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Manhattan, KS 66506
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Source: Carla Jones, 785-532-7305, cjones@k-state.edu
Web site: http://www.k-state.edu/census/

Monday, March 15, 2010

K-STATE STUDENTS ENCOURAGED TO COMPLETE BOTH THE KANSAS CENSUS ADJUSTMENT QUESTIONNAIRE AND THE U.S. CENSUS

MANHATTAN -- The census coordinator at Kansas State University is urging K-State students to complete both the Kansas census adjustment questionnaire and the U.S. census form by their deadlines.

Carla Jones, K-State assistant vice president for student life who is coordinating census efforts for the university, said students can help their communities, the city of Manhattan, the state and K-State by completing both surveys.

"The 2010 U.S. census forms are different from the Kansas 2010 census adjustment questionnaire," Jones said. "We want students to be especially aware of this and not throw out the U.S. census by mistake."

The Kansas census adjustment questionnaire, also called the state census, can be completed online either through iSIS, which is K-State's online enrollment system, or at the Kansas secretary of state's Web site.

K-State places holds on students' iSIS accounts until they complete the state census. The university used a hold system in 2000 for the questionnaire and had a return rate of between 95 percent to 98 percent. The Kansas secretary of state's office is using K-State as the standard for 2010, and a conference call to all universities and colleges in Kansas included a conversation with Michael Crow, K-State's associate registrar, explaining how to achieve the highest return rate, Jones said.

Kansas law requires college students and military personnel to complete the state census because they represent two sizable groups that might not be counted at their permanent addresses. The Kansas census adjustment allows the secretary of state to let Kansas students and military members be counted in the communities of their permanent addresses.

The deadline for students to complete the state census is April 14. Jones said some K-State students still have holds on their records because they haven't completed the questionnaire. She anticipates, though, that all students will have completed the survey by March 22, the date enrollment begins for the summer and fall 2010 terms.

U.S. census forms are mailed to residences, apartments and group living places and need to be mailed back, Jones said. While the university can't place holds on student records to get students to participate in the U.S. census, Jones said the university is encouraging students to fill out the census form and send it back.

Leo Prieto, a K-State alum and census partnership specialist in Kansas City, said each national form is coded to track its return. Prieto said it is important for students to complete the national census because the data will help allocate $435 billion in government funding for state and city infrastructure. That money affects student and federal loans, transportation systems, health centers and higher education. The national census also determines state, local and congressional districts.

"When students fill out their census they're going to bring back those tax dollars to their university," Prieto said.

National census forms must be completed and mailed back by April 1.