Apply for the Certificate of Excellence Award

Application Materials

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.
  • Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) document.

Submitting your COE application packet:

EMAIL (preferred)
  • Attach each of the required application documents as separate PDFs.
  • Include payment information. (Email submissions must be paid by credit card.)
  • Email to
  • Submit three copies of complete application packets in one of the following formats:
    • PDFs (3 CDs or flash drives, each containing separate PDFs of the required documents)
    • Hard copy
  • Include payment information. (Mailed submission may be paid by check or credit card.)
  • Mail to ASBO International
    • Certificate of Excellence
    • 11401 North Shore Drive
    • Reston, VA 20190-4232


As a COE recipient, your district receives

  • Comprehensive comments about your CAFR
  • An award certificate
  • A letter of accomplishment
  • A prestigious plaque
  • A press release


Any school system in the United States (including 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 application 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