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 2018- Spring 2019 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 | The Learning Nest
MA | eBridge Montessori School
MO | Chesterfield Montessori School
NY/India | CA Montessori Children’s Center
TX | Cedar Park Montessori School
WI | Barron Area 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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My training at The Montessori Institute in Denver, Colorado has been one of the greatest journeys of my life and I feel like I’m only getting started! The richness of Dr. Montessori’s work is a joy to study and awakens a determined hope for the future coming to this world.

-Lyndsey DaSilva, 2016 MES Recipient

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I am very grateful to be a recipient of the MES award. As a student coming out of my undergraduate degree with loans, I was worried about the financial burden of attending the training. The MES award made it possible for me to attend the AMI elementary training right away, and fulfill my dream of being a Montessori guide.

-Emma Gunderson, 2016 MES Recipient

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Because of this support, I was able to focus on my studies, fully immerse myself in the coursework and forge strong and lasting relationships with my trainers, fellow students and the Montessori community at large. My training has enriched and strengthened my work with children and also transformed my life; intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. I am honored and humbled to join the Montessori community, and I am so grateful for the support of the MES Scholarship.

-Mary C. Hunt, 2016 MES Recipient

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Beyond the cost of the program, it was daunting to sign up for a whole year without working, but the generous MES grant offered financial support that allowed me to focus on my training. I am graduating with a Masters and an AMI diploma, but more than that this year has changed the way I think about education, about myself, and my role in the world. Taking a year to delve deep into Montessori theory and practice with time to reflect and focus has been an invaluable experience. I feel empowered to embark on my career of working with children with a sense of optimism, with confidence, and with purpose.

-Ariel Lantz, 2016 MES Recipient

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I am immensely grateful for the MES Award because it is significantly lowering the debt I have accrued in student loans for my higher education and Montessori training. Since receiving my generous award, I have gained a sense of financial security. Now I can focus less on the logistics of how to afford to become a Montessori educator, and more on relishing the journey.

-Rachel Murnane, 2016 MES Recipient

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