On a Mission to Provide Educational Opportunities
The mission of Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, or MOST, is to give Memphis-area families the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice.
To fulfill its mission, MOST offers partial scholarships, beginning in the earliest years, for qualified families who wish to send their child to a private or parochial school, and it also provides information for all families in our community who are seeking the most appropriate school for their child.
MOST Is NOT . . .
- Anti-public schools: MOST supports great schools wherever they are and however they're funded. Please visit our Resources page where you will find information to help parents make an informed decision when trying to choose among the many great public, private, and charter schools Memphis has to offer.
- A handout: MOST helps low-income families meet their financial responsibilty at schools that charge tuition. There is a partnership among MOST, the schools, and the parents who must contribute financially toward the cost of their children's education at a private or parochial school.
- Only for the head of the class: There are no academic requirements to become a MOST Scholar, as we believe that every kid deserves a chance at a great education. MOST accepts new students entering pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade, based on the family's financial need. Research proves time and time again that the first years of a child's educational experience set the tone for how a child learns in subsequent years.
How MOST Scholarships Work
Families who qualify financially may apply for a scholarship for their preschooler, kindergartner, first grader, or special needs child. Scholarships are awarded in a random lottery of eligible families during the spring before the child starts school in August. The parents or guardians of MOST Scholars then choose the school they believe is the best fit for their child and family, and MOST pays the scholarship funds directly to the chosen schools.
Scholarship amounts are determined based on a combination of the family’s size and income and the portion of tuition they are expected to pay, but the average scholarship is approximately $1,500, and the average family pays about $4,000 per student. MOST Scholars who remain financially eligible continue to receive their scholarships through the 8th grade. For high school, MOST Scholars in the second semester of 8th grade can apply for a merit-based MOST High School Scholarship, and their family must remain financially eligible.