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Providing educational choice in Memphis

The mission of MOST is to give Memphis-area families the opportunity to send their children to the schools of their choice. To fulfill its mission, MOST offers partial need-based scholarships, beginning in PK3 through grade 1, for qualified families who wish to send their children to private or parochial schools.

We are NOT...

  • Anti-public-schools: MOST supports great schools wherever they are and however they are funded. Visit our Resources page for information that will help you make an informed decision when choosing among the public, private, and charter schools in the Memphis area.

  • A handout: MOST helps low-income families meet their financial responsibility 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 child deserves a chance at a great education. We accept new students entering PK3, PK4, kindergarten, and grade 1 based on the family's financial need. Research proves time and 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. Note: Each February, MOST receives hundreds more pre-applications than it can fund, so the scholarships are awarded by lottery in the spring before school starts in August. The parents or guardians of MOST Scholars choose the schools they believe are the best fit for their children, and MOST pays the scholarship funds directly to the chosen schools.

Scholarship amounts are determined based on a combination of the family’s income, household size, and the portion of tuition they are expected to pay. The average scholarship is $2,013, and the average family pays about $5,500 per student annually. MOST Scholars who remain financially eligible continue to receive their scholarships through grade 8. During the second semester of eighth grade, MOST Scholars can apply for the merit-based MOST High School Scholars Program, and their family must remain financially eligible.

Children's Scholarship Fund Network

CSF Logo

MOST is part of the Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) national network of scholarship-granting organizations. CSF and its partner programs are committed to empowering families in need with the ability to choose the schools that best meet their children’s needs, regardless of their ZIP codes or ability to pay.