Follow Your Flying Dream

You dream of becoming a pilot and flying into the clouds.  You know that learning to fly is going to be challenging and will take a good amount of time and effort.  In addition, learning to fly is going to be expensive.

Attending a flight school costs money.  The schools are staffed by highly trained and skilled instructors who are also pilots.  In addition to hours of classroom work a student will need 40-50 hours of actual flight time and this involves one on one time with the instructor.  The flight school is supplying the plan for you to fly and that must be maintained in top shape by a mechanic.  You can see that all this training and equipment is expensive and so the flight school needs to charge accordingly.

If you really want to learn to be a pilot there is financial assistance available.  Just as financial assistance is available for any other form of education it is available to you if you know where to find it.

To achieve your flying dream it may be necessary to take out a student loan.  You can look for colleges that offer a full degree in flying and aviation. As part of that curriculum these colleges sometimes offer a fully funded flight school.  If you enroll in an accredited college or university, the scholarship and federal student loan program through FAFSA is there to help.  Once you are approved by FAFSA, the government will most likely guarantee any student loan you need.  Then the banks and credit unions will welcome you with open arms when you come for a student loan. There may be existing federal programs like the Pell Grant or the Stafford or Perkins loan programs that will be able to help you get the money you need for flight school.    If you can go to work for the school or have parents who work for the school, you may be able to get free tuition or some funding from the school.

Another resource which often goes untapped are grants from organizations or companies that benefit from a supply of good pilots.  Check with your nearest airport to see which organizations have grants for students who need help with flight school.  For deserving students there are sometimes scholarships available  from pilot fraternal organizations or other organizations like the Boy Scouts, the Lions Club or the Shriners.  If you are a member of any of these groups, or your have a relative who is a member or alumni, check out any grants they might have first before you contact strangers.

If you are working for a school that is training pilots, talk with the management about any grants or student loans you may qualify for.  The school can be a great resource in finding the funding you need.

Before you start looking for financial assistance for flight school be sure you have your financial documentation in order.  You need to have your tax documents, bank records, pay stubs and anything else that documents your financial status and can be used to show your need for financial assistance.

You may be surprised at the amount of financial aid available to help you follow your dream.  Even if you must go into debt and take a student loan to attend flight school, don’t despair.   Once you have your pilot’s license you will be making good money and will be able to repay your loan.