Being a Pilot and College Admissions

amd87

Well-Known Member
I am getting to the age finally where I am planning to begin attending a local flight school to get my Private. The question I have is: what influence, if any, would having a PPL have on college admissions? Would a college look at someone who has accomplished something like this with a lot of respect, and thus give them a better chance of going to their college?

Thanks!!!
Maybe this will break the ice as far as me being a lurker for such a long time!
 

stuckingfk

Well-Known Member
From my experience, admissions is all on grades and SAT/ACT scores. Having your PPL can't hurt, but I would concentrate on your grades and other school activities.
 

CRoper

Well-Known Member
I agree...It's never going to hurt, but I don't really see it helping you get into a college.
 

zmiller

New Member
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From my experience, admissions is all on grades and SAT/ACT scores. Having your PPL can't hurt, but I would concentrate on your grades and other school activities.

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I agree...It's never going to hurt, but I don't really see it helping you get into a college.

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I disagree. Depending on the school, being a pilot could be quite an asset. At larger universities, standardized testing and GPA play a more important role due to the difficulties of screening thousands of applicants. But at most smaller schools (and many larger schools as well), diversity of the student body starts to play a huge role. This doesn't just mean ethnic and economic diversity, but having a wide range of interests as well.

Look at it this way: you and another applicant both have SAT's and grades that are about average for the incoming class for a certain school. In his/her spare time, they played basketball and trumpet in the school band, while you went out to the airport and flew. You immediately become the more interesting applicant if you are dedicated to a slightly unusual interest instead of the standard cookie-cutter high school activities.

I'll tell you this: the school I recently graduated from (and many others, as well) has a tradition where the dean of admissions speaks to the freshman and their parents during orientation and lists how amazing the incoming class is--including specific activities individual students did (without naming the student). He would love nothing more than to be able to say that there was a pilot among them.

It WILL NOT make up for mediocre grades or complete lack of other extracurriculars, but it will help distinguish you from a potentially boring applicant pool.

-Zach
 

Mike Lewis

Shadow Administrator
Staff member
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I am getting to the age finally where I am planning to begin attending a local flight school to get my Private. The question I have is: what influence, if any, would having a PPL have on college admissions? Would a college look at someone who has accomplished something like this with a lot of respect, and thus give them a better chance of going to their college?

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It helps with the service academies. And I think it would help with an ROTC scholarship if you have considered taking that path.

Otherwise, it couldn't hurt. And if you ever had to write an essay or interview, I would use it as an example of ambition, initiative, and leadership.
 
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