Archive for March/2009


Caja Madrid and Residency (NIE) Requirements

Written on March 2, 2009 by Joël McConnell in Loans | Préstamos

Recent changes to Spanish law (Real Decreto 1861/1991) now make it a requirement for Spanish financial institutions to collect a residency number when opening bank accounts or providing access to other financial instruments such as bank loans.  What this means for admitted IE program candidates who do not yet have Spanish nationality or residency is that applying for a loan through our Caja Madrid loan agreement will be challenging.  This is because while all students must have their payment plan and sources of financing set before they enter their program, technically students cannot apply for a Caja Madrid loan until they have a Número de Identificación de Extranjeros – NIE (pronounced: knee-eh) number.  NIE numbers can only be obtained once a student is physically in Madrid, and it is a process that can take upwards of 6 weeks.  Therefore, barring that a student processes their visa and NIE application well in advance of their program, Caja Madrid is a complicated proposition for our international candidates.

We’re working on finding a solution to this situation, but for now, we are advising international students to only see Caja Madrid loans as a back-up option should other financing options not come through.


While the placement process for IE Fellows is currently completed on a case-by-case basis, we thought it might be useful to share some of the areas where we have recently places IE Fellows at IE, so that prospective applicants can better understand the types of projects they may become involved with, should they be selected for an IE Fellowship. 

Recent placements include:

  • Initiative/Project: Financieros Sin Fronteras (microfinance consultancy project)
  • Department/Division: International Development (supporting global outreach programs)
  • Department/Division: Information Systems (technology and meeting dynamics research)
  • Department/Division: IE Financial Aid Office (global banking agreements)
  • Initiative/Project: PWC / IE Public Sector Centre (public policy)
  • Initiative/Project: International MBA Admissions’ Friends Club (helping new students establish themselves in Madrid)
  • Department/Division: Career Centre (HR consultancy and process innovation)
  • Initiative/Project: Centre for Nonmarket Strategy (research and case study preparation)
  • Department/Division: Innovation and Development (global partnership agreements)
  • Department/Division: Mujer Empresa Tecnologia – MET (program development and support)
  • Department/Division: Marketing (social media networks)

While we recommend you do a web search to seek out the best government aid programs in your country, here we have included a little overview about the types of aid programs countries may offer for students.  We also provided a listing of government aid programs IE actively participates in, and please, if your country’s aid program is not listed, please email us at and tell us about how we can help you obtain funding from the office that manages the funding scheme.  Generally there is an administrative process where the institution must be officially recognised by the government office, and this an area we have experience in managing.

Government Aid Programs in Spain

Government aid in Spain is economic needs-based and so very often students coming to IE do not qualify for governement stipends.  However, the main points to take into consideration with regards to government aid programs in Spain are:

  • General scholarships are made available through the national Ministry of Education, Social Policy and Sport (MEPSYD) –  see MEPSYD web site (in Spanish)
  • Additional scholarships are available at the Autonomous Community and Provincial level, and so students should consult the various regional and/or provincial government web pages for additional aid and funding program information available to residents of specific regions.  For example, while students coming from the Basque Country should refer to the Departamento de Educación, Universidades e Investigación in Vitoria, students coming from Navarra should refer to the Departamento de Educación in Pamplona.  Each of the 17 Autonomous Communities maintain their own web pages.

International: Selection of Government and Non-Profit Aid Programs Outside Spain

Many countries offer funding support programs for students studying at home or abroad, and often students coming to IE can take advantage of these programs as a means to help in the financing of their program.  Below is a listing of some of the government and non-profit supported aid programs IE students have access to:

  • Alberta Student Funding (Canadians with residency in the province of Alberta)
  • Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loans (Canadians with residency in the province of Ontario)
  • CareerConcept AG Bildungsfonds (Program for German nationals)
  • Colfuturo Loan-Scholarships (Program for Colombian nationals)
  • Corporación de Fomento de la Producción – CORFO (Program for Chilean nationals)
  • Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología – CONACYT(Program for Mexican nationals)
  • Danish State Education Grant and Loan Scheme (Program for Danish nationals)
  • Federal Government Trust Fund for Human Resources Development – FIDERH (Program for Mexican nationals)
  • Foreign Government Awards Program (Program for Canadian candidates sponsored by the Spanish government)
  • Funda Pro (Program for Bolivian nationals)
  • Fundación Mexicana para la EducaciónFUNED (Program for Mexican nationals)
  • Guatefuturo (Program for Guatemalan nationals)
  • Colombian Institute for Education Lending and Technical Foregin Studies – ICETEX IDB Scholarship Program for Postgraduate Studies (Program for Chilean nationals)
  • Instituto Ecuatoriano de Crédito Educativo y Becas – IECE (Program for Ecuatorian nationals)
  • Instituto para la Formación – IFARHU (Program for Panamanian nationals)
  • Instituto Peruano de Fomento Educativo – IPFE (Program for Peruvian nationals)
  • The Joint Japan / World Bank Graduate Scholarships (for candidates from elegibledeveloping countries)
  • Japan-IDB Scholarship Program (Program for Latin American andCarribean nationals)
  • Japan Student Services Organization – JASSO (Program for Japanese nationals)
  • Programa de becas Presidente de la República (Program for Chilean nationals)
  • Québec Loans and Bursaries Program (Canadians with residency in the province of Québec)
  • Secretaría de Estado de Educación Superior – SEESCyT (Program for Dominican nationals)
  • Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores y Secretaría de Educación – IMEXI (Program for Mexican nationals)
  • Styrelsen for Statens Uddannelsesstøtte (Program for Danish nationals)
  • Statens Lånekasse for utdanning (Program for Norwegian nationals)
  • StudentAid BC (Canadians with residency in the province of British Columbia)
  • UNESCO Scholarships (Program for candidates from UN Member Countries)

The TimesOnline recently published an article by John O’Leary about how to reduce student debt.  While primarily targeted at UK students entering an undergraduate program, ome of the more interesting points include:

  • The Financial Services Authority (FSA) for the United Kingdom provides advice and training on how to finance education and training programs via their Money Doctors program.  While UK-focused, you as a future student at IE may find some of the training materials helpful.
  • Students often underestimate living expenses.
  • It’s important to have a realistic budget in place to ensure you seek out the right kind and right amount of student financial aid.

Read the article: “How to avoid student debt” by John O’Leary, TimesOnline.


Below are the guidelines that explain the different rules that apply when a student obtains a loan from Sallie Mae.  Please keep in mind that Sallie Mae currently is not accepting loan applications for the 2009-2010 academic year due to internal process reviews.  However, we expect Sallie Mae to resume accepting applications in 2Q09, once internal reviews have been completed.  More news will be posted on this blog as we receive it from Sallie Mae International.

(1) Students must obtain the loan directly from Sallie Mae.  Students only interact with Sallie Mae and IE never deals with Sallie Mae applicants directly during the application process.  This is because the Sallie Mae loans are applied for and decided by Sallie Mae alone.  All questions about how to apply and related to specific cases should be directed to Sallie Mae.  For complete information on the Signature Loan program and MBA Private Loans, visit

(2) If a student would like to apply for the loan, the student can do so via the online application at: and by following the steps listed below:

  • Click on “I am a student or parent borrower”
  • Select state: go to the bottom of the list – “outside the US”
  • Select the school: Instituto de Empresa (IE Business School) 000107-00
  • Register as a first time user
  • Begin the loan application process

(3) Once the student requests the loan, Sallie Mae sends a message directly to IE requesting verification that student applicant is actually attending our school and thus we certify the loan and specify the disbursement date of the loan.  Loans can only be disbursed up to 30 days before of the starting day of the loan period.  In case you want to use the Sallie Mae loan in order to pay the reservation fee of the program, you risk the possibility of the program being full and thus not being able to register.  We recommend all students to pay the reservation fee early on so they can guarantee a spot in the class and also begin the application for a student visa early on.  If you wait to use the Sallie Mae loan for place reservation you may not get a spot in the class and you may not have get a student visa in time for the start of the program.

(4) After the loan is certified by IE, Sallie Mae then makes the final decision of whether or not they will extend the loan to the students.  IE has no control over this decision, and the credit analysis and approval process is completed at the sole discretion of Sallie Mae.

(5) Although the loan is denominated in dollars, it is understood by the student that this money will be converted into Euros by the school. Funds are deposited in a school account in the US and subsequently these funds are transferred to the school in Madrid using the exchange rate quoted by the bank, in this case, JP Morgan Chase, on the day of the transaction. The student also bears the cost of the international wire fee applied to the transfer of money. All moneys have to pass through the school as these are education loans.

(6) If the student decides to cancel the loan after the money has been disbursed and transferred to IE in Madrid, the student will bear all the costs associated with returning the money back to Sallie Mae including bank fees and losses in the value of the transferred funds due to foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Therefore it is important that the student be sure that Sallie Mae is the source of financing they want to use to fund their IE program of study, before the student accepts the loan offer from Sallie Mae.

(7) Once the loan has been approved, Sallie Mae transfers the funds to an IE account in the US and immediately these are wired to Madrid. Once the funds are received in Madrid, IE automatically retains the amount owing by the student to IE, and then the remaining balance is transferred to a Caja Madrid account that we in Financial Aid help students open ahead of their arrival to Madrid. We do not transfer the remaining balance to other accounts, hedge currency exchange rates, cancel loans already processed, have any control over specific terms of loans granted by Sallie Mae to the student or advocate on behalf of the student with regards to communication with Sallie Mae.

(8) To open a Caja Madrid account students simply need to send 1) a copy of the first page of their passport and 2) a copy of their admissions letter to, and specify that they are requesting we open an account on their behalf. Students can also transfer non-Sallie Mae funds to this account ahead of their arrival to Madrid from the US.

(9) Finally, Sallie Mae loans are only to fund studies and living expenses while students are studying at IE. These loans are not meant to provide as bridge loans for students between when they finish their programs and when they start their first job after IE for example, or to provide excess spending money for other types of activities such as personal travel or other non-program related projects during their studies.

(10) Sallie Mae loans must be applied for before the student begins their program. This is a strict rule that IE applies to ensure the long term availability of Sallie Mae loans to current and future IE students.


Loans Options for Admitted IE Students

Written on March 2, 2009 by Joël McConnell in Loans | Préstamos, Uncategorized

Here we provide more information about paying your tuition fees with a loan.  Essentially, you’ll want to keep in mind that the fatest and most probable way of obtaining a loan is by working with a financial institution in your home country, and as a back-up plan, you can also apply for a loan from Caja Madrid.  On the Financial Aid web site we list many private and public loan programs, as well as information about the Caja Madrid loan option, so it’s best to use the Financial Aid web site as a starting point for your loan search.

Applying for a Loan from an Institution in Your Home Country

Banks by their nature are conservative in their lending practices and tend to be most comfortable lending to local nationals because they better understand local risk and repayment profiles.  Additionally, banks tend to have more resources at their diposition with regards to collecting bad debts when the defaulting loan is with a local national.  While you will be an IE graduate and we expect you will maintain the highest of ethical and personal standards, which includes continuing to meet your various professional and financial commitments, banks fundamentally look at risk and customer lifetime value profiles when deciding whether or not to provide education loans. 

Also, please keep in mind that many governments, especially in countries with less fluid capital markets, provide government-guaranteed and/or government-sponsored loan programs for top candidates.  Information on a selection of such programs is available on the IE Financial Aid web site.

