The main reason many people give up on their dreams of becoming a pilot or developing a career in aviation is the fact that an aviation program can be pricey. However, what they may overlook is that there are many aviation scholarships that can help to make those dreams come true.
From general flight training scholarships to more specific aviation scholarships like the ones dedicated to a target group of aviation students, there are plenty of aviation scholarships to choose from and get that needed financial aid.
If you are looking to learn about the aviation scholarships available, we invite you to keep reading and discover the best one for you.
What is an aviation scholarship?
Before we get into the details of aviation scholarships, it is important to have a definition to better understand how they can help students achieve their goals.
An aviation scholarship can be simply defined as a form of financial aid for students to start or further their aviation education, including starting their flight school, flight training, and getting the needed certification to fly.
As we have already mentioned above, there are different types of aviation scholarships, so we are going to describe the most relevant ones here below.
Flight training scholarships
Among the aviation scholarships listed here, the flight training aviation scholarships are perhaps the most common ones because building up the required flight time is usually the most expensive part of aviation education.
Here are some of the most relevant scholarship opportunities available within this group.
Experimental Aircraft Association Flight Training Scholarships
Starting at a minimum of 5,000 US dollars per scholarship, the Experimental Aircraft Association usually grants a total that exceeds the 1 million dollars in aviation scholarships.
Their intention is to help aspiring pilots to attend flight school and get the necessary training. However, this financial aid is not limited to those who are willing to start, the scholarships are also provided those who are already enrolled to a flight school but are finding it difficult to cover the expenses.
In fact, as part of the eligibility requirements, the EAA states that applicants must have all the certifications needed to be eligible for flight training. Another important requirement is that the scholarship must be used within a year from the date it is awarded.
Although the most important aviation scholarships fall within the training group, according to the EAA website, they also offer scholarships for the general aviation field in what they call post-secondary scholarships. These are aimed at helping students who are “attending a post-secondary institution with a focus on aviation, including pilot training, aeronautics engineering, aviation management, airframe and powerplant (A&P) maintenance, and more.”
Another type of aviation scholarship awarded annually by the EAA is the Air Academy Camperships aimed at students aged between 12 and 18 who want to explore the world of aviation at EAA Air Academy camps in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Scholarship applications are now open for training only and until June 1, 2022, at 6:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST). The others are currently closed and will open for the next cycle.
Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships & Awards
A very well-known name among aviation scholarships, the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships and Awards offers a great help for women trying to get the training required to fly.
The beneficiary will receive up to 20,000 US dollars to cover her aviation education. This is for one pilot training course, certificate, rating, or type rating. Some of the examples are instrument rating, multi-engine rating, flight instructor certificate, airline transport pilot certificate, King Air training or Boeing-737 type rating.
Given that these aviation scholarships are awarded by The Ninety Nines Inc., the main requirement is to be a member of it. Other basic requirements include:
Have a specific and realistic goal for advancement in aviation.
Demonstrate a need for financial assistance to progress toward her goal.
Hold all prerequisite certificates or ratings prior to the application deadline.
The application deadline is usually April 15 for Spring awards and October 15 for Fall awards.
Private Pilot Certificate Scholarships
As the name implies, these aviation scholarships are dedicated to helping students get the first certificate required to start their aviation careers.
Here are the most relevant aviation scholarships that fall within this category.
The main goal of this aviation scholarship is to support those students who are committed to completing their training and obtaining the certificate within a year. In fact, this is one of the requirements to become eligible for this scholarship.
Other eligibility requirements include:
Being 18 or older.
Being a US resident.
Owning the corresponding student certificate.
Having already selected the flight school or being already enrolled to one.
Students selected for this aviation scholarship are awarded from 150 to 2,500 US dollars.
The LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Scholarships
Among the aviation scholarships that honor prominent figures of the aviation world, this is one that supports interested and passionate students to get their certificate while honoring the integrity of LeRoy Homer, the First Officer on board United Flight No. 93 on September 11, 2001.
The amount usually varies from one year to the other, and only two aviation lovers are awarded.
The main requirements include:
Being a US citizen or permanent resident.
Being between 16 and 23 years of age at the time of application.
Being enrolled in any aviation education program.
General Aviation Scholarships
A general aviation scholarship is one that supports students in financial need to achieve their aviation goals beyond becoming pilots.
While many of these aviation scholarships offer financial aid that covers training for pilots, they also offer help for those high school seniors planning to have a career in aviation maintenance, aerospace engineering, and any other field associated with the aviation industry.
Here are the most relevant scholarships that fall within this category.
Women in Aviation International Scholarships
To honor its name, the Women in Aviation International Scholarships supports women in the aviation industry in higher education such as engineering, maintenance, dispatch, and more.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for this scholarship:
Being a member of Women in Aviation International.
Submitting two letters of recommendation.
Writing and submitting a 500-word essay.
Submitting a professional resume to support the application.
While the amount of money given may vary, it is important to highlight that the institution dedicated 731,805 US dollars to scholarship beneficiaries in 2021.
Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships & Awards
We have already described this scholarship above, so we will not get into much detail. However, we believed it was important to mention that there are awards given to support students with any aviation-related education.
What is more relevant about this scholarship is that some beneficiaries have been funded with their full college or university education tuition.
Aviation Distributors and Manufacturers Association Scholarships
The Aviation Distributors and Manufacturers Association focuses on supporting the younger generations to be prepared for the future of aviation.
However, only those already enrolled in an accredited college or university will be considered, and applicants must also meet the following criteria:
Being in possession of a high school diploma or equivalent.
Having achieved a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Write and submit a 500-word essay.
Submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation.
Do airlines offer scholarships?
This is a very common question among high school students and young adults interested in developing a career within the industry. And the short answer is yes.
There are many airlines offering scholarships nowadays, and some of them have their own education and development programs. For example, Envoy Air, the company that runs pilot hiring for American Airlines offers Envoy Air’s Future Airline Pilot scholarship to help students pay for flight school with a high probability for the student to secure a job with American Airlines after graduation.
Another good example is United Airlines, which founded the United Aviate Academy in 2020. Through its academy, the airline offers different scholarships, and most of its students end up flying for them.
Finally, it is well known that low-cost carriers’ main goal is to reduce their expenses to become more profitable. So, they have found it useful to train their own pilots, offering young talented people the opportunity through partnerships with a school in their main area of operation.
Some final remarks about aviation scholarships
When it comes to aviation scholarships, applicants must keep in mind there will always be a significant amount of competition to obtain them. And only some of them cover all the expenses you may have while seeking both aviation education and flight preparation.
The good news is that there are more options to further your skills and escalate your career beyond college and university programs. Some of these options come in the form of online education, and you are in the right place.
While not offering preparation for pilots to fly, we offer courses, classes, and other methods of training to develop other aviation skills that might be relevant to you. Take a look at our offer and select the one you believe will help you launch your career.
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A mechanical engineer and aviation enthusiast dedicated to share some knowledge by creating top-notch content, especially in engineering and aviation topics.
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