Students from diverse socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds are among those most at risk of an undercount in the 2020 Census. Changing the trend of undercounting students requires direct engagement with students at colleges and universities across the state to educate and motivate them to participate,” said Ditas Katague, Director of the California Complete Count – Census 2020.

“Counting students attending higher educational institutions is key to ensure California achieves a complete count. We are proud to be part of this multi-faceted approach to ensure our students have a voice and bring resources back to their communities,” said Kristen Soares, President, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities.

“The students of California play an incredibly important role in the economy and future of our great state. Students from all backgrounds and income levels deserve to be counted and we will do everything in our power to make sure they have a voice in this incredibly important initiative,” said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, California Community Colleges Chancellor.

“We’re incredibly proud to be partnering with the state of California and other higher education institutions for this vital initiative. Students have historically been overlooked by the Census and are difficult to count because of complex living arrangements – this partnership gives us the tools we need to reach students to change that.  We also recognize that the Census results really matter for students, as the count will determine how vital resources that are used by college students are allocated,” said Dr. Luoluo Hong, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, California State University Chancellor’s Office.

UC is thrilled to partner with state leaders and other higher education segments to inform and encourage students across California to participate in the 2020 Census,” said University of California President Janet Napolitano. “California youth are among those who have the most to gain from an accurate Census count, and we will work together to empower students in this critical process.”

The outreach campaigns will vary across campuses to reflect the diversity and uniqueness of their respective communities, but all will be student-driven with support from staff. In partnership with the California Census Office, the campaigns will feature data-based approaches and innovative tools, such as digital and social media content, text messages, videos, and newsletters to promote participation in the Census.

Additionally, the campus campaigns will conduct outreach activities to students in person on campus through ambassador trainings and provide funding to student organizations to engage in census-related activities during March 30 – April 3, also known as Census Week.

The California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office

Once each decade, the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count every person in the United States. Californians will be receiving an invitation to complete the Census form starting on March 12, with this enumerating being the first to rely heavily on online responses. California leaders have invested $187.2 million toward a statewide outreach and communication campaign. For more information, please go to

California is considered the hardest-to-count state in the nation, with high populations of immigrants, renters, individuals living on homes without a broadband subscription, people living close to or below the poverty line, and children younger than five years old. With billions of dollars in federal funding on the line, the campaign has assembled a historically diverse coalition comprising hundreds of partner organizations to help reach the hardest-to-count populations in California.

DATA: To see data on the hard-to-count populations in cities, counties, congressional and legislative districts in California, please visit:





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