MC Gears-Up For Census 2020

With funds at stake, MC encourages everyone to participate in the 2020 Census.


Courtesy of The Office of Student Life

Student ambassadors hired to promote the census on campus.

John Wildeman, Writer

Every ten years, the federal government undergoes the process of counting each person.

In mid-March, each household in the U.S. will begin receiving instructions on how to participate in the census, with the results of the count helping determine how national resources and congressional representation will be distributed for the next decade.

As this process begins around the country, Montgomery College’s efforts also kick into high-gear, with millions of dollars of federal funds on the line.

At MC, the 2020 census will determine things like the amount of Pell Grant funds Montgomery College gets, adult education funding in Montgomery County, and the amount of investments in additional social services and safety net programs that many MC students rely on. It is estimated that each person uncounted will result in $18,000 in lost funds.

Nik Sushka, service learning coordinator at MC who helps facilitate the census campus-wide, says that the college projects thousands of students could go uncounted, representing millions of dollars in lost funds.

“That’s why it’s so vital that everyone knows their 2020 Census rights and responsibilities,” Sushka said. “Everyone has the right to be counted, and everyone has the responsibility to make sure their household participates.”

The college has hired 18 student Census Ambassadors who are promoting the Census through public events, non-English outreach, one-on-one meetings, and presentations. The team of students is also working with MC staff to raise awareness of the Census in the classroom, and has worked with the community to ensure each individual gets counted.

Barke Ahmed, a second year public health science major and census student ambassador, stresses that the importance of the census goes beyond just benefits for any one individual.

“Not taking part in the census is going to affect so many people.” said Ahmed. “The support from the government of free meals for students in middle and elementary schools, student loans, transportation facilities, medical assistance and many more may not be enough to all those who are in need.”

MC will be hosting several events, beginning April 1 with Census Day. All MC libraries will observe the day by offering help and resources for anyone in the community who might need help participating in the census and getting counted.

Additionally, the college will be holding Census Festivals on each campus. Rockville’s Census festival is on April 22 and will feature food, entertainment, and resources to motivate and help people get counted.

The census begins April 1 and will last through late summer. MC will be supporting the effort until the census is complete. Visit or the student life office for more information.