RAs live in university-owned residence halls and are paid for being student leaders. Learn more about RA compensation and how it affects your financial aid offer below.
RA Compensation & Financial Aid
The average value of the compensation plan for all RAs is estimated to be about $22,500 annually.
For RAs, the cost of attendance includes tuition, the value of a single room (cost covered by Hopkins), personal expenses, books and supplies, and travel. Meals will not be included in the cost of attendance, and the charge for the Anytime Dining meal plan will be waived for all RAs.
Since the waived meal plan charge results in a lower overall cost of attendance, financial aid offers will be proportionally lower for RAs. Actual offers will vary according to demonstrated financial need.
If you have any questions not answered in the FAQ below, our financial aid advisers are available to help you understand the affect RA compensation might have on your financial aid offer.
RA Frequently Asked Questions
I am a financial aid recipient. How will the new RA Compensation Plan affect my financial aid offer?
Since the meal plan charge is waived, all RAs will have a lower cost of attendance. The University will still provide your room, but rather than waiving the room charge, the University will cover the cost since RAs must live and work on campus as a condition of employment. If you receive financial aid, your offer can be used for educational expenses other than housing. All students working as RAs will receive a $5,100 stipend, subject to all applicable federal and state income tax withholdings.
How will becoming an RA affect my financial aid offer?
The value of the room benefit is not subject to tax withholding and does not need to be listed as income on federal or state tax returns. Because RAs are not expected to work a second on-campus job, the Hopkins Work Opportunity portion of their financial aid offer will be replaced by additional Hopkins Scholarships funds.
If you receive aid and become an RA in your sophomore year, you will need to report earnings from the stipend and the value of the room and meal benefits as non-taxable income on the FAFSA and CSS Profile you submit your senior year. While your earnings may affect eligibility for federal aid programs in your senior year, they won’t affect your overall demonstrated need.
Can I learn more about the affect that becoming an RA will have on my financial aid before I decide whether to apply?
Your financial aid adviser is available to help you understand the affect RA compensation might have on your financial aid offer. Student Financial Support will work closely with Residential Life to arrange meetings with current and prospective RAs who receive financial aid.
If you have not yet completed your financial aid documents, please do so as soon as possible and no later than the January 15 deadline. Financial aid advisers will also be available to meet individually during the interview process to address any concerns.
I have a job in addition to my RA position. Can I still work?
The RA compensation plan includes a stipend of $5,100, allowing RAs the freedom to focus on RA responsibilities without having to work outside of the residence hall. The total number of hours expected for RAs ranges from 15-20 hours per week.
Students who work on campus are limited to 20 hours per week when class is in session over the fall and spring semesters. If an RA wishes to work an additional job, they must first seek approval from their residence hall director, who will ensure that their total weekly hours do not exceed the 20-hour-per-week limit across all on-campus jobs.
Is the RA stipend considered earned income, and are there any tax implications?
The $5,100 stipend is taxable income subject to all applicable federal and state tax withholdings and will be reported on a Form W-2. The $10,278 room portion of the RA benefit is non-taxable income and won’t be reported on a Form W-2.
When will the stipend be paid to RAs?
RAs will receive paychecks twice each month throughout the year, just like at any other job. Payments will be made on the 15th and final day of each month, starting in September and continuing through May.
Do I need to contact University Experiential Learning and complete any documents before receiving the stipend?
No. Residential Life will work closely with University Experiential Learning to ensure that all necessary payroll forms are complete at the start of each academic year.