Flight training financing
Whether you're wanting to just get a Private Pilot Certificate for your own pleasure, or you're wanting to go further and work towards a job with one of the airlines, one thing remains the same - someone has to pay the bill! If you have a good job you may be able to pay for your flight training yourself, though, if you ARE working, this cuts down the available time you can train.
Often, receiving assistance in the form of a scholarship, grant, or loan (or a combination) will allow you to complete your flight training in a timely manner. Especially in early flight training, it is very beneficial for students to training "regularly and often". With flight training being unlike anything else, the tendency, if lessons are too far apart, is to forget what you learned last lesson. In this case you end up repeating the same training again and again. This not only delays your progress towards your certificate, but costs more money than it should. We recommend at least 3 sessions per week, preferably 4 or 5, to maximize your learning and retention, and minimize loss of knowledge.
Flight training scholarships and grants
There are many scholarship programs and private grants are available to prospective pilots. When considering financing your flight training you should look at as many avenues as you can - both grants and scholarships, as well as tradition loans.
The criteria/requirements vary so it is important you thoroughly read all related material to ensure you qualify before spending time applying. In addition, the amounts given vary, so some may only provide part of your flight training costs, requiring you to look elsewhere for the balance. Again, read all the information you can.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- University of North Dakota John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences Aviation Scholarships
- University Aviation Association (UAA) Aviation Scholarship Guide
- Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Flight Training Scholarship Program
- Experimental Aircraft Association Scholarships
- National Air Transportation Foundation Scholarships
- National Business Aviation Association Scholarships
- The Ninety-Nines Section and Chapter Scholarships
- The Ninety-Nines Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships & Awards
- AeroClub of New England's Scholarship Program
- Aircraft Electronics Association Scholarships
- Astronaut Scholarship Foundation
- Boeing Scholarships
- Girls With Wings Scholarship
- LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Scholarship
- National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education (NCASE)
- Women in Aviation International Scholarships
- Whirly-Girls Scholarships
- The Alaska Airmen's Association Scholarships
- Montana Aviation Scholarships
- Minnesota Aviation Trades Association Grants/Scholarships
- The Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship Fund
- Fred Kacena Flight Training Scholarship (Tri-State Area)
- AeroClub of New England (ACONE) Scholarships
- Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) Scholarships
- Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Scholarships
- National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) Scholarships
- Aviation Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ADMA) Scholarships
- Upwind Summer Scholarship Program
- Sennheiser's "Live Your Dream" Scholarships
- Lightspeed Aviation Foundation Scholarships
- Helicentre Aviation's Professional Pilot scholarships
- Idaho Aviation Association scholarships
- Flight training and aviation maintenance scholarships
- NAAA/BASF Agricultural Aviation Scholarship
- The Vicki Cruse Memorial Scholarship
- Greg Koontz Aerobatic Instructor Scholarship
- The Douglas Youst Memorial Aerobatic Scholarship
- Southern California Aviation Association
Loans for Flight Training
Sometimes, your only option is to apply for a loan. Be aware that, generally, loans for flight training are unsecured and, therefore, will attract a higher rate of interest than, say, a house or car loan which have a security instrument (home or car) attached to the loan. So it pays to shop around and see what loan works best for you. Like scholarships and grants, your case may not fulfill every institution's requirements. Your interest rate will also, generally, reflect your credit score - the higher your credit score, normally, the lower your rate.
You may want to learn about some loan terms before embarking on this route. Some of the terms in the linked page may not apply to flight training loans.
Besides looking to your personal bank, credit union or other financial institution, you could also look at taking out a credit card just for your flight training. When applying for a loan, remember this is essentially a student loan. That said, some financial institutions will only give "student loans" to accredited colleges - most flight schools will not qualify under this requirement. In addition to the above ideas, here are some other organizations to look at for student pilot financing:
Student Loan Hero (this lists various loan institutions rather than being a lender themselves)
Fly at Goodyear is not affiliated with any organization mentioned on this page. We do not necessarily endorse any view stated on their websites and/or marketing materials. Every student/applicant should do their due diligence in investigating any institution and their offers before committing to any course of action.