Application Materials

How to Apply

The Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting (COE) recognizes excellence and best practices in school district financial reporting.

The following guidelines will help you submit your application successfully.

Your COE application packet must include:

  • Completed COE application.
  • Cover letter specifying any COE criteria that do not apply to your school district.
  • COE Checklist.
    • Mandatory if the school district is applying for the first time, received a conditional or denied award from the most recent submission, or did not submit the previous year.
    • Optional if the school district does not fit the criteria above, but still highly recommended.
  • Reviewer comments from the previous year and your school district’s responses (if applicable).
  • Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) document.

Submitting your COE application packet:

EMAIL (preferred)
  • Include one copy of each of the required documents attached as a PDF.
  • Include payment information. (If you submit your application packet by email, you must pay by credit card.)
  • Email to
  • Submit three copies of complete application packets in one of the following formats:
    • PDF (1 PDF documents containing applicaton packet saved on three separate CDs or flash drives)
    • Hard copy
  • Include payment information. (If you submit your application packet by mail, you may pay by check or credit card.)
  • Mail to
ASBO International
11401 North Shore Drive
Reston, VA 20190-4232


As a COE recipient, your district receives

  • Professional recognition.
  • Comprehensive feedback about your CAFR that you can apply to improve the quality of the report.
  • A prestigious COE plaque.
  • A COE award certificate.


Any school entity in the United States (including school districts, charter schools*, educational service units, colleges, and universities) that incorporates the COE criteria into its CAFR is eligible to apply.

*Charter schools are encouraged to apply if they report under GASB standards and incorporate into the document all applicable requirements of a CAFR.


Application fees are based on your district’s total revenue.

Total District Revenue, All Funds ASBO Member Non-Member
Under $10 million $660 $975
$10 - $25 million $885 $1,200
$25 - $50 million $985 $1,300
$50 - $100 million $1,085 $1,400
$100 - $250 million $1,185 $1,500
$250 million - $1 billion $1,285 $1,600
Over $1 billion $1,385 $1,700

If this is your first time applying and your appliction does not meet the requirements, we'll waive your application fee for the following year!

Deadlines & Extensions

All COE application materials are due within six months of your district’s fiscal year close.

Fiscal Year End Application Deadline
June 30 December 31
August 31 February 28

Need an extension? Submit a request to