At IE University, we believe that nobody should be denied a world-class education due to financial barriers. That’s why IE Foundation exists: to give as many talented students as possible access to our educational opportunities through scholarships, grants and academic support. We talked to Haley Damm-Hamblin, junior manager of IE University’s financial aid department, to find out which scholarships are available, who’s eligible and how you can apply.

Finding the scholarship that’s right for you

Haley explains that there’s a wide range of scholarships offered to incoming students, so any applicant will be able to find a scholarship that matches their profile. Anyone who is an admitted student can apply for a scholarship; in addition, some merit-based awards, such as the IE High Potential Award, are granted automatically to candidates upon admission, without needing to submit a scholarship application.

Scholarships are broken down into three broad categories: merit, values and diversity. As it’s possible to apply for up to three scholarships, Haley suggests applying for one in each category. The merit-based scholarships sometimes have an academic requirement: details of these can be found on the financial aid website, for both undergraduate and master’s programs. Values-based scholarships are those which reflect IE University’s core values, such as the IE Sustainability Scholarship. Diversity-based scholarships include the IE Women Scholarship and the IE Women in STEM Scholarship. Haley states proudly that in 2023, the department provided financial aid for students from 121 countries, demonstrating IE University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

What is a collaboration scholarship?

Haley describes this as her personal favorite type of scholarship. A collaboration scholarship gives recipients the chance to work on a project under the supervision of a staff member at IE University, who acts as a mentor for the student. This can be extremely valuable during your time at IE University, as it also provides opportunities to connect with students from other programs and meet people you might otherwise not have crossed paths with. 

Applications for collaboration scholarships are increasing, says Haley, as the program has such a high reputation. At the same time, a growing number of staff members are expressing a desire to work with collaborators, and feedback from both staff and collaborators is overwhelmingly positive. Collaborators’ tasks are hugely varied, from working in marketing or in sports and well-being, to undertaking research alongside faculty members, through to leading campus tours for families from the same country as the collaborator. 

Breaking down the application process

As soon as you have an admission or conditional admission, you can start to apply through the relevant online platform for undergraduate or master’s programs, using the same credentials you used for your application. Haley explains that the process is fairly straightforward: uploading a short essay highlighting your merits as a candidate and explaining your family’s financial situation. You’ll then receive a brief financial questionnaire via email—the purpose of this is to help with financial planning for the upcoming four or five years. 

Once you’ve completed your application, it will be processed by the financial aid team. Haley stresses that your application will be considered on an individual basis, taking a holistic view of you and your specific situation. Within one to three weeks of applying, you’ll receive a response from the Financial Aid Scholarship Committee. It’s advisable to apply earlier rather than later, there’s always some funding available throughout July.

Hints and tips for your application

Haley’s top tip for applications is not to be too modest—she says to brag a little about yourself in your financial aid essays. It’s an ideal opportunity for you to tell the financial aid team about all your achievements, both academic and extracurricular, so that they can get a clear picture of you as a well-rounded individual. 

For more information about the various financial aid options available, take a look at the financial aid website. Don’t forget that the financial aid team also has a presence at every Open House event, so you can chat with them in person—or alternatively, they’re always happy to get in touch via Zoom, phone or email.