So You Want to Be a Pilot | Aviation Scholarships

The dream of being a pilot is shared by many, but it can be challenging to figure out exactly where to start.  While most people know that training is required, figuring out exactly what kind to get, and how to pay for it, can be confusing.  For those interested in pursuing an education in aviation or aerospace, you may be able to find a number of scholarships to help you on your journey.  If your dream involves finding your flight listed on FlightNetwork, give these scholarships a try.

Aviation Scholarships

AOPA Flight Training Scholarship Program

The AOPA offers a range of scholarship opportunities to those interested in becoming pilots.  Awards vary in size, with some reaching as high as $12,000 for 2016.  In order to qualify, you must be a current member of the organization, but those new to the field can apply using their 6-month free membership time.  You must also be a current certified FAA Student Pilot, and be at least 16 years of age.

The Ninety-Nines (99s), Inc., the International Organization of Women Pilots

The 99s offer scholarships through their primary organization, as well as through individual chapters across the United States.  The group hopes to encourage more women to pursue their dreams of being a pilot by providing financial assistance to those who are pursuing additional flight training.  The requirements for each scholarship may vary between locations, and only female applicants are generally considered, but it can provide a great opportunity to those new to the field, as well as pilots looking to advance their level of training.

Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles

The EAA provides scholarship opportunities to students who are both currently in high school, as well as high school graduates.  Funds can be used toward flight training, Air Academy Camperships, and college, depending on the specific award.

The organization aims to get young people interest in flight and any associated careers in aviation.  Ideal candidates must be well-rounded, and community-oriented, as well as be considered an outstanding student.

Aircraft Electronics Association Educational Foundation

For those interested in pursuing careers in aircraft electronics of aviation maintenance, the Aircraft Electronics Association Educational Foundation offers scholarships that can help get you on your way.  A wide range of awards is available, as well as some institutionally specific scholarships.  In some cases, scholarship awards can cover tuition for an entire year at the selected school, while others are designed to supplement other forms of financial aid.

Airline Pilots Association Scholarship Program

The ALPA offers one scholarship a year to help a select undergraduate student complete a 4-year degree in the field.  While this scholarship does not necessarily have to be used for training in the area of aviation, it is limited to those who are children of pilots.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

Many general academic scholarships can also be applied to the fields of aviation and aerospace.  Additionally, those focuses on applicants interested in pursuing work in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics may also be allowed to direct those awards to their dream of becoming a pilot or working in a supporting field.

Be sure to consider searching for any opportunity that may be applicable.  If you aren’t sure for what a particular scholarship can be used, don’t be afraid to contact the organization and ask.  They will likely be able to point you to guidelines to help you find your answer.