Aviation Scholarships

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Where to Find Aviation Scholarships

Do you need financial help to make a dream of being a pilot or working in the aviation industry come true? Aviation scholarships and other college scholarships cover many areas not limited to pilot training.

Some scholarships may help finance a degree leading to an aviation profession. For instance, plane maintenance, airport management and avionics to list a few.

Others may help offset costs of getting a pilot license. Or of pursuing a specific certification. One example is the William M. Fanning Maintenance Scholarship. It is a $2,500 award from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

Who are Aviation Scholarships for?

If the grantor is an organization, you may need to be a current member. However, you may need to show that you are a working professional in business aviation. This includes pilots, maintenance professionals, schedulers, dispatchers, flight attendants and flight technicians.

Also, there are a wide range of scholarships for high school and college students. There are degrees in areas such as:

  • Aviation maintenance
  • Aeronautical science
  • Aerospace engineering
  • Air traffic management
  • Aviation business administration

If this is your goal, expect to furnish grades. Additionally, eligibility may depend on financial need and how well you express your goals in an essay.

Is There Any Scholarship for Pilot Training?

The AOPA is one source for private pilot training scholarships. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association pilot scholarships may offset costs of training.

To stand out as a candidate, you need to show how you merit the award. Aviation focused leadership activities and volunteering since freshman year may help.

Flight School Scholarships

One source for aviation scholarships are colleges with flight schools. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifies many civilian flight schools.

Some are small fixed base operators (FBO). Others are universities with aviation science programs. In addition, there are colleges and universities that offer pilot training. These may be part of a 2- or 4-year aviation degree.

One example is Western Michigan University. They have a large college of aviation. Students here can pursue a bachelor’s degree in aviation flight science and other areas. The Alan H. Conklin Business Aviation Management Scholarship is one to apply for.

Another is available at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The Lawrence Ginocchio Scholarship offers five awards each year. Recipients get $4,500 to help pay for their education. Applicants usually need to submit grades, references and an essay.

Women in Aviation Scholarships

For instance, Women in Aviation International is a major provider of scholarships. These awards are for both men and women in aviation. In 2019, they awarded $875,500 to 156 recipients. They offer flight training scholarships and others that fund a college degree.

In addition, another helpful resource for women is the 99’s. An international association of pilots, they offer several scholarships too. These cover

  • Initial flight training
  • Type rating
  • Academic scholarship
  • Technical training
  • Emergency maneuver training

Also, the 99s offers a research grant and a New Pilot award. You’ll need a recommendation from a chapter to apply.

Why are Aviation Scholarships a Popular Choice?

Aviation scholarships are a popular choice for aspiring pilots. If your goal is to become an airline pilot, you usually need a bachelor’s degree in any subject. Along with the degree, you need a commercial pilot’s license and an ATP certificate from the FAA.

Grants and scholarships are one way to offset costs of tuition, books and flying expenses. The average in-state cost of attending aviation school is $5,861. If you plan to attend an out of state school, the average tuition is $28,746.

This can seem steep and out of reach given the competition for jobs. However, pilots retire every year, growth in the industry is on a slow climb. There should be about 4% more jobs on the market by 2026.

In any case, those who do secure jobs may find they pay well. Lastly, check the average annual salary for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers was $140,340.

Can You Get a Pell Grant for Flight School?

Federal funding may or may not be available for flight school. To receive a Federal Pell Grant, you must attend an accredited school.

Colleges with regional or national accreditation take part in federal aid programs. Furthermore, if you attend a pilot training program at an accredited flight school, you may be eligible for the Pell Grant.

If this is the case, then you should start by filling out a FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid figures out how much money you are eligible to get.

In contrast, you do not have to pay this money back. However, you need to abide by the terms.

For students attending an unaccredited flight school, private scholarships and loans are options.

List of Aviation Scholarships

Check out our list of aviation scholarships below. We have 124 awards worth $1M.

Air Line Pilots Association Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. or Canadian undergraduate students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students must be the dependent of a medically retired, long-term disabled, or deceased ALPA member. Incoming freshmen should submit the application after the 1st semester of that senior year.

Total: $12000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 01, 2021

Dottie Sanders Memorial Scholarship

Females who are residents of San Diego, Riverside or Imperial County in California and members of the Southwest Section of Ninety-Nines (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Utah, Nevada) are eligible for this award. Students must be pursuing a private pilot or advanced certificate or rating are eligible for this award.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: June 30, 2021

UAA Janice K. Barden Aviation Scholarship

This award is for students majoring in aviation who are entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year in college. The student must have a 3.0 grade point average or higher to be eligible.

Total: $5000

Awards: 5

Deadline: January 10

Reno High Sierra Chapter Ninety-Nines Private Pilot License Scholarship

Female student pilots who have flown solo by the application deadline are eligible to apply for this award.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: March 14

Reno High Sierra Chapter Ninety-Nines Advanced Rating Scholarship

U.S. female pilots seeking advanced rating are eligible for this award. Students must reside within 99 nautical miles of Reno Tahoe International Airport.

Total: $3000

Awards: 1

Deadline: March 14

National Aviation Explorer Scholarships

The National Aviation Exploring Committee supports projects designed to help young people pursue careers in aviation. Scholarships between $5,000 and $10,000 are awarded annually. These awards recognize excellence in Aviation Explorers studying the skills and technology needed in the field of aviation.

Total: $10000

Awards: 5

Deadline: March 31

Tom Taylor Memorial Scholarship to Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

This scholarship is available for international and U.S. high school seniors who desire to pursue an associate’s degree in applied science or a diploma in aviation maintenance technology at NEC Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Students must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.

Total: $35000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 01

You Can Fly High School Flight Training Scholarship

The AOPA Foundation offers flight training scholarships. These scholarships help student pilots to succeed and ease the financial burden of flight training. This scholarship program is a part of the AOPA You Can Fly program, a collection of initiatives that aim to build a larger, more vibrant pilot community.

Total: $10000

Awards: 80

Deadline: April 02

Teacher Flight Training Scholarship

Up to 20 teachers will be awarded scholarships of $10,000 each to pursue a primary pilot certificate such as a private, sport or recreational pilot certificate. The Teacher Flight Training Scholarship is provided by AOPA and awarded to flight instructors who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Total: $10000

Awards: 20

Deadline: April 02

EAA Young Eagles Scholarship

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagles?helps those who are interested in pursuing flight or a career in aviation or aviation related/STEM fields. ?EAA strives to provide scholarships that have a minimum award of $5,000. A wide range of scholarships are funded through the EAA.

Total: $30000

Awards: 6

Deadline: November 01

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