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ABA Commercial Lending Schools

Justification Kit | Commercial Lending - Advanced

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Justify Attending ABA Commercial Lending Schools

You recognize the value of attending one of the ABA Commercial Lending Schools. But, in order to attend you need to secure approval for your time away from the office as well as travel and registration funds from your organization. Using this Justification Kit, you will find everything you need to present your business case, including a letter template which you can customize to suit your needs.

General Tips & Talking Points

  • High Return on Investment: Outline how the time and money being spent for you to attend ABA’s National or Graduate Commercial Lending School will help take your skills – and your bank’s performance – to the next level.
  • Efficient & Cost Effective: ABA National and Graduate Commercial Lending Schools offer a comprehensive, time-intensive learning environment. Your attendance will be much more cost-effective and time-efficient compared to registering for multiple seminars or webinars.
  • World-class Education: The schools provide an in-depth curriculum developed and delivered by the banking industry's top thought leaders and practitioners that is unparalleled in the industry.
  • Two Programs Built to Suit Your Needs: ABA National & Graduate Commercial Lending School content is appropriate for institutions of all sizes. Additionally, multiple program offerings provide an educational environment tailored to meet the needs of lending professionals at every stage of their career.

Next Steps

  1. Review the ABA Commercial Lending Schools brochure.
  2. Customize the Justification Letter (below) to present as part of your formal request.
  3. Offer to prepare a short presentation for your colleagues to share what you will learn, maximizing your bank’s ROI for your attendance.  Mention that course materials you will receive during the School can be shared with your colleagues, providing a valuable resource tool as your team looks to identify solutions for your clients.
  4. Be ready with a plan that shows who will cover for you while you are attending the ABA Commercial Lending School.
  5. Be sure to check out the registration page for applicable fees and discounts. ABA Members save $1,000 on registration fees. Multiple students registering from the same institution are eligible for a group discount for even greater savings.

Sample Justification Letter

< Date >

Dear < Supervisor's Name >,

I would like to attend the  <ABA Commercial Lending School - Foundational / Advanced / Agricultural >, April 27 - May 3, 2019, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.

Attendance at the ABA Commercial Lending School will provide me with lessons that go far beyond basic skills and theories, to also provide lessons that can be implemented within our organization. The bankers planning the curriculum come from institutions of all sizes, which ensure that the content is relevant to our institution. Each course is taught by experienced professionals and leading authorities in their respective field. In addition to the outstanding faculty, I will be immersed in learning with a diverse group of peers whose insights and perspectives will enhance my learning experience.

ABA Commercial Lending School students are provided with a deep-dive into topics critical to a lending professional’s success such as; Monitoring Your Commercial Loan Portfolio, Evaluating the Commercial Borrower's Business Strategy, Troubled Debt Restructures, Strategic Loan Pricing, Credit Risk Management, and more. After reviewing the School brochure, I have identified a number of courses that will have a significant impact on my career growth and contribution to < insert bank name. > The opportunity for me to gain greater knowledge in specific areas of commercial lending makes my attendance at the ABA Commercial Lending School a wise investment.

< The numbers in brackets below will need to be adjusted to reflect the current pricing. All registration fees are listed on the Commercial Lending School website. The travel costs vary as well and should be changed to reflect your anticipated costs. >

Here is the breakdown of costs:
Roundtrip Airfare: <$xxxx>
Transportation: <$xxxx>
Hotel: <$xxxx>
Meals: <$xxxx>
School Fee: <$xxxx>
Total: <$xxxx>

As you can tell, I am extremely enthusiastic about this opportunity and the benefits that both I and <insert bank name> will realize as a result of my attendance.  Thank you for your consideration.

< your name here >


You may contact Susan Bonney, for more information on ABA’s Commercial Lending Schools. In addition, we can put you in touch with an ABA Commercial Lending Advisory Board member who can provide additional testimony to the value of ABA education.