Caja Madrid Loans for Admitted IE Students

While available to all admitted IE students, the Caja Madrid loan program should be seen as a back-up plan with regards to financing your program of study.  The application evaluation process is rigorous and only candidates who meet Caja Madrid’s internal credit analysis requirements are provided with loans.  As Caja Madrid retains sole responsibility for bad debts related to the program, Caja Madrid has final say on whom receives loans from them, be they Spanish nationals or applicants from abroad.  In many cases a local cosigner may be required.



Vídeo Financial Aid (Español)

Written on March 2, 2009 by Joël McConnell in Financial Aid Video | Video Financial Aid

Aprender más sobre las opciones de ayudas económicas disponibles a los admitidos del IE.


Below is the key information* you should know about the bank account product made available to IE student by Caja Madrid.  Please keep in mind that banking systems vary across country markets, therefore the terms are stated according to Spanish norms.

Current/Checking Account Terms

  • Service fee: €4.50 quarterly if your average balance for the quarter is less than €1,000 (a
  • Overdraft charges: €30 on the sixth calendar day of the account being overdrawn.
  • Annual Nominal Interest Rate for an overdraft: 13.09% nominal / 13.74669% AER (Annual Equivalent Rate) charged quarterly.

Debit Card

  • Service fee: 25€ annually (approximately 2€ per month)
  • Withdrawal limits: 1.500€ daily purchases, 600€ in daily cash withdrawal, 200€ in daily mobile recharges (can be completed via ATM).
  • Charges for cash withdrawal: 0€ at Caja Madrid Office, 0€ at Caja Madrid ATM/cash point, 1.20% or minimum €0.75 ServiRed (Caja Madrid’s network) ATM/cash point,  and 4% or minimum €3.00 at other ATM/cash point or non-ServiRed network institution.

See for more information about ServiRed network partners.

* Effective as of October 2008 and subject to change.


If you’re going to be studying in Madrid full-time for the entirety of your program, you´ll need to have a local bank account.  Our financial partner, Caja (pronounced: cah-hah) Madrid provides access to bank accounts for IE students who are studying in Madrid.

Blended Format and/or Part-Time Programs

Unless you have Spanish residency, we are not currently able to offer you a Caja Madrid bank account because Spanish Law (Real Decreto 1816/1991) requires a NIE or other residency document (eg. Spanish passport) to open an account at a Spanish financial institution.  Given the nature of blended format (mixed presential and online) or part-time programs, generally a tourist visa or no documentation (please check with your local Spanish Embassy for more information) is required to travel to Madrid for short-term stays.  As such, we are curently not able to obtain a bank account on you behalf.

See: Opening An Account | Abrir una cuenta for more information on how to open an account.



Written on March 2, 2009 by Joël McConnell in Scholarships | Becas

To apply for a scholarship, candidates must have begun the admission process for an IE Business School program, and scholarships will only be awarded to candidates admitted to a master program. Also, the Scholarship Committee will grant a maximum of one scholarship per applicant, and applicants can only apply for up to three different scholarships.

IE Foundation Scholarships

The Instituto de Empresa (IE) Foundation facilitates access to education provided by IE Business School to students with extraordinary merits and proven economic need for said scholarship. There are several types of scholarships, each with specific characteristics and application deadlines.

Additionally IE Business School awards scholarships to students admitted to a master program through agreements with various institutions. The management and definition of the process and selection criteria is made by each respective institution and the conditions of these agreements may vary over time.

Outside Organization Scholarships

In addition to Instituto de Empresa (IE) Foundation scholarships and agreements, there are other scholarship opportunities for postgraduate studies. On our website you will find a selection of public Institutions, transnational organizations, foundations or other private institutions whose aim is to promote and support management education.

All applications for scholarships sponsored by the IE Foundation should be submitted through the following email address:, while outside organization scholarships should be submitted directly to the sponsoring organization.

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