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Resident Advisors: Student Leadership in the College Houses | Next: How to Apply

Resident Advisors: Student Leadership in the College Houses | Next: How to Apply

Resident Advisors: Student Leadership in the College Houses | Next: How to Apply

View the RA Appointment Description

RA Appointment Description (PDF)

 

 

Facts about the RA Position

There are 219 student positions in the system in total for academic year 2022-23. The number of RA and GRA positions that will be open varies from year to year, depending on how many team members are selected to return from the previous year in each House.

Du Bois: 7         Kings Court English: 16
Fisher Hassenfeld: 23         Lauder: 10
Gregory: 12         Riepe: 24
Gutmann: 12   Rodin: 24
Harnwell: 24         Stouffer: * 6
Harrison: 24         Ware: 23
Hill: 17            
            TOTAL: 222
         
         *under renovation in AY 22-23  

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility and Requirements to Apply

Who can apply?

Undergraduate RAs: Full-time students who will be at least a sophomore in the upcoming academic year but have not yet received an undergraduate degree are eligible for undergraduate Resident Advisor (RA) positions. In addition, applicants must be currently enrolled in classes with a GPA of at least 2.50, and must maintain that minimum GPA for the duration of their appointment. 

Graduate RAs: Full-time students who will be enrolled in one of Penn's on-campus graduate or professional programs in the upcoming academic year are eligible for Graduate Resident Advisor (GRA) positions. Students in part-time or full-time online programs or executive format programs are not eligible.​ GRAs cannot pursue a full-time employment position, on or off campus. Note: You will not be able to access the RA application until you are enrolled at Penn and have received your PennKey from your school and set up your Penn email.  

As a sub-matriculation program student, should I apply for a RA or GRA position?

Students enrolled in sub-matriculation programs are only eligible to hold the GRA position once the student's school has verified that the student has successfully completed all academic work required for their bachelor's degree.  Therefore, students who will not have completed all undergraduate work required for their bachelor's degree should apply for the RA position instead.

Can I apply to be an RA/GRA if I'm going abroad during the interview period?

You should apply at any point before the application deadline. Interviews, if you are studying abroad, will be conducted virtually.

NOTE: You cannot be an RA/GRA and study abroad in the same academic year.

Can I re-apply this year if I applied last year and was not hired?
Yes, but you must be academically eligible and submit a new application.
Are there housing options for married/partnered/families?
Undergraduate RAs: We do not have accommodations for undergraduate RAs with families. 

Graduate RAs: GRAs receive a rent-free single occupancy furnished accommodation in their assigned College House. Several Houses contain a limited number of rooms that will accommodate a partner or spouse (defined by having a private bathroom); however, facilities do not exist to accommodate a GRA with a child or any individual other than a spouse/partner. Houses containing rooms that accommodate a spouse or partner include: Du Bois, Harnwell, Harrison, Hill, Gregory, Gutmann, Lauder, Rodin, and Stouffer (Mayer Hall only). 

Can I apply to a particular House? Can I be considered for a position in the Radian?
All applications can be considered by any House. In order to ensure that we have a team of Resident Advisors who can meet the challenges a new community presents, the RA team at the Radian will be composed of RAs returning for another year of service after completing at least one year in one of the other College Houses, who have demonstrated skill in serving as an RA for upperclass residents.

Time Commitment

What is the time commitment for being a RA/GRA?
RA/GRAs are required to spend approximately 15-20 hours per week. It is important to understand that due to the nature of this work there will be weeks when the time commitment will be greater than this average. For instance, during the month of August, staff should expect to be very busy participating in fall RA Orientation, New Student Orientation and opening activities. RA/GRAs cannot pursue a full-time employment position, on or off campus.
How long does a RA/GRA appointment last?
A RA/GRA appointment lasts one academic year.
How often will I need to be on duty?
RA/GRAs serve as contacts for House emergencies whenever University offices are closed. Duty schedules vary depending on team size and individual House policies.
When is RA/GRA training and orientation, and is it mandatory?
Team members must attend all sessions of RA/GRA Fall Training, Winter Training, and in-service training meetings throughout the year as designated by the House Director and the Office of College Houses & Academic Services.
Will I be able to hold another job in addition to being an RA/GRA?
The House Director must approve all on- or off-campus employment in addition to the RA/GRA appointment. RA/GRAs cannot pursue a full-time employment position, on or off campus. If additional employment impacts your ability to perform the duties of an RA/GRA, you may be required to resign from the additional position or from the RA/GRA position.
I'm an international student and have questions about serving as an RA/GRA due to my visa status.  Where should I direct my questions?
Any RA/GRA with visa-related questions should reach out to International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), regarding how the RA/GRA position could impact their status. ISSS can be contacted through their website, or by telephone at 215-898-4661.

