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Short Title

A Financial Aid Competency Model for Professional Development

Abstract

This research explores the competencies that financial aid officers need to be successful in their jobs. A survey of 30 competencies was distributed to 508 financial aid officers in the Western United States. Respondents were asked to rate 30 job competencies for their relative importance and frequency of use. Using exploratory factor analysis, the emergent competency model was a four-factor solution that groups competencies that are 1) External to Organization, 2) Interpersonal in Nature, 3) Related to Data Analysis, and 4) Related to Project Management. The four-factor solution showed some overlap with another existing competency model for higher education analysts. Through the application of this competency model, financial aid officers may target specific competency areas for professional training and growth.