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 Fall 2019- Spring 2020 Financial Aid Profile. There is a minimal fee assessed by the College Board to complete the Financial Aid Profile. Parent financial information is NOT required for independent students. Please contact AMI/USA for any questions relating to this on the CSS Profile.
  • You must include the MES Fund, Inc. College Board ID Code (0186) when completing the Financial Aid Profile.
  • You cannot supply new information or update your Financial Aid Profile after it has been submitted.
  • 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.

MES Fund, Inc does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

2. School Sponsorship

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

Participating Schools:
CA | Pacific Rim International School
FL | Montessori Children’s House of Hyde Park
GA | Springmont Montessori School
MA | eBridge Montessori School
MO | Casa Dia Montessori & The Centre at Conway
MO | Chesterfield Montessori School
MO | Harold Holliday Montessori School
NJ | Mastro Montessori Academy
TX | Cedar Park Montessori School
TX | Villa di Maria 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. Additional Options

Training centers may have their own financial aid programs or loan offerings. Some AMI recognized schools offer loan options for trainees as well.

These training centers offer some scholarships and/or financial aid, please see their websites or contact them directly for details:



Click here to contribute to the MES fund.

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“I received the news that I had received the MES award at a time when I was not sure I would be able to cover the cost of the tuition.  When I read the email I was signing out of work, and I couldn’t help but cry with the relief of receiving the news.  I was able to successfully complete my training while commuting for almost 3 hours.  Anyone who takes on the work of becoming a Montessori guide carries on the dream of bringing the best to children and changing the world.  This fund has made it a little easier for me in my goal of carrying the Montessori dream.  Thank you! ”

-Doa Abdel-Ghany, 2018 MES Recipient

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Because of the Margaret Elizabeth Stephenson award, the emotional and financial strain has been alleviated, and instead I have been able to pour myself into the work of continuing Maria Montessori and Margaret E. Stephenson’s legacies in the spread of an education for life. I look forward to the rest of my training with a profound gratitude towards those who have made it all possible.

-Grace McKinney, 2018 MES Recipient

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“The MES Fund made it possible for me to get through my Montessori training without taking out loans or working an hourly job on the side, which would have been extremely difficult and distracting. Elementary training is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but the rewards have already been incredible. Not only did I make amazing new friends and gain a new confidence as an educator, but I’m also personally looking at the world in a new light. I’ve never before been so fascinated with plants, shapes, and language. And on top of that, I’ll be moving this summer to be a guide in New York City! ”

-Ian Nesbit, 2018 MES Recipient

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“I am grateful to all who make the Magaret Elizabeth Stephenson scholarship possible. In this last year, not only have I grown as an educator, but as a person learning the power of friendship and the Montessori method. With this scholarship, I was able to attend the Elementary academic program at Montessori Northwest and the Montessori Graduate Summer Session at Loyola University. Thank you for making my dream come true.”

-Brittany Spencer, 2018 MES Recipient

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“When I found out that I had been awarded the 2018 MES Award for pursuing my AMI Elementary Diploma at Montessori Northwest in Portland, Oregon, it was a providential moment. As a single mother with two kids at home the idea of moving somewhere else for a year was quite daunting due to the logistics and cost. For me this award was an opening of the door to AMI teacher training. It was the voice that told me to go ahead and walk on through to this new experience that was both difficult and transformative. Thank you to all who have contributed to the MES Fund and who will do so in the future.”

-Charla Parks, 2018 MES Recipient

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