Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs Regarding the RA Selection Process


Unfortunately we cannot extend interviews for those whose GPA does not meet our requirements. Therefore, we suggest that you apply another year after you’ve been able to improve your GPA.

Yes, you are eligible to apply! However, you must be currently enrolled at UCSB to apply for the position.

Yes, you are eligible to apply! Just be sure you have a visa, F1 or J1, which allows you to work a university appointment up to 50%. The RA position is a 24% appointment for apartment RAs and 43% for residence hall RAs. If you are an international partner (Family Student Housing), you must have a J-2 visa with a work permit.

Yes, you are eligible to apply! There is no requirement for our candidates to have lived on-campus before. For Family Student Housing, candidates not currently living at Storke or West Campus must be on the waitlist by March 1st.

Unfortunately, no. RAs are contracted for the entire year.

Yes, you are eligible to apply! We'll adjust our process as needed to make sure you are able to participate while abroad. You just need to be back in time for our Student Leadership Development training in August.

Yes, you are eligible to apply! However, you will need the required paperwork in order to be hired for the position.

Yes, if you live or plan to live in Family Student Housing.

You may apply if you happen to receive your acceptance to UCSB by the application deadline.

Yes, though they may be limited due to your commitment to the RA position. Additionally, RAs are not permitted to take summer school courses that coincide with RA training or rush sororities and fraternities during fall quarter.

Application & Timeline

If you don't have access to a phone or computer with video capabilities, consider one of the following options:

  • Ask a friend or family member who has access to a phone or computer with video recording capabilities to record you
  • If living in the Santa Barbara area, you can request to rent a laptop from UCSB Thrive

Please contact us if you still need more ideas or support, as we definitely don't want the lack of access to prevent you from being able to apply for this position.

In an effort to ensure that the process is fair for all applicants across the board, we have decided to continue with a “video” format and ask applicants to turn off their cameras. With your camera off/covered, applicants can feel more comfortable which allows the reviewer to truly capture all of the wonderful responses that you will give.

Please see the Family Student Housing Specific Questions section below.

No. Due to our strict timeline we are unable to accept late applications. We suggest all applicants apply well in advance of the deadline to avoid any issues.

We will begin reviewing and processing all applications after the given deadline. All candidates will be notified soon after of the deadline about their next step in the process. Please check your respective candidate page for a full timeline.

We suggest that all candidates make alternative plans for housing in case they are not offered a position. This may involve signing a housing contract for the coming year. If you sign a housing contract and accept the RA position, your contract will be transferred to your new assignment. If you sign a housing contract, are not offered a position, and are no longer interested in living on campus, you will be able to cancel your housing contract without penalty. For more information about housing contracts for your respective class level, please visit the Apply Overview page. 

We hire a full staff of about 130 Resident Assistants for all of the communities, both residence halls and apartments. A small number of Resident Assistant positions are held for returning RAs, but that number varies year to year.

During our hiring process we also offer a select number of candidates an alternate position. If any of the candidates we made offers to are unable to fulfill the requirements of the position, we will look to our alternate pool to find a replacement. This may happen at any time -- from days after positions are offered all the way through Fall Quarter sometimes -- or unfortunately, may not happen at all.

The hiring process for RAs is extremely competitive, meaning we often have more qualified candidates than we do positions. If you aren’t offered a job we suggest that you pursue other leadership opportunities on campus and apply again the following year.

Community Preferences

We hire RAs for all of our residence halls and apartment communities. Check out our different communities.

During the process you'll be given the opportunity to indicate your preference for certain Living Learning Communities. These preferences will not impact our hiring decisions, but will be considered when placing candidates in specific communities. Check out our list of Living Learning Communities.

RA applicants will be asked for their placement preferences during the application process, but there is no guarantee of placement in a particular community.

Job Details

Depending on your staff, you are generally on duty 1-2 times a week (2 RAs on the weekends). Half of the entire staff needs to be in the building after 2 am. Duty involves being in your building, working the front desk, performing community walks, and responding to phone calls. Residence Halls RAs are also responsible for on-call coverage during breaks (i.e. Thanksgiving break, Winter break, and Spring break).

Depending on the area, RAs are generally on-call 10 days per quarter (includes week nights and weekends). When on-call, RAs must remain in their area, carry an on-call phone with them after hours and on the weekend when the offices are closed. RAs are responsible for answering phone calls and responding to resident issues. Apartment RAs are also responsible for on-call coverage during breaks (Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, and Spring Break).

Meetings to discuss individual communities will not be permitted during this process to ensure that the process remains fair and equitable for all candidates. Please email us any questions you may have at or visit this link to learn more about each community."

Family Student Housing Specific Questions

When you get to the RA Application page, please click "Housing Portal Account" if you have already created one in our system; otherwise, click "Register," then create an account. The following page will ask for some basic information. After completing this or logging in with your Housing Portal Account, you should be taken to the application. Please email us if you have any issues or questions.

We try not to relocate a family but you may be asked to relocate if there's a need for the department to fill a vacant position.

Yes. However, both applicants must be FSH residents and listed on the apartment lease.