RA Recruitment FAQs

Will being an RA affect my financial aid?

Yes, your financial aid will no longer include aid to cover room and board, since you’re not charged for these costs. You will instead see this benefit entered into your financial aid package as a resource.

Cal Poly is required to follow federal rules in the awarding of aid and MUST reduce certain types of aid as financial aid may only cover your actual costs. While it may seem that something is being taken away from your aid package when it is revised, it is actually being replaced by the benefit of free room and board.

University Housing highly suggests contacting the Financial Aid Office at (805) 756-2927 to learn the specific impacts on your financial aid package.

May I hold another position on or off campus if I am an RA?

The RA position is expected to be your primary responsibility other than your academics. As such, you must have approval from your supervisor for any outside job. Approval is not automatic and will be for no more than 20 hours per week and reviewed each quarter.

When is RA Training?

RA Training is a two-week process beginning in late August. You must attend and fully participate in training for the entire duration.

Can I be an RA and a WOW Leader?

Yes, a limited number of RAs also serve as WOW Leaders. Given the intense time commitment involved, participation in WOW must be discussed with a supervisory staff member prior to accepting employment.

As a RA, can I be involved in Greek Life?

Yes, but due to time constraints, University Housing does not permit RAs to participate in social fraternity and sorority recruitment during Fall Quarter.

If I have been documented for an incident, may I still be a RA?

We review each candidate’s case history prior to the Leadership Class. Prior involvement in an incident does not automatically disqualify an applicant. Each incident is different and we encourage you to contact us if you have questions. 

May I choose the building where I want to be a RA?

No, placement is determined by University Housing staff and is based on departmental and community needs, with consideration for candidate’s skills and experiences. Requests for assistance or accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must be made in writing prior to building placement. The earlier requests are submitted, the more successful University Housing will be in accommodating your request.

I've never lived in on-campus housing. May I still apply?

Preference is given to candidates who have lived on campus.

What if I don't have the required GPA?

Candidates must have a quarterly and cumulative GPA of 2.5. Students who do not meet these criteria may be removed from consideration. Grades are checked each quarter.

Do I have to stay until University Housing is closed or return before the buildings open?

RAs are required to return before the halls open and stay until after the halls close. A limited portion of RAs must remain on campus during breaks.

Do I need to know, before applying, how to confront people or deal with emergencies?

Prior experience is not a requirement to be an RA. RAs receive extensive training before the academic year on many situations that might arise. We based our decisions on attitude and trainability rather than specific knowledge of procedures.

Should I go through next year's housing application process if I’m applying to be a RA?

  • Students who accept an RA position will be provided campus housing as part of their role. If you sign up for campus housing and are selected to be an RA, your $500 initial payment will be refunded.
  • RA candidates who sign up for campus housing but decide to live off campus, are financially responsible for the housing license and forfeit the $500 initial payment.
  • RA candidates should make the decision to sign up for campus housing or seek off-campus housing independent of the outcome of the RA selection process. The benefit of securing campus housing is that you will be part of room self-selection. When RA alternates are offered a position, housing fees will be prorated without penalty.

What is the RA Candidate Workshop?

The RA Candidate Workshop is required as part of the application process. It provides an introduction to the RA experience and an opportunity to develop your leadership skills. The workshop is two hours long at the same time each week. You will be invited to sign up after your eligibility is confirmed. Typically 20 students are in each workshop, taught by University Housing’s professional staff. We estimate the total time commitment to be 20 hours between weeks two and seven.

When will I know if I've been offered a position?

We anticipate applicants will be notified as to the outcome of their application no later than the end of Spring Break. Placement to a specific building and learning community will be determined in during summer. 

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