Educational Institutions

American University in Bulgaria

aka AUBG

Washington, DC


The mission of the American University in Bulgaria is to educate students of outstanding potential in a community of academic excellence, diversity, and respect and to prepare them for democratic and ethical leadership in serving the needs of the region and the world.

Ruling Year



Dr. Steven F. Sullivan


Dr. Emilia Zankina

Main Address

910 17th St N W Suite 1100

Washington, DC 20006 USA


Study abroad, American model, liberal arts, taught in English, international, interdisciplinary





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Higher Education Institutions (B40)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

From its audacious early beginning as the first and only private university in Bulgaria, the only liberal arts higher education school in the South-East European and the CIS region and as a symbol of the support of the United States government to the democratization and reform of the region – AUBG has emerged as the highest quality liberal arts university in this part of the world. Meeting Enrollment Targets Issue: Our academic quality and the success of our graduates in business, academic careers, and in civil society is notable and the institution should focus on achieving greater recognition by the public. A criticism heard frequently is that AUBG is “isolated” from the community of Blagoevgrad and from Bulgaria’s public life. The general public has a clearly - established perception that AUBG is "expensive" -- without having a clear idea of the true cost of attending AUBG, especially in comparison with the true cost of attending universities elsewhere in Western Europe.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Various Studies

Executive MBA

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The goal of higher enrollment of 1,200 undergraduate students remains vital to the sustainability and strength of AUBG. Increasing enrollment will increase our ability to expand academic programming both through new programs and within existing programs. A larger enrollment also allows for more efficient utilization of our existing classroom and other facilities. We are not proposing to meet the numerical enrollment target by becoming less: by maintaining high quality standards, we will not sacrifice our ability to offer a meaningful, high quality learning environment and learning experience for all students. Analysis of the results of our admissions process shows that AUBG enrolls a high percentage of its admitted students. The “yield rates” is particularly high for Bulgarian students, moderate in regional countries in which we recruit actively, and lowest in the most distant international markets.

1. Define our market and peer group of competitors on an annual basis to adapt to the dynamic educational, demographic, and geo-political shifts. 2. Institute a rigorous market Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning (STP) approach to recruiting, which will inform our future priorities and initiatives to attract more applicants fitting the profile we target, and to increase yield. 3. Make scholarship support a Development priority. Tuition payments from AUBG students cover only direct educational expenses; the rest of the cost of running the University has to be funded via scholarships. This makes scholarship money a major factor in our ability to fulfill our mission. 4. Measure, evaluate, and market a consistent academic image of AUBG to prospective students, and their influencers such as teachers and parents, with the objective to increase propensity to apply and help meet Admissions KPI’s for inquiries, applications, and enrollment.

The Admissions team is highly committed and consists of a number of young motivated professionals. The well-designed current structure supports the activities related to recruitment and admissions to the university. Policies and procedures are in place to ensure smooth operations of the office. A newly adopted CRM system allows for better planning, tracking, and engagement of prospective students. The AUBG’s website is structured so it reveals AUBG’s key advantages and supports the recruitment efforts flawlessly. The strategic plan of the office aims to develop a culture of support from the AUBG community, build strategic partnerships, sustain performing markets and develop new ones. It also focuses on activities along the admissions funnel, targets and goals, addresses key segments, recruitment channels, key partners and activities, and outlines the action plan for the implementation of the strategy.

Key Performance Indicators by Strategy: 1. New dollars raised for scholarships meet the institutional target set for fiscal year 2018 and rise by 10% in each of the following years. 2. Design and implement market Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning (STP) approach to recruiting. 3. Performance metrics of image campaign show increased awareness and stronger brand awareness of AUBG among key constituencies. Instruments include image study to be conducted every other year with metrics showing greater awareness and consideration in targeted markets.

The Admissions office achieved great results in the fall of 2018 by enrolling 251 new degree seeking students, a number representing 33 % increase over the previous year and the highest number in 7 years. The biggest success was in the number of Bulgarian students (170), which is 56% higher than the previous year and the best result in 12 years. Not only that the students were higher in numbers but they are also stronger academically as measured by Admission points. Following the trends and analyzing the reasons for success we are looking to replicate the success in Bulgaria to other international markets. We have started another integrated Marketing and Recruitment campaign and we are initiating new strategic partnerships. To address the area for improvement, i.e. converting more applicants to complete their applications we are focusing on more on-campus events and competitions which will provide opportunities for more students to experience AUBG.

External Reviews



American University in Bulgaria

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable