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Apr 12, 2017 08:58 AM EDT

Halle VanHandel, a native of Kakauna shared her experiences about paying for college as part of the Degrees of Debt series. In the series she shares her plan to apply as a Resident Assistant next year for several reasons.

VanHandel said her primary reason is for the salary, which would cover her room and boarding fee in full. Housing is approximately 35 percent of her college expenses, she said that RA salary would be another opportunity for her to alleviate a portion of her ever-present financial burden.

The job pays well but also demands much responsibility and being an RA nurtures leadership qualities. VanHandel said her brother is presently an RA at Concordia. He said it was mandatory that they all move in early and spend three weeks preparing for their duties in an intense training program.

They were taught how to recognize situations of risk and how to navigate them with assertive diplomacy. They learned the importance of collaboration and strong interpersonal skills. They know how to accommodate the needs of various personalities and lifestyle preferences.

RA learning can be applied to the real world and prepares them for situations of all kinds. Being an RA is also a great resume-builder. Employers recognize the value of sound leadership and communication skills that can be learned from the RA experience, The Post-Crescent reported.

The application, interview and selection processes for RAs are extensive. The hiring experience alone can help students prepare themselves into the job hunting process.

VanHandel said she wants to be an RA because it is the most valuable in terms of monetary and personal gains compared to alternative on-campus jobs. She added that if she doesn't get hired her back up plan is to apply to work at the Concordia Art Gallery. It doesn't pay as much as the RA position but it would give her flexible hours and a relaxed work environment perfect for a full-time student.

Nonetheless, VanHandel is hopeful she will get selected to be an RA, so she can simultaneously lessen her financial burdens, acquire applicable lifelong skills and nurture valuable qualities.

Follows Resident Assistant, financial growth, Halle VanHandel, Kakauna, Degrees of Debt, RA, Concordia Art Gallery, resume-builder, training, responsibilities, communication skills
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