Apply for the Pathway to the MBA

Application Materials

The Pathway to the MBA recognizes school districts that demonstrate excellence in school budget presentation and is designed for new applicants as the first step in preparing for the more rigorous Meritorious Budget Award (MBA).

The following guidelines will help you successfully submit your application.

Your application packet must include:

  1. Completed Pathway to the MBA application.
  2. Cover letter specifying any Pathway to the MBA criteria that do not apply to your school district.
  3. Two sections of MBA Criteria Checklist 2.0 (mandatory for all applicants):
    • Introductory section (mandatory for both first- and second-time applicants).
    • Organizational, Financial, or Informational section. (Second-time applicants must complete a different section than in their previous application.)
  4. Reviewer comments from the previous year and your school district's responses (if applicable).
  5. Budget document.

Submit your application packet:

BY EMAIL (preferred)
  • Include one copy of each item listed above 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 each item listed above in one of the following formats:
    • PDF (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
Pathway to the MBA
11401 North Shore Drive
Reston, VA 20190-4232


As a Pathway to the MBA recipient, your district receives

  • Professional recognition.
  • Comprehensive comments about your budget.
  • A beautiful Pathway to the MBA crystal award.


Any school entity in the United States and Canada (including local school districts, educational service units, and colleges and universities) that incorporates the MBA criteria into its budget development process and has not previously applied for the MBA is eligible to apply for the Pathway to the MBA.

Only first- and second-time Pathway to the MBA applicants may apply; school entities that have previously applied for the MBA are not eligible.     


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

Total Revenue, All Funds ASBO International Member Non-Member
Less than $50 million $ 300   $ 550
$50 million – $200 million $ 400   $ 650
$200 million – $1 billion $ 450   $ 700
More than $1 billion $ 500   $ 750

If your district does not meet the requirements this year, we encourage you to reapply for the Pathway to the MBA. In fact, ASBO International will waive your Pathway to the MBA application fee for the next year!

Deadline and Extensions

All Pathway to the MBA application materials are due within 90 days of your budget’s legal approval. 
Need an extension? Submit a request to