First Alumni & Friends Merit Award reaches 80% of community fundraising goal

notes and laptop

In Spring 2019, the BSE launched the first edition of the Alumni & Friends Merit Award. The Merit Award is a community fundraising initiative whose goal is to award a full-tuition waiver for study in the BSE Master’s programs.

The fundraising goal for the first edition was 9000€ or half the amount of a full Master’s tuition waiver. The BSE committed to match this amount. Donations for the first Merit Award closed in February 2020. The community’s contributions totaled 7251€ or 80% of the fundraising goal.

Collaboration, a core value of the Barcelona School of Economics

BSE Director Teresa Garcia-Milà was impressed by the community’s participation in the Merit Award initiative, which is the first time alumni have been asked to donate to the school.

“Collaboration is a core value of the BSE,” Professor Garcia-Milà said. “The BSE is a relatively young institution, with 12 cohorts graduated and around 2,400 alumni. Not only that, but most students are with us for just one year, so the fact that they responded so positively to the Merit Award and reached 80% of the fundraising goal speaks to the level of engagement they still have with us and their willingness to support future generations of BSE students.”

Aside from direct donations, one of the main sources of community contributions was the 2019 Global Alumni Meeting in Barcelona, where 100% of the registration fees were donated to the Merit Award. Among other fundraising events was a dinner organized by the Paris Chapter of BSE Alumni.

Donors participate in selection of first Merit Award recipient

Merit Award donors can volunteer to participate in the selection of the Merit Award recipient. This is a unique way to stay connected with the BSE and renew their sense of belonging and implication with the next generation of Master's students.

"I think that the BSE Alumni & Friends Merit Award is an excellent idea, and I will therefore support it also in the future," said selection committee member Rafael Ravnik '15 (Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets).

Selection committee members:

  • Arnoldo López Marmolejo (IDEA), Lead Economist for Mexico and Central America Office, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Rafael Ravnik ‘15 (Macro), Economist at European Central Bank
  • Mario Schaefer '10 (MESI), CEO at 1IB International Business
  • Ilaria Vigo '16 (EPP), Environmental Economist at Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Elisa Greene, first recipient of the BSE Alumni & Friends Merit Award

portraitThe Merit Award's first recipient was selected this March. She is Elisa Greene, an economist from Chile who has experience in that country’s Antitrust Court and currently works at the law firm FerradaNehme in Santiago.

Elisa will join the BSE Master's Program in Competition and Market Regulation in September.


The second edition of the Merit Award is now open for donations.

Donate to the Alumni & Friends Merit Award

About financial aid at the Barcelona School of Economics

The objective of all tuition waivers and scholarships awarded by the BSE is to increase retention of top candidates admitted to the Master's programs in Economics and Finance, Specialized Economic Analysis, and Data Science. All funding is 100% merit-based. 

Each year, the BSE awards around 800,000€ in merit-based financial aid to Master's students. On average, 36% of matriculated students in the cohort receive full or partial financial aid in the form of tuition waivers or scholarships. This funding comes from generous public and private sponsors and from the BSE's own funds.