Real Answers from Real Pilots

Extremely lost on what to do

Hi,

My name is Ethan and i’m 17, and i’m finishing my first semester of my senior year in high school. I’ve been wanting to fly for a very long time now, and actually have flown 3 times with a log book. I’m not fortunate enough to pay for a privates license, so my only option would be finantial aid for a 4 yr degree, and on top of that, ATP, because my end goal is to work for the Majors, and most require or at least prefer 4 yr degrees. I’ve considered joining the Airforce, but that requires you to be an officer, and to join in as an officer, you need to complete officers training program, which also requires a 4 yr degree, or the Airforce academy, although the acceptance rate and GPA requirements are out of my league. Honestly flying for any airline is something I cannot stop thinking about, and the only work I want to do in my life. I’ve been researching ATP and it seems absolutely wonderful, work for a regional and work your way up to a major, which is excellent, but I’m not fortunate enough to somehow pay for college and ATP.

Any input about financial aid or loans or anything really would be great.

Thank you.

Ethan,

The first thing that comes to mind is applying for FASFA and student loans.
Second, I suggest attending a community college for 2 years and
transferring to a 4 year after your Associates. That will save you some
money.

Hopefully you’ll be able to find a way to get yourself through a 4 year, if
not, you can put that off until you’re at a regional and finish your 4 year
degree online. I don’t recommend that route, but it is an option.

As far as ATP, they work primarily with Wells Fargo and Sallie Mae. Most
students receive loans from one of those two to finance their flight
training.

Tory

Ethan,

What grabbed my attention from your post was “GPA requirements are out of my league”. While flying airplanes certainly isn’t rocket science, I can tell you ATP AND airline training programs are considerably more difficult and challenging then any classes I ever took in high school. Also know that the Majors will look at your school records. If you truly want to fly and be successful I recommend you buckle down and focus on your education. Do well in college and get that GPA up. The airlines want well rounded and educated pilots.

Adam

Thanks for the response,

For your second paragraph, you say join a regional, as in apply for loans and go through ATP, and after that, get a degree?

What I mean is, the acceptance rate for the Air Force academy is below 15%, and the people who get accepted have a 4.0 GPA, which I don’t have, but I am working very hard to bring it up as high as I can, I have almost straight A’s this first semester, and I plan on keeping that way for the second. The only thing I struggle in is math, What do I need to know in areas of math to pass any tests or requirements during flight training?

Thanks for your response!

Ethan,

Nothing too complex and nothing that can’t be learned.

Adam

Ethan,

Yes. Since ATP requires a minimum of 2 years of college experience or
equivalent work experience, one option would be to get a 2 year degree,
train at ATP, flight instruct to build time, and then fly for a regional.
Once at the regionals you can finish your 4 year degree online. Again, I
don’t recommend this route because it’s easier to complete the 4 year
degree before flight training since you’re already in “school mode,” but
it’s your call.

Tory

I just spoke with my high school counselor, and she told me that she isn’t partnered with the major college I was looking to dual enroll in that offers a Bachelors for Aviation Science, and recommend me to a near by community college that offers associates degrees? Would you recommend a degree in Aviation? Would it be more cost effective to go this route instead?

Actually, I don’t recommend a degree in Aviation. That won’t save you any
money, and if flying doesn’t work out you’ll have nothing to fall back on.

Tory

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