Advice?

katiekat

New Member
I wasn't really sure where to put this so I decided on here just because it will probably get the most reads.

I am currently a senior in high school with my ppl and about 100TT and I just got accepted to Lewis University in Romeoville, IL for a double major in aviation maintenance and aviation flight and I was also awarded $10,500 a year for academics. I was really excited about going because this was my first, and only, choice of colleges. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to go because I won't be able to afford it without getting some huge loans and with the economy the way it is I would really prefer not to do that. (Without the 10k scholarship the tuition is about 30k a year but that doesn't include flying time so even with the 10k scholarship I'm still going to need to come up with about 30k a year, so about $120k total) I don't want to end up like my older brother who is going to have 100k in loans to pay off by the time he finishes college.
My dad is a selfemployed welding and demolition contractor so usually we do pretty well but for the past few years his business has been going in a pretty steady downward spiral and he's talking about selling everything he has and bailing. My mom works for he insurance and not very much else. They also have terrible credit and I have no credit.

My plans for after college were somewhere along the lines of staying the northeast/New York/New Jersey area and work for a skydiving place either flying or jumping, or both and then possibly get into doing freight but not go much farther than that. I would still like to do that but I'm not exactly sure of the best way to go about doing it anymore (it isn't a big deal if I don't get my A&P. I just figured it would be nice to have). I might be able to get a grant to help get me through my IFR but after that I'm kinda stumped.
Advice?
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
My advice is to look into any and all educational funding opportunities provided by the State of Illinois. Along with looking into the available federal loans, grants, and other programs.

It might take some time, but it can certainly be done. You might come to the conclusion that you won't necessarily spending 120k for your education.

Also if I might suggest thinking of a degree program that is not related to aviation, any other interests that you could pursue? You'll want that degree to be more of a back up career should something occur in your aviation career that puts you out of flying for a living. A simple management degree will satisfy many employers in the aviation sector looking for mid-level managers, they don't necessarily drool over the "aviation management" or flight degrees. They know you have an education in aviation through whatever aviation experience you'll have at such a point.

When do you graduate HS? Next Spring correct?

Will you be living on campus? Would it be possible to live at home and commute for school?
 

katiekat

New Member
I live in CT so commuting is definitely not an option and as for a fall back career, I kind of already have one. Aside from flying I run sound/stage manage at a music venue. My current boss does not pay very well at the moment however, because he is also having some financial difficulties. Most venues pay better, or so I've heard, and my boss should up my pay once things start to pick up. I'm also working on getting into booking shows so even if the venue doesn't pick up anytime soon I can find another one through the contacts I've made.

I almost think it would just be cheaper and possibly less of a headache if I just finish up my ratings using whatever grant money I can manage to rake in. It would definitely be faster.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Oh duh - should have looked at your profile details. Yeah, commuting is certainly out of the question.

While attending a school in CT may no longer provide the 10.5k in scholarship, you may end up coming out significantly cheaper by going to a school locally and being charged in-state tuition costs.

Money tends to dampen a lot of our dreams of attending certain schools.

Perhaps a marketing degree? Really not trying to sway you, but many elders around here will highly recommend getting a degree in an area that is largely disconnected from the aviation industry.
 

jynxyjoe

The Kickin' Chicken!
I'm not sure what to tell you. Firstly, do what surreal (Edit) is saying.

I will say this I think that sorta debt in unacceptable in this economy. If it were me one option I'd consider is to take a look at getting a job at the local airport and wait for college prices to come down after a year and reapply. Who knows, maybe the new administration will help out kids like you and folks like you family. College prices are unsustainable right now in my opinino. Is there a community college near you that will allow you to work and earn college credits for your choice school? If you can knock out the first year at a CC (MAKE SURE YOUR CREDITS WILL X-FER, TOO MANY OF MY FRIENDS GOT SWINDLED) you'll save a boatload and not have to live on campus first year.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
College costs have never decreased over the past 40 years though jynxyjoe. Waiting for them to "decrease" will only give the person the opportunity to never attend an institution of higher education. ;)
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
honestly, id hold off a year and see if Mr Obama can implement his plan of guaranteeing funding for education in exchange for public service.

hell, id like to see it be even retroactive...id gladly do some public service to reduce my student loan debt!!
 

jynxyjoe

The Kickin' Chicken!
Hehe, for some reason I thought you were jtrain. Oops.

I still think college tuition will come down. With that said, a year from now I can look like an idiot.

but how would that be different from any other day :)
 

jynxyjoe

The Kickin' Chicken!
College costs have never decreased over the past 40 years though jynxyjoe. Waiting for them to "decrease" will only give the person the opportunity to never attend an institution of higher education. ;)
Wait for a year from going to IL and do a CC. If i'm wrong a year later at least you'll only pay for 3 years not 4
 

JoelT

Well-Known Member
Some folks my shoot me for saying this and I can't believe I am going to even suggest it. But, if your goals are flying freight and skydivers then college is completely unnecessary. If you don't want to go to the big iron jobs then you could just go to a tech school for your A&P and get the rest of your ratings on the side. That would probably be way cheaper.

