As U.S. Census Day passed last week, Kent State students were encouraged to fill out the survey that will help the university receive public funding.

The census helps determine the amount of money that local government and non-profits will receive including Kent State. This includes grants the university receives. The more people fill out the census, the more accurately distributed funding will be to schools, hospitals and other public institutions.

“Very important to the amount of money we received for different groups including Kent State and for where you live,” said Janet Esposito, the Portage County auditor. “The county alone gets 14 million.”

The last time there was a census count, Esposito said elderly people and Kent State were not counted in all areas. 

Now, with the spread of the coronavirus, students are still asked to fill out a survey. But students living on campus were required to leave by the end of March. The U.S. Census Survey was mailed to those who lived in the residence halls, but Esposito said it was emailed to the students as well.

It is unclear right now if the global pandemic will have an impact on the number of surveys filled out. Esposito said access to Wi-Fi or to the library will hinder applicants too. 

She still encourages students to participate because it helps struggling areas.

“It all comes from the census count and the areas,” she said. “Areas that are in need of more things than what we have. And I’m afraid we’re going to have more that are, especially what’s going on in our states now.”

Even if the Kent State student isn’t from Portage County, they are still encouraged to fill one out for the area. There is a section on the survey that allows the participant to put their permanent address. 

“If they’re living here temporarily and they asked you if you live somewhere else, you know, it’s gotta help somebody somewhere,” Esposito said. “And that’s our rationale, and that’s what I’ve been told by our representative.”

The planned schedule for those to fill out the survey was originally due by July 31. The U.S. Census Bureau adjusted the deadline until August 14 due to COVID-19.

To fill out a survey go to https://respond.census.gov/acs/#respond

Amanda Levine is a sports editor. Contact her at alevine3@kent.edu.

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