Be a Resident Assistant

Applications for the 2023-24 academic year are now closed.  

A resident assistants (RA) has an extremely important job and is critical to the DOR mission. Each house, building, and/or area has one live-in RA who provides leadership to the development of programs and activities, serves as a resource to residents, and enforces policies and procedures to ensure the safety of residents.

RAs come from diverse backgrounds with a wide variety of skills and talents. However, there are some qualities that we look for in RAs we work with:

  • Ability to problem solve
  • Strong commitment to academics
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Willingness to learn from, with and about others
  • Commitment to create and participate in an inclusive community

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3350 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.

Questions? Email

RA job Description

Summary of Duties and Responsibilities:

The Department of Residence (DOR) is committed to the development of living/learning communities that foster intellectual and personal growth. The RA is responsible for developing a strong community that welcomes and supports all community members. The RA should establish a personal relationship with each student living in their community. In addition, the RA is responsible for ensuring that students are aware of campus resources, utilizing effective learning strategies, and engaging in activities designed to stimulate academic achievement and social development.


  • Free housing in an assigned space
    • Residence hall (res hall) RAs: Single room
    • Apartment RAs: Ability to choose roommates
  • Stipend, paid out 4 times per semester
    • Residence Hall RAs: $1450 per semester, $2960 per academic year
    • Apartment RAs: $3460 per semester, $6920 per academic year
    • There is an additional stipend provided during training periods
  • Meal plan for res hall RAs only RA (135 dining center meals + 80 flex meals, with no Dining Dollars)

Required Minimum Qualifications:

Living experience: Must have one full semester of community living experience completed at time of application For example, this can include, but not limited to: residence halls, apartments, boarding school, military barracks, etc

GPA requirement: Must have an established ISU or transfer GPA at time of application (First year students- Put in your estimated GPA, as we do grade checks for all applicants).

  • 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • 2.0 semester GPA

Conduct standing: Must be in good conduct standing with the university to apply. For example, students with current judicial standing of: conduct probation, deferred suspension, and/or who have been removed from on-campus housing are not eligible to apply

Core Responsibilities

Time Commitments

  • Live in your assigned space for the duration of the year
  • Work 4 hours per week at desk in your respective community
  • Perform scheduled on-call shifts, which includes weekends and can include university breaks (usually on a volunteer basis)
  • August and January trainings:
    • August training generally starts on the Monday three weeks before classes begin
    • January training generally starts on the Tuesday before classes begin in the new year
  • Dedicate 20 hours per week to the position
  • Outside commitments cannot exceed 16 hours each week (10 employment and 6 extracurricular or a combination of but not to exceed 10 hours of employment)

End dates and breaks:

  • Residence hall RAs go through the Sunday after finals in May, and through the Monday after finals in May for apartment RAs
  • RAs may be assigned work responsibilities during break periods for communities that are open
  • RAs are required to perform additional hours before transitioning to break staff
  • Take no more than 18 credit hours per semester as a student


  • Complete weekly reports, incident reports, program forms, etc professionally, thoroughly, and on time
  • Create bulletin boards and door decorations for residents
  • Follow up on maintenance concerns in your area by doing daily and weekly walk-throughs
  • Attend all staff meetings, trainings, workshops, and other appointed meetings
  • Conduct weekly walk-through of your area and report facilities issues
  • Actively participate in the move-in/move-out processes for the community, arriving before classes and remaining after classes have ended. This includes students who move out during the semester
  • Be available for special situations and/or assignments. For example, surveys, community events, and high profile university events

Leadership Skills

  • Be an academic and behavioral role model on and off campus, as well as effectively and consistently abide by and enforce university regulations and policies
  • Follow policies and procedures when dealing with stressful situations
  • Assist community leaders in the development of their leadership skills

Communication Skills

  • Maintain regular and effective communication with other DOR staff
  • Collaborate with others in the DOR and across campus
  • Confront and address any issues in the community

Helping Skills

  • Be knowledgeable of resources and services on campus
  • Strive to create a sense of trustworthiness with residents and listen to residents

Developing Community & Programming

  • Plan and implement opening/closing programs, as well as events throughout the semester

Understanding and Appreciating Human Differences (UAHD)

The DOR is committed to challenging ISU students to broaden their world view in a campus culture that values and respects individual differences. RAs are expected to welcome and provide ongoing support and outreach to ALL students regardless of age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, US veteran status, or other protected classes. It is important to create a model of inclusion that gives voice to all members of our community. This includes RAs being responsible for (but not limited to):

  • Creating inclusive communities for individuals of all backgrounds
  • Working effectively in cross-cultural situations
  • Being willing to learn from, with, and about others
  • Developing an environment that encourages and supports residents’ personal growth
  • Examining one’s personal identities as it relates to performing the responsibilities of the RA position
  • Reporting potential incidents of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct promptly