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Resident Assistant

RA Position Description

The RA is an essential member of the Northwestern Residential Services team whose primary role is to build strong communities by facilitating the social, academic, and personal transition of residential students as they enter and move through their Northwestern experiences.

RAs provide facilitated programs and services designed to both respond to student needs and provide opportunities for education, support, and personal growth. RAs must be comfortable interacting with university officials, faculty, staff, parents, and above all else, students.

RAs report directly to a Resident Director, and indirectly to the Program Manager, Assistant Directors, and Director of Residential Life. RAs work collaboratively with all Residential Services staff.

View or Download the Full RA Position Description here. (PDF)

The position description is being updated. Please note that everything except the dates in the linked PDF remains accurate. 

The RA Application is now available!*

Please click here to apply!

Residential Services is accepting applications on a rolling basis with a deadline of January 16, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. You will be contacted directly for an interview, pending review of your application.

*Candidates are highly encouraged to attend an Information Session. See below for details!


  • Be a full time, degree seeking undergraduate Northwestern student, enrolled in courses each quarter.
  • Have a minimum quarterly and cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above.
  • Be in good academic and conduct standing. Good standing means you are not on probation.
  • First year RAs cannot participate in opportunities that require significant time off campus including, but not limited to; Chicago Field Studies, Internships, or student teaching.

Interested in learning more? Come to an information session or watch a session online!

You are highly encouraged to attend an Information Session in person or watch one online to learn more about the expectations of the Resident Assistant role. 


Synchronous Information Sessions:

Watch your Area Newsletter and Instagram accounts for Zoom links

Northeast Area: Tuesday, January 4th at 6:30 p.m.

South Area: Wednesday, January 5th at 7:00 p.m.

Southwest Area: Thursday, January 6th at 6:00 p.m.

South Area: Tuesday, January 11th at 7:00 p.m.

North Area: Thursday, January 13th at 6:00 p.m.


Asynchronous Information Session:

Resident Assistant 2022-2023 Information Session Presentation

Timeline of Process

  • Application Opens: October 25
  • Application Closes: January 16, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Interview Process will be held: February 16-19


FAQS: Who do I contact for more information?

You can talk to any of our Resident Directors or email to reach a member of our Student Staff Selection, Training, and Recognition Committee.

FAQS: Do I get to choose where I live as an RA?

No, though we do ask for your preferences! When you apply, you are applying for the RA role, regardless of building placement.

We then take your preferences into account and do our best to follow those preferences, while also accounting for strengths, space limitations, and staffing needs. 

FAQS: What is required to apply?

All candidates must:
  • fill out the online RA application
  • be in good standing academically and with the Office of Community Standards (meaning you're not actively on probation at the time the appointment starts)
  • maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative and quarterly GPA
  • be enrolled as a full-time, undergraduate student

FAQS: What is the compensation?

All RAs receive a single room and an Open Access Meal Plan (when the meal plan is in service). RAs also receive earnings of $500/quarter ($1500/academic year) while employed.

FAQS: Will I still receive financial aid if I'm an RA?

Yes, you are still eligible for financial aid. However, being an RA can impact your total financial aid package.

Early in the application process, we STRONGLY encourage all interested candidates to reach out to the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid and speak with one of the financial aid counselors prior to applying to determine how your financial aid may be impacted.

FAQS: Can transfer students apply?

Yes! We encourage all transfer students to apply. You must be a current Northwestern undergraduate student at the time of applying for the role. 

FAQS: Can graduate students apply?

The RA position is an undergraduate student leadership role. We do have Graduate RAs (GRA) that serve in our graduate housing communities. Please see the Residential Services website for more information on the GRA position.