With the current price of room and board costing $11,400 a year, many students are encouraged to apply for scholarships, grants and loans. In addition, Residence Life offers students the opportunity to apply for a position on campus that can eliminate all costs of room and board.
But what kind of position could offer such a huge discount on your college payment? Is it even possible to earn this kind of assistance as an ordinary student? If you apply and become accepted as a resident assistant, this is very possible.
Resident assistants, or RAs, are selected each year through an interview process that begins with an application that is available for all students to apply for. If chosen, the newly selected RA can save the entire cost of room and board.
While serving as an RA has many benefits, the pros and cons should be carefully weighed. It is not a job for everyone.
The duties of an RA are strenuous and the commitment is great. Not every student is suited to be an RA. The commitment to be an RA is one that not all students are capable of making.
RAs are required to be on campus before any other residents including athletes, student ambassadors, Loquitur editors and orientation leaders. They must make sure all of their residents are gone before they are able to leave for breaks and holidays. In addition, they are expected to make their residence hall an enriched experience by planning two programs a month (one being area wide and the other within their communities and residence halls). They must run monthly hall meetings, make bulletin boards every month and post door tags after each break. They also have lengthy duty responsibilities.
RA duty responsibilities are what many students may recognize as the most demanding of all requirements. RAs rotate with other RAs in their building for a five-week rotation. Each person takes one Thursday a month and one Friday and Saturday night.
During weekdays, RAs check their assigned building every two hours from 8 p.m. to midnight. On weekends, RAs are expected to be on desk from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and do rounds of their whole area at 8 p.m., 10 p.m., midnight and 2 a.m.
Once a week, RAs meet with areas for a 10 p.m. meeting that lasts for at least an hour and once a month all RAs gather for a meeting.
These duties, in the Loquitur’s opinion, are very demanding in a college student’s schedule. It is almost as if RAs have a full-time job on top of an already hectic schedule. The Loquitur would also like to point out that RAs are still a part of many extracurricular activities including sports, theater, chorus, clubs and some are even employed at part-time jobs. Thirty-five percent of RAs’ college fees are waived for fulfilling their responsibility to direct the programming and community enhancement of on-campus housing. This reduction, in the Loquitur’s opinion, is completely deserved by RA staff members.
Above the monetary benefits the RAs receive, the professional development and transferable skills developed as a result of this position are lasting benefits. The 30 RAs on the college’s campus are all selected because of their potential to serve the resident community as positive leaders and mentors to students. The practice of balancing professionalism and a social life helps enrich their person life as well as those around them.
Although this year’s application deadline has already passed, think about exploring the possibilities for next year. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain including leadership skills, lasting relationships and affordable college payments.