Financial Aid Opportunities

1. The MES Fund

AMI/USA established the MES FUND, INC., the first financial aid fund to benefit AMI teacher trainees, in honor of Margaret Elizabeth Stephenson, who devoted her life to AMI teacher training in the United States. The fund, which is administered and supported by AMI/USA, honors her legacy and extends her contribution to touch future teachers.

The fund awards partial scholarships in the form of tuition reduction towards AMI training in the United States to selected students. AMI/USA hopes, through their support of this fund, to ensure that qualified individuals seeking AMI training will be able to pursue that dream, regardless of their financial circumstances.

MES Fund Eligibility

Applicants who are U.S citizens or permanent U.S. residents and are planning to attend an AMI training center in the United States are eligible to apply.

Applicants to both academic year and summer courses are eligible.

Applicants must have a demonstrated financial need as evaluated by the College Board Scholarship Service (CSS) Financial Aid Profile.

Students who have already commenced training are not eligible to apply.

Applying for an award will not affect a student’s prospect for admission at an AMI training center.

Priority consideration is given to applicants who:

  • hold a college degree
  • have worked in an AMI school
  • plan to teach in an AMI school immediately following training
  • are assistants in an AMI school

MES Application Process Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Complete the MES Fund application and the required essays
  • Register with the College Board Scholarship Service (CSS)  and complete the Financial Aid Profile. There is a minimal fee assessed by the College Board to complete the Financial Aid Profile.
  • You must include the MES Fund, Inc. College Board ID Code (0186) when completing the Financial Aid Profile.
  • After you complete the Financial Aid Profile you will receive an “acknowledgment” from CSS with a computerized printout of the information submitted. This is your proof that you have completed this process; keep this copy for your records.
  • Enroll in an AMI training program. (This is a separate step from applying for financial aid.)

MES Application Deadline

May 1st of the year your coursework begins both summer and academic course formats.

Application Checklist:

All of the above must be submitted electronically by the deadline; no extensions will be granted.

Neither AMI/USA nor the MES Fund, Inc. is responsible for misdirected applications.

MES Selection Process

The MES Fund, Inc. Financial Aid Committee adheres to recommendations and guidelines of the College Board Scholarship Service (CSS), a division of College Board. College Board is an educational services institution that offers a variety of programs and services to assist colleges, universities, and scholarship programs in the equitable distribution of financial aid.

Utilizing CSS reports, the committee reviews the following for each applicant:

  • Taxable and non-taxable income
  • Assets
  • Number and ages of dependents
  • Number of family members attending tuition-based schools and colleges
  • Outstanding debts and obligations
  • U.S. citizenship

An individual’s demonstrated financial need does not guarantee that he or she will be awarded aid.

MES Award Notification

The MES Fund, Inc. Financial Aid Committee will review applications and notify individuals of their application status within eight weeks of the application deadline.

2. School Sponsorship

Some schools participate in sponsoring trainees. Sponsorship guidelines vary by school.

Participating Schools:
CA | Pacific Rim International School
NY/India | CA Montessori Children’s Center
VA | Hampton Roads International Montessori School
Please review the most updated list (updated every fall for training courses beginning the following year)

This list includes the specific offerings by each school. For complete details, contact the school of interest directly.
Note the education levels listed on the website do not indicate AMI recognition status; they are levels available for instruction or that the school is currently seeking to sponsor. For AMI recognition specifications click here.

3. Loan Options

Some AMI recognized schools offer loan options for trainees. Check with each training center for their loan offerings.


Click here to contribute to the MES fund.

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Carmichael_Trevis235ppi“Having my AMI elementary training, I feel even more privileged to have received the MES award. The training is an amazing process and having part of the financial obligation reduced made it even better. I am indebted to those who have given to the MES fund. I think it authentically speaks to the spirit of giving something to those whom you may never meet because it is for a cause you believe in. The Montessori community I have entered into is a great one, and I am full of hope for what lies ahead.”

-Trevis Carmichael, 2013 MES Recipient

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crystal chance235ppi

“The MES award was imperative to my successful completion of the primary training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota. Receiving notification of the award filled me with joy and confidence in my decision to take the training. The award was also my first glimpse at the broader Montessori community that has been so supportive of me. I am thankful to Margaret E. Stephenson and this award, as it truly impacted my ability to focus on the training and absorb all that I could from the process.”

-Crystal Chance, 2013 MES Recipient

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mallory reveneau235

“My MES award allowed me to attend my training at Montessori Institute of San Diego with little stress regarding my finances.  I was able to fully concentrate my mind and soul on becoming AMI trained and less on how I was going to afford it.”

-Mallory Reveneau, 2013 MES Recipient

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Carolyn Weber WMI Graduation235

“Thanks to the MES scholarship, I did not need to work part-time during training, which allowed me to give above and beyond to the tasks at hand in focus and time. I have invested ample time in my future Children’s House, which would have been spent differently with more pressing money concerns.  I am thankful to the MES fund for helping me to be the trained directress I wanted and knew I could be.”

-Carolyn Weber, 2013 MES Recipient

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Robert Rivera235

“I’ve had the privilege to create a community who strives to prepare children to create our world’s future. My trainer, Elise Huneke-Stone, was trained by Miss Stephenson, and I’m honored to continue this cosmic legacy. Dr. Montessori’s vision, Miss Stephenson’s dedication, and Elise’s passion have shaped my love for our work. As I join the community at the International Montessori School Hong Kong, I hold in my heart that the MES fund has made this dream possible.”

-Robert Rivera, 2013 MES Recipient

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