However, I do recommend going to college. After five years of school I didn't want to leave. Some of the most fun I have ever had was at Auburn.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
Some folks my shoot me for saying this and I can't believe I am going to even suggest it. But, if your goals are flying freight and skydivers then college is completely unnecessary. If you don't want to go to the big iron jobs then you could just go to a tech school for your A&P and get the rest of your ratings on the side. That would probably be way cheaper.

However, I do recommend going to college. After five years of school I didn't want to leave. Some of the most fun I have ever had was at Auburn.
the guy i am flying with right now doesnt have a college degree, loves his job, and has no desire to ever fly airline.

a couple other pilots at our company also started by tech schooling/apprenticing their A&P then getting free flight training out of the company they turned wrenches at!

there are many ways of getting to the pilot seat.

CC is a good and VERY affordable way to knock out some college basics if you want... i certainly would not go to a University right now, since Mr Obama has made BIG PROMISES for education and making education accessible to anyone wishing to go.

id wait and see what he can do for us.

(sidenote: the pilot im flying with DOES miss that he never had the "college experience")
 

KLB

Well-Known Member
Were you awarded the 10500 bucks through FAFSA? If not, make sure you start talking to your college financial aid department about it.

Heres a link http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

If you are applying for FAFSA, remember to apply as early as possible because it's first come first serve.


I'd also look into finding a cheaper institution. Try to find something in state if possible. Those out of state fees is whats going to get you. I graduated from college in 2004 and I'm paying off 60,000 grand . And thats for my degree plus flight training. Be sure to look into scholarships. I visited my college alumni foundation once just to stick my head in to say hello one day and all of a sudden they began sending me information and awarding me scholarships that I didn't even apply for.

There are many other things you could do. Student work study, Residence Assistant for student housing, or even get a part time job.

I'll continue to contribute to this post as I remember more. It feels like I graduated a long time ago. :)
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
I would recommend going in state. UConn isn't too bad of a school and is *relatively* cheap. Find something that interests you and get a degree in that. In the meantime keep plugging away at your ratings locally and by the time you graduate you probably will be competitive to fly freight or at least work a DZ operation. Something to keep in mind down the road too... there is a great VFR part 135 operation over to Block Island when you have the time.
 

jynxyjoe

The Kickin' Chicken!
God I love block island.

Used to take the ex-girlfriend down there for picnics on the beach. $5 cab ride round trip.
 

TallFlyer

Well-Known Member
I think getting an A&P is a great idea. It's the route my Dad wishes I would've taken initially but I was too darned impatient to do that. If you could swing the finances the University of Alaska @ Fairbanks has a one year A&P program. Classes are 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for one year then you're eligible to sit for the A&P exams. You could then use your skills to finance the rest of your aviation and college education. I'm flying with an A&P who's doing that exact same route.

Also, if there's some way your Dad could help you obtain some type of welding certification that's a pretty in demand skill as well I would think.
 

katiekat

New Member
I think getting an A&P is a great idea. It's the route my Dad wishes I would've taken initially but I was too darned impatient to do that. If you could swing the finances the University of Alaska @ Fairbanks has a one year A&P program. Classes are 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for one year then you're eligible to sit for the A&P exams. You could then use your skills to finance the rest of your aviation and college education. I'm flying with an A&P who's doing that exact same route.

Also, if there's some way your Dad could help you obtain some type of welding certification that's a pretty in demand skill as well I would think.

Do you know what the price is for that program? I've been looking around on the website and I can't seem to find a set price or even a ballpark estimate.
 

GUNIT

Well-Known Member
Go to UConn and fly on the side. See some really great basketball. Have fun.

UConn in state tuition is: ~18,842/yr

You can also apply for their merit scholarships. The Academic Excellence scholarship is half tuition. You must have graduated in the top 10% of your class, received a 3.5GPA or higher AND have a combined score of 1350 on your SAT verbal and math portion.

Or you could go to a regional campus and pay ~7G's/year

At UConn's main campus you're right down the road from the airport at Windham (IJD?)
 

TallFlyer

Well-Known Member
Do you know what the price is for that program? I've been looking around on the website and I can't seem to find a set price or even a ballpark estimate.
I have no idea, although I'm sure an admissions counselor would love to tell you in volumous detail.
 

skydog

New Member
Do you have any relatives in Illinois? If so, perhaps you can establish in-state residency and save some $ on tuition.

Put off flying and get a degree and a mechanic certificate. This will give you good, marketable job skills that will allow you to get started in aviation. I have heard that a trained aviation mechanic is highly sought after outside the aviation world, because of the wide range of knowledge an aviation mechanic has (electrical, hydraulics, wiring, structures, fabricating, etc). I have heard of mechanics getting hired with physical plant departments and even amusement parks. Something to look into.

If you do go into aviation mechanics, you will be in a good position to make a jump into flying later. You will be able to maintain your own airplane, if you decide to buy one. You can also do things like barter your skills with flying clubs and private aircraft owners in exchange for flight time. You could even get a full time job outside of aviation, and work weekends as a mechanic somewhere, for extra money or flight time.

You might also want to look into other universities. Southern Illinois University has a good maintenace program, and is probably a lot cheaper than Lewis. At the end of the day what counts is that you get your certificate and your degree. Once those are in hand, it really doesn't matter where you got them.
 
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