Students entering our seventh grade in the fall of 2016 represent 14 public and independent schools. The schools with the most alumni in our seventh grade for 2016-17 are Presbyterian Day School, Schilling Farms Middle School, Grace-St. Luke's School, Christ Methodist Day School, Houston Middle School, and White Station Middle School. There are 15 different schools represented by entering ninth graders. Overall, 33 schools are represented by students entering in the fall of 2016.
Our students do not wear uniforms, but they are expected to be presentable and appropriately dressed throughout the school day. This means that dress slacks with a belt or suspenders are required; shoes must be in good repair (no athletic shoes or sandals); socks must be worn that completely cover the ankle bone; and collared shirts are required with tucked in shirttails at all times. Students are required to wear a sport coat, dress shirt, and tie on Fridays. Hair must be neatly and appropriately groomed so that it stays out of the eyes, above the mid-point of the ear, and above the collar in the back. Sideburns may not extend below the earlobe. No facial hair is allowed.
Faculty pride themselves on the individual attention given to students in the classroom. They typically have three periods free from teaching during the day if students want to arrange individual appointments. Upper School student peer tutors are available to assist students. Additionally, MUS possesses an outstanding, proactive counseling department where students can find experienced counselors to address academic and emotional concerns. Programs include academic monitoring by counselors, faculty advising, semester-exam study sessions, standardized-test preparation, and student mentoring.
Annual tuition for every grade is $20,650 for the 2017-18 academic year. Fees, books, and optional insurance plans are not included in tuition. Tuition covers only 80 percent of the school's operating costs, with the balance being met by gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations, and endowments. This equates to a 20 percent tuition subsidy for all students attending MUS. Thirty percent of the student body receives some need-based financial assistance, totaling about $2.475 million. All financial aid at MUS is need-based.
Recent graduates attend a wide variety of schools, including Princeton University, Harvard University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, New York University, Notre Dame University, University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Michigan, and United States Naval Academy.
The Class of 2016 was accepted to 112 different schools in 32 different states, as well as Washington, DC. Colleges and universities offered the Class of 2016 more than $12 million in scholarships based on academics, athletics, and/or leadership. This amount does not include need-based financial aid.
A full-time director and associate director of College Counseling assist families as they traverse the college application process. We firmly believe that college preparation commences when a student matriculates to Memphis University School. This focus results in 100 percent of our students matriculating to four-year colleges.
A high percentage (about 80 percent) of students participate on an athletic team as either an athlete or manager, and there is a physical education requirement for all students. We offer 14 interscholastic sports in Upper School and 12 for Lower School. For seven athletic teams there is a no-cut policy, meaning they are open to all students regardless of ability. These sports are cross country, fencing, Lower School football, swimming, track, trapshooting, and wrestling. Other teams require coach approval for participation. There is no requirement to join an athletic team.
We take educating our students on the dangers of illegal substances very seriously. We provide student programs appropriate for each grade level, focusing on refusal skills and responsible decision-making. These programs include Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) and Alive at 25. Our student-led Heartbeat organization promotes a lifestyle for students free of drug and alcohol use. Upper School students who pledge to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco meet with seventh graders four times a year, encouraging them to avoid using these substances during the critical teen years. Since research indicates that parents have the greatest influence on a boy's decision regarding drug and alcohol use, we distribute the Community of Concern booklet to educate all our parents. In conjunction with the Parents' Association, we promote the Safe Home Program to encourage communication between parents in providing a substance-free environment. Our goal at MUS is to change the societal culture that accepts drug use and underage drinking, but we cannot do it without the leadership and involvement of parents.
The instruction and use of technology is integrated with academic learning and practically applied. Computers are readily accessible to students through multiple labs in our Lower School, Upper School, and library. Additionally, a large selection of equipment is available for student use. If students prefer to bring their own laptops from home, we will connect them to our wireless Internet system. We do not require families to go to the expense of purchasing a laptop.
An applicant's legacy status is considered and may factor into the Admission Committee's decision. Sons, grandsons, brothers, and nephews of alumni are considered legacies. Regardless of legacy status, all applicants must be deemed academically capable of handling coursework at MUS before being admitted.