Student Employment

The Office of Residence Life is made up of a dynamic team of individuals who work together to support one of the best residential life programs in the area.  From the Resident Assistants in the halls to our Director of Residence Life, we have a deep commitment to the development of and service to our students.

Resident Assistant Positions

Resident Assistants (RAs) are an integral part of the Office of Residence Life. They are constantly in direct contact with students. Their main responsibility is to act as facilitators for the residence life community and to enhance the social, educational, intellectual, and cultural development of each individual. The RA communicates to students the core values, philosophies, and policies of Residence Life and Earlham College and represents Residence Life as a role model.

The RA position is one of the best opportunities a student can have while in college. No other type of position will give students the range of exposure to skill sets that are needed in a job search and future career after college. The RA position provides real-life experiences in working with and helping other people, conflict resolution, team building and many others. Employers are seeking these skills!

Questions about the Resident Assistant Application and Selection Process can be directed to Liz Stoehr, at 765-983-1244 or via email at


Important Dates

Fall 2015

September 29 Mid-year applications available.
October 1 Information Session @ 4 p.m. in the Olvey-Andis Hall lobby.
October 7 Information Session @ 12 p.m. in the Earlham Hall lobby.
October 13 Information Session @ 7 p.m. in the Mills Hall lobby.
October 18 Applications for potential mid-year positions due by 11:59 p.m.
October 26-30 Individual interviews.
November 13 Candidate notified of application status.
January 5-7 New Resident Assistant training workshop.
January 7-9 Training for all Spring 2016 Resident Assistants.

 Employment Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a full-time degree seeking student.
  • Must be in good academic standing and have a 2.5 cumulative GPA to apply.
  • Must maintain a 2.5 semester and cumulative GPA if selected.
  • Must not be on any form of academic or social probation.
  • Must have at least two semesters of on-campus living experience with at least one of these occurring at Earlham prior to beginning employment.
  • Must be available at least two and a half weeks before classes begin for fall training and one week before classes begin for spring training.
  • Must complete all responsibilities as outlined in the Resident Assistant Agreement and meet all expectations of professional staff members within the Office of Residence Life.


  • Single room in the residence hall to which you are assigned valued at approximately $4,620.00 for the academic year.
  • Stipend of $1,200.00 for the academic year which is distributed evenly by semester ($600.00 for Fall and $600.00 for Spring).

Frequently Asked Questions

How many positions are available?

Each year, the department hires approximately thirty-eight RAs.  This number includes both new and returning RAs.  While we primarily hire RAs for the academic year, we sometimes have the opportunity to hire a handful of RAs throughout the year when other staff members resign for various reasons.

When should I apply?

All applicants interested in potential mid-year positions should apply and interview during the fall process.  Those interested only in academic year positions should wait to apply and interview during the spring process.  If you will be out of the area during the spring 2016 semester, but are interested in an academic year position, you are invited to apply and interview during the fall 2015 process.  If you will be out of the area during the fall 2016 semester, but are interested in a possible spring 2017 position, you are invited to apply during the academic year process.

Can I work another job?

Yes, RAs are allowed to hold outside jobs (up to 10 hours per week) with written permission from their supervisor.  However, because of time intensive the nature of the RA position, we ask each RA to discuss with their Area Director how they will balance outside jobs and even talk about the number of hours the RA might be working and how that will impact the RA position.  RAs are required to provide their outside work schedules to their supervisors at the start of each semester or more frequently if needed.  The college views the RA compensation as a work stipend and does not permit RAs to participate in the college work study program without permission from their Area Director.

What if I plan to study abroad/participate in an athletic team/complete an internship/etc.?

Candidates who are able to complete a full academic year contract and those without substantial academic and/or extracurricular commitments may be given preference over candidates unable to complete a full academic year contract and/or who have substantial academic and/or extracurricular commitments that would limit their availability to their residents and community.  RAs are expected to put academics first, the RA position second, and any other job or extracurricular activity third.

I was found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct in the past.  Can I still apply?

We believe your experiences make you who you are. We have all made a bad decision from time to time. As long as you are not currently on any type of academic or social probation, you are considered in good standing and are able to apply. The most important thing we look for is whether or not you have learned from the experience and made positive changes accordingly.

How will being an RA affect my financial aid package? 

Typically, being an RA doesn’t adversely impact your financial aid package. However, every student’s financial package is unique, so you are strongly encouraged to speak with the Financial Aid Office before accepting a position. You can contact Financial Aid at (765) 983.1217.

I’m currently a first year student.  Can I apply?

First year students are eligible to apply for 2016-17 Academic Year positions as long as they lived on campus during both the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters.

What kind of training will I receive?

Generally in the fall, training is the two weeks before new students arrive for New Student Orientation (NSO).  During this time we help RA’s develop the basic skills needed to lead a group of residents through a successful experience while living on campus.  The training for the spring is an abbreviated version of the fall training, and staff are asked to return a week before the start of spring classes.  Every RA on staff must go through each training period.

What is “duty”?

Each RA is required to work a duty shift at least once per week and a couple of weekend duty shifts throughout the semester.  The exact number of nights varies by building.  During a duty shift, an RA has to complete “rounds,” which just consist of walking through their area a few times each night to interact with residents and to ensure residents are safe and the building is secure. 

Am I allowed to go home?

Each RA is required to be on campus three weekends a month and is required to notify their supervisor of when they will be gone.  Supervisors understand individual circumstances that may require flexibility.  There are some break periods where staff may have to stay later/return earlier—all dates are provided to staff at the time an employment offer is made.

What is programming, and how much of it are RAs required to do?

One of the primary roles of an RA is to assist in developing community amongst their residents.  Programming is just a term used to describe the events put on by Residence Life and the RAs.  RAs are required to plan, assist with, and attend various activities for students living in their communities to help develop community and provide resources for residents. Some examples of program topics:  academic, educational, social, community service, multicultural, school-spirit, etc.  RAs will also create opportunities for resident involvement in on-campus activities.  RAs are expected to create programmatic opportunities based around resident interest and the needs evident in their community.

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