Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We have answers!

    What is the Illinois Residential Experience (IRE)?

    The IRE is divided into four Learning Goals (Academic Success, Engaged Citizenship, Interpersonal Competence and Social Justice Exploration) and multiple Learning Outcomes that state clearly the educational experience that residence hall students can expect while living in University Housing. Resident Advisor and Multicultural Advocates are a critical component of implementing the Illinois Residential Experience.

    Can I become a staff member in my current building or specify a building preference to work in?

    It is possible to work in your current building, but keep in mind employment decisions are made to benefit the entire residence hall system. During the application process, you may indicate a preference for one of our Housing Options and/or Living Learning Communities. If we offer you a position, it will be for a specific building. If you decline this offer, you are out of the process. MA placement is not named at the time the offer is made, but placement decisions are made later in the spring 2019. All placements are subject to change.

    I plan on studying abroad and would like to be a MA/RA. When should I apply?

    Applicants are encouraged to apply while on campus. Candidates will have a better experience during the process because they will be able to interact with current staff members in person.

    If you are looking for a position that begins in January 2019 or August 2019 and you will be studying abroad at any time between now and December 2018, apply now. When applying, indicate that you are or may be studying abroad. This will prompt the selection committee to place your in a special case file to defer your eligibility for hire until you return from studying abroad.

    While studying abroad, you should maintain regular email contact with us at

    I want to be an RA in Sherman or Daniels Halls. Should I apply through this process? 

    The Graduate and Upper-Division Halls (Sherman and Daniels) conduct their own search process in the spring semester. You can find out more information about that process by contacting the Graduate and Upper-Division Hall Staff in Sherman or Daniels Hall. The number of available positions in Sherman and Daniels is typically very small, and candidates who already reside or work in those halls are given preference during the application process. Therefore, candidates who live in the undergraduate halls are encouraged to apply for an MA or RA position through the Residential Life selection process during their undergraduate years. 

    If my GPA is just under 2.3, does Residential Life round GPAs up, or is there any way I can still apply?

    Sophomores, juniors, and seniors must have a 2.3 or above GPA for spring 2018 term AND a 2.3 cumulative GPA at the time of application. Freshman applicants won't have a GPA until December 2018. Residential Life will check applicants' GPA upon receipt of their application and again in January 2019 when fall term grades are posted by the Registrar's Office. Cuts will be made accordingly, and the candidate will be notified. Once hired, all paraprofessionals must maintain a cumulative AND term GPA of 2.3 during the course of their employment as a paraprofessional (this includes the spring term prior to their fall official start date in August). 

    I'm a new freshman or transfer student and don't have an Illinois GPA yet. What should I put down for my current GPA? 

    Freshmen can leave this section blank. Transfer students can put their GPA from their previous institution. We will confirm your Illinois GPA in January 2019 after grades are posted, and that GPA will be used to determine your eligibility to continue in our process. 

    If I received a drinking ticket in Champaign or Urbana or violated the University Housing alcohol policy on or after January 1, 2018, does that make me ineligible to apply for the RA or MA position?

    Yes. Students who have received a drinking ticket or violated University Housing Hallmarks Alcohol Policy are subject to University of Illinois student discipline and receive some form of University-level sanctioning. Both make you ineligible to apply for our positions. Once you are offered and accept a position, should you violate the alcohol policies, including being transported for an alcohol overdose, you will be released from the position at the time of the violation, and we will choose from our alternate pool to find a replacement.

    What if I cannot attend the required components of the selection process?

    You will be cut from the process. For academic conflicts, please let us know as soon as possible at

    Should I sign a University Housing Contract for the 2019-2020 academic year while I am a RA/MA candidate?

    Once you complete a University Housing Contract you have 30 days to cancel the contract with no charge. If you are offered and accept a RA or MA position and already have a University Housing Contract we will assign you to a RA/MA room and allow you to cancel your University Housing Contract. If you decline a position offer or are in the alternate pool and are either never offered or decline a position and have a University Housing Contract, you are held to all of the terms and conditions of this legally binding document, including the 30 day contract cancellation clause.

    So, if you definitely plan to live-on campus, whether you get a RA/MA position or not, signing a University Housing Contract is recommended. If you are uncertain as to whether or not you plan to live-on campus, we do not recommend signing a University Housing Contract.

    If I am planning on transferring in to Illinois or returning after taking time off and am not currently enrolled as a student at Illinois, can I apply to be a paraprofessional?

    No. You must be currently enrolled at Illinois to apply. Hiring for our process happens in December, and you must be a current student to be hired.

    Does it matter which Internet browser I use when completing my application?

    You can use Internet Explorer, Mozilla/Firefox or Google Chrome to complete your application. In any of these these browsers, the SUBMIT button at the end of the application will only be enabled when your application is complete.   

    In the online Paraprofessional Application my credit hours are pre-populated, but I believe they are incorrect. How do I fix this?

    The data that pre-populates in the application is pulled from the Campus Data Warehouse. The only requirement for this RA/MA Selection Process is you must have 30 credit hours completed at the onset of your employment (January 2019 if you are a mid-year hire or August 2019 if you are a hire for the next academic year.) We will confirm you have a minimum of 30 credit hours completed prior to offering you a position.

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