Apply for the Pathway to the MBA

Application Materials

The Pathway to the MBA is designed for first- and second-time applicants as the first step in preparing for the more rigorous Meritorious Budget Award (MBA). Applicants complete just two of the four sections of the MBA Criteria Checklist. 

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.
    • Introductory Section (mandatory)
    • Choose one of the following sections.  Second-time Pathway applicants must submit a section not completed the previous year. 
    •   • Organizational    • Financial     • Informational
  4. Reviewer comments from the previous year and your school district's responses.
  5. Budget document or a link to your budget document.

Submit your application packet:

BY 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 copies
  • Include payment information. (Mailed submissions may be paid by check or credit card.)
  • Mail to ASBO International
    • Meritorious Budget Award
    • 11401 North Shore Drive
    • Reston, VA 20190-4232


The Pathway to the MBA awards U.S. and Canadian school districts with…

  • Comprehensive comments about your budget.
  • An award certificate.
  • A letter of accomplishment.
  • An elegant crystal award.


Any school system in the U.S. and Canada (including charter schools, educational service units, and colleges and universities) that incorporates the MBA criteria into its budget development process is eligible to apply.    


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