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Resident Assistant

RA Job 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 support and encouragement, as well as facilitate programs and services designed to both respond to student needs as well as to provide opportunities for education and personal growth. RAs must be comfortable interacting with university officials, faculty, parents, and guests.

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 Job Description here. (PDF)

The RA Application is now available!*

Please click here to apply!

Residential Services is accepting applications on a rolling basis. You will be contacted directly for an interview, pending review of your application.

*Candidates must attend one 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!

You must attend one info session for you to be considered for the RA role.

Info sessions will be held on the following dates virtually:

  • Tuesday, November 17 - 4:00pm CST
  • Wednesday, December 16 - 11:00am CST
  • Friday, January 15 - 12:00pm CST
  • Thursday, January 21 - 1:30pm CST
  • Monday, January 25 - 10:30am CST
  • Tuesday, February 2 - 7:00pm CST
  • Tuesday, February 9 - 6:00pm CST

Please sign up for any of these sessions here!

If you are unable to attend any of these info sessions, you must reach out to to receive a recorded version of the info session.

Timeline of Process

  • Application Opens: November 16
  • Application Closes: February 12
  • Virtual Interview Process will be held: March 10-13

Residential Services is accepting applications on a rolling basis. You will be contacted directly for an interview, pending review of your application.

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 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
  • attend one (1) info session
  • be in good standing academically and with the Office of Community Standards (meaning you're not actively on probation)
  • 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.

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: What if I can't attend any of the information sessions because I'm abroad with time zone issues?

Candidates who are unable to attend an info session live must contact the Student Staff Selection Committee at to receive the information electronically.

Candidates who do not reach out for this information in lieu of attending live will not be considered for the RA position.


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.