Is Private School Really an Option?
Private schooling has the reputation of being only for the financially well-to-do, but in Memphis, there are a lot of schools offering the kind of assistance that can put a private education within reach of any family, so don’t count it out if you don’t have a lot of change to spare. Even mid- to upper-income families may qualify for some amount of financial aid. Many schools determine eligibility for financial aid using an outside service, which takes into consideration things like the family’s income, expenses, assets and liabilities, and how many of the family’s children attend schools that charge tuition.
A lot of local private schools offer financial aid, but the schools below exist mainly to serve students from lower-income households, and provide a lot of financial help to families who qualify:
Binghampton Christian Academy
Binghampton Christian Academy mainly serves children in the Binghampton area of Memphis. Tuition is minimal.
- Age Range: Kindergarten – 8th grade
- Location: 175 North Tillman Street (38111)
Brinkley Heights Urban Academy
Brinkley Heights Urban Academy is a private Christian School for at-risk, inner-city children. Preference is given to children living in the Brinkley Heights neighborhood, and each year, 80% of students must qualify as low-income.
- Age Range: PreK4 – 11th grades
- Location: 3275 Rosamond Avenue (38122)
Collegiate School of Memphis
Collegiate School of Memphis is an urban, college-prep middle and high school for students who normally would be unable to afford a private education. Tuition is on a sliding scale based on the family’s size and income.
- Age Range: 6th – 12th grades
- Location: 3353 Faxon Avenue (38122)
The Jubilee Schools
The Jubilee Schools are a group of eight Catholic schools located in urban areas of Memphis. Although the schools themselves are Catholic, most students attending them are not. Tuition is on a sliding scale based on a family’s income, and every child receives financial assistance. Starting with the 2015-2016 school year, most Jubilee Schools are now operating on a 200-day, year-round schedule.
- Age Range: PreK3 – 12th grade (depending on school)
- Location: Eight campuses throughout Memphis
Memphis Catholic High School
Memphis Catholic High School is also a Jubilee School, but merits a special mention not only because it is the only high school in the Jubilee network, but also because it provides significant financial help through its “Education That Works” program for high school students. 9th-12th graders participate in corporate internships that provide both valuable work experience and tuition assistance.
- Age Range: 9th – 12th grades (for “Education That Works” program, but school also offers 7th-8th grades)
- Location: 61 N. McLean Boulevard (38104)
New Hope Christian Academy
New Hope Christian Academy is a school in Frayser, which offers tuition based on a family’s household income. New Hope typically only accepts applications for incoming junior and senior kindergarten students, though sometimes may consider new 1st or 2nd graders if there is space.
- Age Range: PreK3 – 6th grade
- Location: 3000 University (38127)
St. George’s Memphis
St. George’s Memphis is the urban campus of the school that started in Germantown and now includes the Memphis and Germantown elementary campuses and a middle and high school in Collierville. The school provides substantial scholarship assistance to Memphis-campus families who qualify.
- Age Range: PreK3 – 5th grade, but graduates often continue on at the Collierville campus, with financial assistance and transportation provided
- Location: 3749 Kimball Avenue (38111)
Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust (MOST)
MOST is not a school, but is a non-profit offering partial scholarships (max of $2,100 for grades PreK-8 and $2,300 for grades 9-12) to help children from low-income families attend private or parochial schools. MOST scholarships can be used at almost any private school in the Memphis area, can be combined with other financial aid, and can be transferred from one school to another if parents decide to move their child. The MOST application period is typically in February.
- Age Range: Serves PreK3 – 12th grade, but entrance to the program is limited to preschool through 1st grade (with some exceptions for special needs students)
- Location: Memphis and Shelby County