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What can I do to improve the strength of my application?

The Student Leader selection process is very competitive. Candidates are strongly encouraged to take every step of the selection process seriously. Consider taking your application questions to a writing center and reviewing the Career Center’s webpage for interviewing tips.

I’ve never lived on campus. Can I still apply?

Living on campus is not a requirement for a Student Leader position. Individuals living on campus may have greater insight into the role of the positions and the dynamics of a residence hall community; however,  each year we hire exceptional candidates who have not lived on campus.

I’ve heard that there is an Student Leader class. Is it optional?

During spring quarter, all of individuals who receive a Student Leader or Alternate offer are required to take the Student Leader class (EDLPS 496). Although the class does not need to be taken for credit, participation in the class is required. Information regarding registering for the class will be given to candidates as they proceed through the selection process and receive offers.

Can I be hired for this year? What about applying for summer positions?

Occasionally Student Leader positions open up during the year. If you are interested in a mid-year position, make sure to indicate your interest on your application. As for positions during the summer, we prioritize filling our Summer Positions with our current Student Leaders. If we have additional vacancies, candidates will receive information about applying for those in late Winter quarter.

Do I have to be involved in my Hall Council or other clubs in order to be selected?

Involvement in clubs and organizations is not a prerequisite for the Student Leader positions. Being involved in the residential community can provide candidates with insight into the role of the RA/REP/RPBs and the dynamics of a residential community. Additional outside student leadership experiences can provide candidates with insight into planning events, managing time and working within a team, all of which are important aspects of being a Student Leader.

When and how will I know about my status in the process?

All candidates will be contacted via email throughout the process regarding their status. All correspondence regarding the application process will come from the Specialist for Training & Selection, Nick Vitalone ( or from Tatyana So ( and Maureen Calhoun (  Ensure that your spam filters allow for messages from this address.  Questions regarding the process or your status should be directed to

What will happen to my financial aid package if I become a Student Leader?

This is specific to each individual’s unique financial circumstances and questions related to this should be directed to the Financial Aid office in Schmitz Hall. Student Leaders receive compensation in the form of room and board (including a UW Dining plan), which can greatly impact and reduce the cost of living at and attending the University of Washington which in turn can impact aid packages.

Can I apply to be a Student Leader if I am an international student?

Absolutely! It is our goal to hire a diverse Student Leader staff, representative of a diverse residential community. Creating welcoming and inclusive communities is core to the Student Leader position and that begins with hiring a diverse staff. Since our positions are not employed positions, you do not have to have any work eligibility to apply.

What characteristics are you looking for in Student Leader candidates?

We are not looking for one particular type of student to fill our Student Leader positions. Effective teams require diverse perspectives, experience and skills.

Can I apply if I have been involved in a violation of HFS policies?

We believe firmly that it is possible to learn from our mistakes; in fact sometimes our best learning can come from a mistake. We do check candidate’s conduct history throughout the process, and every case is reviewed individually. Every year we hire some candidates that have been involved in violations of HFS policies previously, and every year some candidates are screened out of the process as a result of their conduct history. Feel free to contact the Specialist for Training & Selection at  if you would like to discuss the impact of your particular situation.

Resident Advisor Specific Questions

Can I apply to be an RA in a specific residence hall or community type?

Candidates cannot apply for RA roles in specific communities. We do not select RAs for specific buildings; rather, we select RAs to meet the needs of all of our residential communities. That being said, RA candidates will have the opportunity later on in the Selection Process to indicate their preferences for what types of communities they are most interested in (apartments vs. residence halls, north vs west campus, team size, etc.)

Am I required to work over breaks?

The RA contract requires availability to work over thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks, although all RA’s don’t end up actually working over break periods. Duty coverage over winter break periods is managed in September and October to allow people to make appropriate travel plans. Furthermore, since all of our communities are open over break, RAs are allowed to remain on campus during breaks even if they aren’t working.

My question wasn’t addressed here, who do I contact with further questions?

Please contact the Selection Committee chairs, Nick Vitalone & Tatyana So, via email: or