The Little Known Secret to Dramatically Slashing the Cost of College or Grad School

The Little Known Secret to Dramatically Slashing the Cost of College or Grad School

by Alonzo on July 20, 2014

When it comes to paying for college or grad school, sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

Consider this, – many colleges charge just as much for room and board as they do for tuition. What if you could do away with this major educational expense?

Well many have. Becoming a residential advisor can provide the golden ticket to an affordable education.

RAs are typically entrusted with making the dorm lives of 20 to 40 students easier by planning events, providing academic resources, mediating disputes, and generally helping students adjust to the challenges of college life.

I can personally attest to the fact that the job can be demanding at times, but the benefits are more than worth it. As an RA, students often receive a free room, usually a coveted single unit without all the inconveniences of a roommate. And at a large number of universities, RAs are provided with free meal plans as well.

That’s why a typical student can save between $7,000 and $12,000 a year through one of the most coveted jobs on campus.

Although I missed the RA bandwagon as an undergraduate, as a graduate student serving as a resident advisor saved me over $55,000. That’s no small chunk of change.

Additional perks such as book allowances, small stipends, and first crack at registering for courses often sweeten the pot. Colleges also fill other positions like summer resident advisors, special program coordinators, and tutors with students from their corp of resident advisors.

The job can be a lot of fun, not to mention the great connections you make with fellow RAs and the close relationships you develop with your residents.

And when it comes to applying for a job, the leadership skills you develop as an RA become a true asset.

RA positions are usually not offered to freshmen, but if you’re an upperclassmen or graduate student looking for a way to slay educational costs, consider applying for this financially beneficial position.

Check with your school’s office of residential living for more information. It could be the best financial move you make.




Andrea April 6, 2012 at 11:58 am

I really enjoyed being a Resident Assistant in college. In addition to the savings on living expenses, I got a small stipend and I learned a lot about working with and mentoring others. Ten years after my RA experience, I’m still friends with some of my fellow RA’s and residents.

Alonzo April 12, 2012 at 11:38 am


I feel the same way. It was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The variety and quality of people I met as a result of being an RA was priceless.

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