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Students Urged to Complete Census

The 2010 Census has begun. On March 15, 2010, census forms were sent to 120 million homes across the nation. Anyone who currently resides in the United States is eligible to be counted, including noncitizens.

The information gathered by the census is kept 100 percent confidential and by law will not be shared with anyone, including other federal agencies or law enforcement units, under penalty of a $250,000 fine and up to five years in federal prison.

At Ohio Northern, everyone who is not registered as commuting to school while residing full-time at their parents’ or guardians’ home is eligible to participate in the census. Students living off-campus who commute to ONU but do not live at their parents’ or guardians’ home are eligible to participate in the census. For students who live in an off-campus house, all residents of that house are counted together as one unit, not individually as might be expected.

All students living on-campus also will be counted, but will receive their forms in their unit boxes from the Census Bureau beginning in April. The forms are to be filled out by each individual, unlike the off-campus housing situation.

In 2000, the census participation across the United States was 72 percent and the participation rate of the state of Ohio was 77 percent. The 45810 area code had a participation rate of 75 percent in the 2000 Census while in the Village of Ada and Ohio Northern University, the participation rate was 76 percent.

Beginning in May, census takers hired by the bureau will be sent to each house from which a survey was not received. This process costs the federal government, and in turn taxpayers $57 per house compared to only $0.44 per stamp to send a survey in the mail. That would be a cost of $208,962 if all 3,666 ONU students lived in a house that did not send back a survey. If you are interested in a job with the census, you can call their national hotline at: 1-866-861-2010 or at their website:

Census Day is April 1, 2010, and if you are in the United States on that day, you need to be counted, so please remember to fill out the form!


Letter from Student Senate President Mike Hamper