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.

Aviation Scholarships and Financial Aids

Many students today are increasingly interested in working in an airport. With the air transportation industry constantly growing, aviation becomes a more and more appealing and inspiring profession. Not only that it offers high-paying opportunities, but there’s indeed a wide range of career options to choose from in this field. Whether you want to be a pilot, a flight attendant, a mechanical technician, a flight engineer, or an officer who is responsible in generating aviation industry standards, there is sure to be a great position waiting for you when you a pursue a degree in the field.

However, before you can obtain a position in aviation, you must first complete a required education, which can be very expensive. But don’t worry, as there are a lot of scholarships out there that can help you fund your tuition fees and pursue the aviation career you’re dreaming. And here are some of those:

AeroClub of New England’s Scholarship Programs

ACONE provides several scholarship programs for students who want to pursue a degree in aviation, particularly for pilot, engineering, and aeronautics students. Some of the scholarship programs they offer are Crocker Snow Instrument Scholarship, Anne Bridge Baddour Scholarship, Bonita Connors Memorial Scholarship, and John T. Griffin, Sr. Scholarship. The rewards are varied, from $500 to $5,000 worth of financial aid each.

Aircraft Electronics Association Education Foundation

AEA Education Foundation partners with some of the biggest aviation institutions and companies to provide financial aid for those who seek careers in the aircraft electronics and aviation maintenance industry, as well as to those technicians from companies who are member of the AEA Foundation. They offer several scholarship programs with varying awards, ranging from $1,000 to more than $40,000 worth of financial assistance for each deserving student.

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

ASF supports some deserving students who are taking degrees related in engineering, science, and mathematics. But to be eligible, you must be at least second year college student, have to maintain excellent grades, must be U.S. citizen, must be attending at one of their partner institutions, and have an intention to pursue advanced degrees.

LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation

The Leroy W. Homer Jr. Foundation encourages and supports young adults who want to pursue a career in aviation, specifically as professional pilots. But to be considered for application, you must meet their set requirements first, which include being a U.S. citizen and being at least 16 years of age by the application deadline.

University Aviation Association

UAA provides numerous scholarship awards for students who enrolled or who want to enroll in aviation related curriculum. They also work in partnership with other organizations to support students pursuing degrees related in aviation. Some of the scholarships they offer are Joseph Frasca Excellence in Aviation Scholarship, Paul A. Whelan Aviation and Aerospace Scholarship, AAAE Foundation Scholarship, Chicago Area Business Aviation Association Scholarship, and Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship. The amount awards are varied, ranging from $500 to $7,500 or more, for each of the selected students.

Women in Aviation International

WAI Foundation offers several scholarship programs to help aviation students fund their education. Their aim is to help students advance their careers in the field and ultimately obtain the job they’re dreaming of. Whether you’re a pilot, technician, manager, or a mechanic student, there’s an award available for you. To apply, you must be a member of Women in Aviation Foundation and submit an application, which is downloadable at their website.