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By: Courtney Shove
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April 01, 2020
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Newsletter
MOST ESA

Similar goals, two different programs

Set to launch in the 2020-21 school year, Tennessee’s Education Savings Account (ESA) program will provide eligible families in Memphis and Nashville with over $7,100 in state funds per child per year to be used toward private school tuition and other approved educational expenses.

MOST, a privately funded program, is not affiliated with the state-run ESA, but both programs offer need-based assistance for families who want to send their children to participating private schools. If eligible, a family may receive a MOST scholarship and ESA funds in the same school year.

MOSTESA IncomeScales
MOSTESA MaxScholarships

Who in the Memphis area is eligible for the ESA?

Students are eligible if their household incomes fall within the ESA income scale and if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • They are zoned for Shelby County Schools or the Achievement School District and entering kindergarten in the 2020-21 school year (including children who currently attend private prekindergarten programs).
  • They are zoned for Shelby County Schools or the Achievement School District, entering grades 1–12 in 2020-21, and currently enrolled in a Tennessee public school.
  • They are entering kindergarten through grade 12 and have just moved to Tennessee.

For more information or to see if your child qualifies for the ESA, visit tnesa.org. To fill out the official ESA application, click here.

Who in the Memphis area is NOT eligible for the ESA?

  • Students whose household incomes do not fall within the ESA income scale.
  • Students currently attending private school, unless they will enter kindergarten in 2020-21.
  • Students zoned for Arlington Community Schools, Bartlett City Schools, Collierville Schools, the Germantown Municipal School District, or the Lakeland School System.

Are families currently receiving MOST scholarships eligible for the ESA?

Students already attending private schools do not qualify for the ESA, so many MOST families will not be eligible for the ESA. Exceptions include:

  • A current MOST Scholar entering kindergarten in 2020-21 and zoned for Shelby County Schools or the Achievement School District.
  • A sibling of a current MOST Scholar who is currently attending public school and zoned for Shelby County Schools or the Achievement School District.

Why support MOST?

Simple answer: The need is still here!

  • Hundreds of current MOST Scholars will not qualify for the ESA, and we are committed to helping them for as long as they qualify for our program.
  • MOST offers scholarships to children in prekindergarten, which helps families choose the right schools for their children at an earlier age.
  • MOST is open to qualifying students who live in any part of Shelby County, not just those zoned for Shelby County Schools or the Achievement School District.
  • MOST partners with 56 Memphis-area private schools, and not all of them will accept the ESA.
  • A nonprofit organization, MOST depends completely on private donations.

Give to MOST today: memphisscholarships.org/donate.