Real Answers from Real Pilots

ASU or ATP

Greetings~
I’m a 19 year old whose taking a gap year and looking into different options for becoming an airline pilot. I’ve been accepted into Arizona State University’s professional flight program to start in the fall 2017. I was wondering what their connection with ATP is. I’m paying for my college education myself, so I would like to find the most affordable route to becoming a commercial pilot.
Thanks!

Emily,

ATP contracts to provide flight training on behalf of ASU. If you enroll in ASU and do your flight training there you will be flying in ATP airplanes with ATP instructors, but you will not be enrolled in ATP per se as you are technically an ASU student.

I personally think that the most affordable route is to do two years at a community college, transfer to a full college for your last two years and then go to ATP for your flight training. I would suggest a major in something other than aviation as it gives you something to fall back on should flying not work out for whatever reason.

All of that being said, going the ASU route is another excellent path that you could take and one that many before you have.

Chris

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Thanks for getting back to me Chris!
So as far as the tuition reimbursement goes, is it full and does it apply
for me if I’m enrolled at ASU? If so, would I find out the details on the
specifics my junior year or after graduation?
Thanks!

Emily,

The Tuition Reimbursement is not full, it covers a portion on your training (at least $11,000 depending on the Regional https://atpflightschool.com/airline-career-pilot-program/tuition-reimbursement.html ). It’s intended to help offset the your loan payments while you’re working as a flight instructor. I do not believe it applies to ASU but you’d have to speak to them directly. As Chris said, while ATP does the flight training, ASU’s program is separate from ATPs.

Adam

Emily - If you are an ASU graduate and working as an instructor at ATP you are eligible to enroll in the Tuition Reimbursement program. The interview window is between 300 and 500 hours total time.

Well there you go! Thank you Danielle :slight_smile:

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Thank you!

So flash forward to graduation and working as an instructor at ATP, will I be able to get by just working at ATP or will I need to get a second job on top of that to be paying for rent, food, car expenses, a large loan of $90,000etc? I just need some reassurance that getting out a loan this large for ASU or ATP will easily be paid off in a some what timely manner.

also, keeping in mind that if I choose the ASU route, I’m looking at a $142,000 dollar loan…

Emily,

I think YOU need to keep in mind you’re looking at a $142,000 loan. Again that is the point of the Tuition Reimbursement. To HELP keep you afloat during the time you’re instructing. There was no such program when I did my training so I deferred my loan payments until I got hired by a Regional. From what I’ve heard with ATP’s salary and the reimbursement you “should” be fine, but know there are no guarantees (or assurances) as only you know what your expenses are (Yarden is a recent grad who’s often said he had no issues making payments while instructing). Keep in mind if you’re instructing for ATP there is no second job. You’re required to be available Mon-Fri fulltime to instruct. Many instructors work weekends to build time faster not to mention help their students “catch up” if the weather’s been bad or they need some extra help. Students are doing this everyday but you need to know in the beginning there will be some sacrifice and lean times. There’s a reason that all the airport vending machines sell Ramen.

Adam

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That’s all great information. Thank you Adam!

Emily,

Also remember that through the ASU program, you will only become an instructor towards the end of your degree. This means that you will need to find some other means of income for a good 2.5-3 years at least while you are still in flight training. ASU students typically finish the program with around 300-400hrs logged. This means another 600-700hrs to build once you are done, and that can mean another year or more.

On the other hand, you can get through the career pilot program in 9 months, start instructing and making money, and then start online college while instructing. This is what I am doing right now (started back when I was still with ATP), and I find it very convenient (self paced, I can take as many or as little classes as I want) and affordable (I am also paying out of pocket as I go). The only thing that it is lacking is the college atmosphere, but I can deal with that…

Yarden