Benefits and Financial Aid

What are the benefits of an RA/GRA position?
The RA/GRA is provided a rent-free single occupancy accommodation in the College House to which they are assigned. This room is provided during the term of appointment only, and the size, shape, and furnishings of RA/GRA rooms vary. The RA/GRA is also provided a dining community development allocation.  Note: no tuition remission is included with an RA/GRA appointment.
What impact will being an RA/GRA have on my financial aid?
College Houses and Academic Services is required to report all positions to Student Financial Services. The value of the RA/GRA appointment is considered as a resource in evaluating financial need. Be advised that appointments can have a significant impact on an individual's financial aid package (i.e., grant and work study allocation, if eligible). As a result applicants are highly encouraged to consult with Student Financial Services before applying for a position and certainly prior to accepting the RA/GRA position. Student Financial Services can be contacted through their website at www.sfs.upenn.edu, and via email at sfsmail@exchange.upenn.edu, or by calling their office at (215) 898-1988.

Online Application and Interviewing

When will the application close?
Applications will be collected through December 23, 2022.
What is included in the application process?
Applications include a resume, cover letter, and a reference.  All application materials must be completed to be eligible for an RA position.
Can I get help with my resume, letter of application, or advice about interviewing?
Absolutely! Career Services is available for appointments and walk-ins and provides information and assistance with resume writing, samples and critique services as well as cover letter guides, samples and checklists. Contact Career Services through their website at www.vpul.upenn.edu or contact them at 215-898-7531. It is very important to utilize this resource in a timely manner so that they have the appropriate amount of time to assist you. Penn Career Services also offers interview advice on their website.
Who should I get to complete my reference form?
Upon submission of your application, the reference you selected will receive an online form to complete. Your reference should be completed by someone who can discuss your suitability for a RA/GRA position. This does not necessarily need to be a person affiliated with the University. Your reference can be a faculty member, University administrator, or advisor with whom you have worked during your time at Penn, or it can be someone who has worked with you on academic, volunteer or paid work, such as an employer, faculty member, or residential staff member. This person should be able to comment on your potential as a RA/GRA based primarily on non-social contact, such as working on academic projects, in University organizations, or as your supervisor.

A House Director is not an appropriate choice to provide your reference, as they serve as the hiring managers for RA positions and serving as a reference would present a conflict of interest.

What will the RA/GRA interview be like?
The interview process may vary House by House. If selected for an interview you have the choice to interview with that House or not. We encourage you to review the House website and to learn as much as possible about that House. If you do not interview with a House, you will not be able to rank them in the match process and vice versa.
When will I hear back about my application?
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis by Houses that have openings. Some Houses currently have positions available while others might have some positions open in the spring semester.
What is the offer and acceptance process?
After the interview process, Candidates and Houses will participate in a match process.  Offer letters will be sent out by CHAS through DocuSign. Those candidates selected will receive only one offer from CHAS and will have the option to accept or decline this offer. Candidates who decline the offer will remove themselves from the process.

Housing & Miscellaneous

How can I get housing if I apply to be a RA/GRA and am not offered a position?
Candidates should apply for desired on- or off-campus housing by the housing deadline dates. See www.upenn.edu/housing for details.
NOTE: You are responsible for all arrangements regarding off-campus housing. CHAS is not responsible for any housing expenditures or commitments that candidates have made.
Are there summer RA opportunities?
CHAS does not offer any positions during the summer. Conference and Hospitality Services is responsible for managing the summer use of College Houses. They generally do have summer positions available for which any student may apply. The application process begins with an on-line application that is available in late January or early February on the Conference and Hospitality website.
What if I need accommodation as a RA/GRA?
Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Examples of reasonable accommodation include: an assigned room with ADA physical accommodations, an emotional support animal (ESA) or service animal in residence, etc. Please review this webpage for more information: https://residential-services.business-services.upenn.edu/medical-accommodations.

More questions? Email chas@collegehouses.upenn.edu.

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