Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust (M.O.S.T.)

McDonnell Scholarship

          M.O.S.T. will identify up to ten rising 9th grade M.O.S.T. Scholars who exhibit outstanding academic promise, leadership, and character and have distinguished themselves among their peers by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors that mark them for success in high school, college, and life. The McDonnell Scholarship is in addition to the general M.O.S.T. High School Scholarship, or is a stand-alone scholarship if the student is not already receiving the M.O.S.T. Scholarship, and is valued at up to $2,500 each year.

Example for students currently receiving a M.O.S.T. Scholarship: If rising ninth-grader Jane Doe qualifies for the general M.O.S.T. High School Scholarship maximum of $3,640 and is selected as a McDonnell Scholar at the $2,500 maximum, then she would receive a total of $6,140 in M.O.S.T. scholarships for the 2024-2025 school year.

Example for students not currently receiving a M.O.S.T. Scholarship: If rising ninth-grader Jane Doe is selected as a McDonnell Scholar she will receive up to the $2,500 maximum scholarship per year.

Requirements include English and math teacher recommendations, the completion of a standardized test and writing assignment at the M.O.S.T. office, and an interview with two to three members of the M.O.S.T. staff or board.

 All rising 9th grade students attending M.O.S.T. Partner Schools are eligible to apply.


Only those students who have submitted the application by the due date will be considered.

Step 1:  Student completes the M.O.S.T. McDonnell Scholarship Application Form, which includes requesting teacher recommendations from math & English teachers.

Step 1.1 (if applicable):  For families of students who are not currently receiving M.O.S.T. Scholarships: Please complete the New Student Application.  

Step 2:  M.O.S.T. will email students (and parents) to sign up to complete a standardized test & writing assignment at our offices. Please add to your safe senders list. 

Step 3:  The McDonnell Scholarship Selection Committee will contact students (and parents) who will be moving to the interview stage. Interviews will take place during the first two weeks of April. Please plan to interview for approximately 15 minutes with two or three members of the M.O.S.T. Board of Directors and staff.

Step 4:  M.O.S.T. will send McDonnell Scholarship acceptance letters to applicants and families via email and USPS at the end of April. Students and parents will need to sign the acceptance letter and return to M.O.S.T.


  • Continuation of all M.O.S.T. Scholarship financial requirements
  • Annual academic review (maintain a 3.0 gpa or higher)
  • Student attends a minimum of one M.O.S.T. team/leadership-building activity each year
  • Student attends the annual M.O.S.T. Senior Reception in May (this counts for community service hours)
  • Annual end-of-summer questionnaire