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
GA | Springmont Montessori School
MA | eBridge Montessori School
MO | Casa Dia Montessori & The Centre at Conway
MO | Chesterfield Montessori School
NJ | Mastro Montessori Academy
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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“I am beyond grateful for the support from the MES fund. Not only did I feel confident to pursue the AMI training, but I felt a sense of financial security as I graduated. The work of Montessori education is not a job but a vocation. Thanks to the financial aid fund in honor of Margaret Elizabeth Stephenson, I can live in the joy of this vocation, which promotes a better life for the children and all of humanity!”

-Brea Blaylock, 2017 MES Recipient

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“Receiving the Margaret Elizabeth Stephenson Fund has been incredibly impactful in many ways. The scholarship has undoubtedly affected the affordability of tuition, tools, and supplies needed for training. I am also influenced by the empathy, love, and compassion for one another, as well as, the generosity of gifts and talents cultivated within this culture and legacy of Dr. Montessori and Mrs. Margaret Stephenson. Thank you for considering the financial burdens facing upcoming Montessori teachers like myself, I am profusely appreciative.”

-Deborah Clarke, 2017 MES Recipient

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“I am deeply grateful to all who make the MES award possible.  The summer training option and this award are the reasons I was able to embark on the journey of becoming an AMI, elementary-trained teacher.  I have three young children and a supportive husband.  It is not easy to be away from them; it is a sacrifice.  This award has helped me persevere.  My heart sings out in gratitude.  Thank you!”

-Puqui Rojas, 2017 MES Recipient

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“I received the news that I was awarded the MES Scholarship Fund the morning of my first day at MISD and it brought me to tears instantly. I felt so humbled and blessed to receive this gift, which for me represents the chance to pursue my passion and make my dreams come true and solidified to me that this is exactly where I am meant to be. Without the MES Fund, I can say quite confidently that I would not have been able to carry out my dreams and further my education with AMI Training.”

-Carilyn Schneider-Race, 2017 MES Recipient

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“I am extremely grateful to Margaret Elizabeth Stephenson for creating this scholarship as well as to the board for awarding me a scholarship. This past year has been one of the most challenging years of my life; but it has also been one of the most rewarding years. I have created life-long friendships, revolutionized my manner of thinking, and became a part of a community of amazing, dedicated individuals. I owe it all to the MES fund and those who continue to carry on the work of Margaret Elizabeth Stephenson. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”

-Emily Witte, 2017 MES Recipient

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