WILX.com Mar 8, 2010
Hey, College Students: Fill Out Your Census! Mom and Dad aren't supposed to count you on their census form
Like any community, East Lansing has a lot riding on the census. "The numbers we get in the census will impact funding for a decade from the state government and federal government," says East Lansing City Manager Ted Staton. Staton says the 10‐minute survey is a lucrative one. "We get about $1,500 a year per person in revenue" from the census, he says. But there's one group specifically, especially in East Lansing, that needs to fill out the census but might not know they have to: students. "What these students don't realize is that while they may only be here four years, the census allocates for a decade," says MSU junior Lindsay Bacigalupo. Bacigalupo became involved with the census through a school project. Before her project, she‐‐like most students‐‐ didn't know she was responsible for her own census. "No idea. I thought my parents would fill it out," she says.
Now, she's helping spread the word to her classmates that they need to be counted; otherwise, East Lansing, along with other college towns like Ann Arbor and Mt. Pleasant, could lose out on millions of dollars. "They've been very receptive when they realize all the venues the money goes to," Bacigalupo says. "Everyone on campus rides the CATA. It's a great example. Without government funding for CATA, it wouldn't exist," she says. "This is so important President Simon has sent a letter to the homes of students at MSU," Staton says. "It's clear that students are to be counted in the communities where they attend school." The census forms will start going out next week.