Resident Tutors Selected After Competitive Process

Stephanie Wang

After undergoing a competitive process, over 50 new resident tutors have been hired across the 12 residential Houses to join the Senior Common Rooms and participate in House leadership next year.

More than 300 applicants contended for these spots, typically held by Harvard or MIT graduate students who receive free room and board in exchange for monitoring and advising undergraduates.

The surge in the number of applicants in recent years—which some attributed to the poor economic climate—has made it more difficult for interested individuals to obtain a post as resident tutor.

“I think it’s generally been really competitive this year and for the last few years,” said Cabot House resident tutor Richard R. Johnston, who interviewed some of the candidates for the position in Cabot.

Applicants were permitted to apply to every House—an option practiced by many of the resident tutor aspirants, according to Currier House Allston Burr Resident Dean Katherine Stanton.


Adams House had 322 applicants, a number that was fairly consistent across Houses that disclosed the number of tutor candidates. Lowell boasted 311 applicants, while Kirkland had 316.

The number of tutor hires varied across the Houses to account for the existing resident tutors who, set to complete their academic programs, will soon leave the Houses—Winthrop House had no turnover in resident tutors, in contrast to Adams’ nine new hires.

“Departures tend to come in waves depending on when tutors start and finish their programs,” wrote Pforzheimer House Masters Nicholas A. Christakis and Erika L. Christakis ’86 in an e-mailed statement about their House’s turnover in resident tutors. “Two years ago, one tutor left; last year seven moved on.”

Candidates flock to fill these positions because of “a very strong desire to be part of a residential community,” said Lowell House resident tutor Van C. Tran.

“It depends on whether you like hanging with undergraduate students, because if you do it’s a sweet deal and it’s personally kind of rewarding,” said Currier House resident tutor Kurt J. Gray. “And if you don’t it would be hell.”

—Staff writer Danielle J. Kolin can be reached at

—Staff writer Naveen N. Srivatsa can be reached at