Frequently asked questions regarding the HBS-Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance.

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Applications

When will the 2025 program open for applications?
Applications for the 2025 program will open in August 2024. Sign up to be the first to hear about the 2025 program.

Payments & Scholarships

What’s included in the program cost?
The program cost (USD $9,850) includes all housing and meals during the program, as well as administrative fees. The tuition does not include airfare, incidentals, and meals outside of the program dates or off the Harvard campus. If you have questions, please contact us at hbsaccion@accion.org.

Are there scholarships available to help cover the cost of the program?
A limited number of scholarships are available to participants who otherwise cannot attend. Please note that we are unable to offer scholarships to all applicants who apply. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please indicate so on the application form and include any relevant information to support your request. Applications for scholarships will be reviewed by the admissions committee.

I was accepted to the program. What happens next?
Upon receiving your acceptance, you are required to pay a USD $500 non-refundable deposit to secure your spot in the program. The deposit will count toward your total tuition balance. We will communicate other payment deadlines in the weeks after you receive your acceptance.

Note: the dates in the answers below pertain only to the 2024 program.

What happens if I need to cancel?
If you need to cancel your participation, you must submit your request in writing to hbsaccion@accion.org. Cancellation requests received on or before January 31, 2024 will receive a full refund, minus any non-refundable amounts and wire fees. Cancellations received between February 1-29, 2024 are subject to a payment of 50 percent of the participant’s program fee. Requests received March 1, 2024 or later are subject to full payment of the program fee. To claim your refund, you must request, complete, and submit the required documentation to Accion within 60 days of the program start date.

Please note that if you cancel your attendance for the 2024 cohort, you will not be able to defer your admission to a future cohort.

Logistics & Schedule

When should I plan to arrive and depart?
Please plan to arrive on campus by 2:30 pm ET on Sunday, March 17. If you are unable to arrive by this time, please contact us at hbsaccion@accion.org. The program ends at 12:15 pm ET on Friday, March 22. You will be required to check out of your accommodation at HBS by 5 pm ET on March 22.

Can I come for part of the program?
The HBS and Accion policy is to accept participants who can attend the entire program. The program design builds lessons based on each case study, discussion group, and classroom discussion. Therefore, the goals of the program are best achieved through full participation by all participants.

Can I stay off-campus?
The program is designed to create an atmosphere of strong engagement and relationship building among the participants and HBS staff. We require all participants to stay on campus.

Can I bring someone with me, e.g., a spouse or friend?
Due to the nature of the program and the single-occupancy accommodation, spouses and/or friends are not allowed to stay on campus with participants.

What are the accommodations while I attend the program?
Single-occupancy rooms located on campus are included in the program tuition fee. Each room is equipped with high-speed wireless internet access. Each room also has a private bathroom with some toiletries included. HBS encourages participants from outside the USA to bring an adapter that can accommodate 120 volts.

What is the dress code?
HBS requests business casual dress for classes and meals during the program.  Since dress codes and terminology vary widely among companies and countries, here are a few examples of what is considered business casual attire: open-necked and collared shirts or blouses and sweaters, khakis, pressed pants, skirts, or dresses, leather shoes or casual walking shoes.

What airport should I fly to for the program?
Harvard Business School is located in Boston, Massachusetts. We recommend flying into Boston Logan International Airport.

How do I prepare for the program?
Once you have been accepted into the program and submitted payment, HBS will send you log-in credentials for the online program portal. All logistical information and pre-reading/assignment requirements can be found on that portal.

What happens when the course is over?
After the program, you will receive an invitation to join the HBS-Accion Program Alumni LinkedIn page. You will also receive a one-year subscription to the Harvard Business Review, a photo of the HBS-Accion class, and a certificate of completion. Accion may also contact program alumni for a program review, quotes to include on our website, as well as referrals for future programs. We also appreciate hearing from alumni regarding what they have learned in the course as it relates to their professional careers.

Visas

Do I need a visa to attend the program?
If you reside outside of the United States and are not a U.S. citizen, you will need to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. for the HBS-Accion program.

What type of visa do I need to attend the program?
You must apply for a temporary B-1 visa. This is a temporary visitor visa that aligns with the invitation letter that HBS will send if you are accepted in the program. See details about the B-1 visa here: B-1 Temporary Business Visitor | USCIS. Please note, program participants are not enrolled at Harvard University, and therefore, you should not apply for a student visa.

How long does it take to obtain a visa?
The wait time for a visa varies based on the type of visa and the country from which you are applying. Please visit the U.S. State Department website to learn the expected timeframe. We encourage all participants who need a visa to apply as soon as possible.

Who provides an invitation letter for the visa process?
HBS will send an invitation letter to all the accepted participants who require a visa. This invitation letter can be used for the visa process to validate an applicant’s request. If you need a visa to attend the program, please reach out to hbsaccion@accion.org.

The visa letter I received has the incorrect employer listed as a sponsor. What should I do?
If the invitation letter you received has the incorrect sponsor listed, please inform Accion by emailing hbsaccion@accion.org. We will ask HBS to update the information and resend it to your email address. This typically takes a few days to process, so please review the materials for accuracy as soon as you receive them.

How much does it cost to obtain a visa to enter the United States?
The cost to obtain a U.S. visa varies depending on the country in which you currently reside. Please check with your local embassy.

Where can I find additional information about U.S. visas?
Please review the U.S. State Department website to learn additional information about the U.S. visa process and options available. While we are not technical experts on the visa process, we can answer a limited range of questions.

Are there certain restrictions?
Yes, HBS does recognize certain restrictions enacted by the U.S. Government. If you are concerned about your ability to attend the program due to any country restriction, please contact us and we will check any applicable restrictions.