Teen Vogue has a new article, “If You Care About Federal Student Loans, Take the Census,” with information on what college students need to know. Read the full article here.
The article features quotes and highlights from JMU Civic and our Democracy Fellows.
“College students have so much at stake when it comes to the census because it directly impacts their future housing, communities, voting districts, and so much more,” Sarah Marie Gully, The Madison Center & Dukes Vote graduate assistant at James Madison University, told Teen Vogue. “College students are one of the most undercounted populations, which puts college towns, like [ours], at a disadvantage of being underrepresented and underfunded.”
JMU’s 2020 census initiative, “Count Colleges In,” is a multipronged, student-led campaign to inform students of the many ways in which census data impacts their lives. From social media campaigns to student video and art competitions, the group is going all out to make one thing clear: participation matters. Dr. Carah Ong Whaley, associate director of the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement, is a member of the Virginia Complete Count Commission. She says that this year’s census data will play a vital logistical role in campus operations for years to come.
“JMU, like everyone, has a stake in an accurate census count,” she told Teen Vogue. “At least 30% percent of students attending JMU receive grants, including 15% who were Pell Grant recipients [based on our data for 2017-2018].”
“We are customers at local stores, restaurants, and other businesses,” Kearstin Kimm said. “Our education is enriched by federal funding, and we even help elect local representatives. All of these entities — and by extension our lives and college experiences as a whole — are directly affected by data gathered in the census, so it’s important that we take advantage of this opportunity.”