Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to your questions about our Resident Advisor positions.
What are the requirements to be eligible for the RA position?
RAs must meet the following criteria:
- RAs must be undergraduate students eligible for housing.
- RAs must be entering their second year at the institution (First year students are eligible to apply in the Spring semester of their first year to begin working in the Fall semester of their sophomore year).
- RAs must have a 2.5 semester and cumulative GPA.
- RAs must be in good conduct standing, as determined by the Office of Residence Life.
What is the timeline for RA hiring?
The RA position is typically a full academic year commitment, beginning in August. Applications are launched in late November and due near the end of January. Interviews take place in February. Decisions are released in late February/March for the following academic year.
Depending on staffing, there is sometimes a mid-year hiring process that occurs around November for January openings. The need for a mid-year process is determined on a year to year basis.
What are the possible outcomes of applying?
There are three possible outcomes for a candidate:
- A candidate may be offered a position and has the option of accepting or declining.
- A candidate may be offered a place in the alternate pool.
- A candidate may not be offered a position or a place on the alternate pool.
What is the alternate pool?
Candidates who are offered a place in the alternate pool are qualified for the RA position, but the Office of Residence Life may not be able to offer them a position immediately, or at all, depending on staffing. Multiple RAs each year are hired from the alternate pool over the summer or between December and January, due to RAs graduating early, going on study abroad, resigning from the position, etc.
Being in the alternate pool does not guarantee that the candidate will be hired, just that they continued to be interested in the position and are eligible to be hired. The Office of Residence Life recommends candidates in the alternate pool make alternate plans for housing for the following year until they are formally offered a position.
What is the compensation for the RA position?
Compensation this year (2023-2024 academic year) for the RA position included:
- Full room and board*
- Leadership Experience
- Resume Experience
- Opportunity for a Single Room
*The Office of Residence Life recommends candidates consult with their financial aid counselor to discuss if the position will have any impact on their financial aid.
Compensation is reviewed annually and is subject to change.
What is the time commitment for the position? How often am I “on duty?”
RAs typically work about 20 hours a week between a weekly staff meeting, meetings with their supervisors, interactions with their residents and being on duty. Being on duty requires staff members to stay in the building overnight, conduct a few rounds of the building, and address any issues or concerns. The exact number of duty shifts per RA depends on the residential area and the number of RAs on staff. RAs are typically on duty about one weekend per month and one weekday per week.
At certain times of year, the RA position is much busier, specifically during August Training and First Year and Upperclass Move-In, and Break closings.
When do RAs have to be on campus?
RAs begin about two weeks before the start of classes in August. The specific dates of RA training are announced prior to the end of the Spring Semester, and the specific dates vary based on the Academic Calendar. Attendance at August RA Training is a requirement of the position. There is an additional training in January, a few days prior to the start of classes.
RAs are required to work throughout Fall Move-In and Spring Move-In.
RAs are required to work the night that building closings each time the residence halls close, and the first night of break (Thanksgiving Break, the end of the Fall Semester, Spring Break, Easter Break and the end of the Spring Semester).
As part of their responsibilities, RAs need to be available and accessible to their residents and should typically be staying on campus throughout the semester.
What is August RA Training Like?
August RA Training and Fall Opening are among the busiest two weeks for the Office of Residence Life. August RA Training and Fall Opening is about 2 full weeks of commitment, and RAs are expected to be present at all trainings and activities during these weeks. We encourage RAs not to make any other plans during these weeks.
Am I able to be an Orientation Coordinator/Leader and an RA?
On the RA application, you will be asked if you are planning to apply to be an Orientation Coordinator/Leader and an RA. Prior to accepting either position, both Residence Life and Orientation will reach out to connect with you regarding the commitments and workloads of both positions.
Am I able to be an FYE Instructor or Varsity Athlete and an RA?
Yes, the Office of Residence Life prides itself on the wide range of student leaders on its RA staff. We work closely with the FYE to allow RAs to attend FYE Training during August.
The Office of Residence Life has a large number of Varsity Athletes on the RA staff. The RA/Athlete is expected to inform their coach of their RA position and requirements, and we work closely with each RA/Athlete individually to ensure that athletes are able to attend games while also meeting the requirements of our training. Fall athletes are encouraged to speak with their coach before accepting the position due to the large overlap between pre-season training and RA Training.
How are an RA’s building/room assignment determined? Can I switch or trade my assignment?
RAs are assigned to a specific building and room based on the needs of the department and the strengths of the candidate. The Residence Life professional staff work to build teams of RAs through our selection process, and these placements are intentional. Staff are not able to switch or trade assignments.
Do RAs have roommates?
Most RAs have single rooms and are not able to have roommates. In the St. Thomas and St. Ann Apartments and Royal Crest, RAs are required to have three or four roommates, including one direct roommate, due to the layout of the space.
RAs who are hired before the Housing Selection Process are offered the opportunity to “pull in” roommates. Once the Housing Selection process begins, any spaces within RA apartments or suites that are not filled are filled through the Housing Selection Process.
Are RAs placed in the Merrimack Apartments at Royal Crest? Are sophomore RAs placed in areas with juniors and seniors?
Yes, RAs are placed in all residential areas, including the Merrimack Apartments at Royal Crest. RAs on each staff make up a variety of class years, and some RAs do have residents that are older than they are. The Office of Residence Life works with RAs during Training to prepare them to work in whichever residential area they are placed in.