Some students worry that they cannot afford to be a resident assistant, that there are financial disadvantages for RAs who receive College aid. In fact, there are financial advantages for many students, (described below). No student should become an RA just for the money but no student should choose not to become a RA because of perceived financial disadvantages.
How will you be compensated for your work as an RA during the 2014-15 academic year?
Resident Assistants for 2015–16 will be compensated $7,160 for their work. Of the $7,160, $4,460 will appear as a credit on your bill ($2,230 each semester) and $2,700 will come to you through the student payroll for your personal expenses ($1,350 each semester). RA compensation replaces the earning elements of the aid award, but does not affect the amount of your scholarship. If a campus job and/or a summer earnings contribution are not a part of your award, being an RA may affect your scholarship.
Is the RA compensation taxable?
Yes, the compensation you receive for your work as an RA is considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service and must be reported on your federal income tax return, if you file. The $2,700 paid to you directly through student payroll will be reported on your Swarthmore College W2 wage statement form. The $4,460 credited directly to your College bill is not reported on your W2, and must be accounted for separately on your federal income tax return.
How is your financial aid award affected if you become an RA?
In the case of a "typical" financial aid award including a Swarthmore College Scholarship and self-help components (work), the self-help portion of your aid will be adjusted in order to make room for the RA compensation. Your being an RA does not affect our scholarship support to you.
Some aided students, however, do not have standard self-help components (work) in their financial aid awards. If this is your situation, your scholarship amount may be affected if you become an RA. Keep in mind, though, that your total financial aid will remain the same.