College and Aviation


New Member
I have read the collegiante part of this site multiple times. But I have a few questions. I am a junior in high school right now. I have heard both sides of the story, going to an aviation based college, or going to a state college and pick a different major as well as get your certificates at a local airport. I used to want to go to Embry, but now going to a local college sounds better. How would you go through college and get your ratings at the same time, and what would you have in terms of liscences upon graduation, putting most of your free time into it? Thaks a lot guys, any input would really help! I am in the middle of my coolege search!
Just compare the prices per credit hour at Embry and your state college. I'm guessing your state college will be cheaper. My advice would be to get a nonaviation degree such as business/engineering...that way you have something to fall back on in case the flying thing doesnt work out. If you have the cash you can get your ratings at the local FBO at a very good price and depending on the amount of money you have and free time you can easily obtain up to your CFI during college and start instructing.
There are literally a million ways to go and depends on your own particular situation.
Best of luck and don't be afraid to ask more questions...
While working on your degree you could take lessons at a local flight school. It's all up to much money you have to fly and your availabe time. I've known guys who had their CFI by the third year and instructed part time in college. You could make pretty good money instructing, for a college kid, and have 800 hours when you graduate...more than a typical ERAU grad. You would get your private, instrument, commercial, and CFI in your first two years.
What DE727UPS described is exactly what I'm doing. I came to Western Michigan University for aviation but got out of the program after a little while. I'm flying during the summers and knocking out of my ratings and hopefully by the end of this summer I'll have my CFI done. Now I can instruct part time for my last 2 years of college, make some money and built hours. Pretty good deal if you ask me.


John Herreshoff
I'm going to UT right now and earning my ratings on the side. Assuming you aren't excessively ambitious in the course of study you choose at the university (probably not a good idea to double major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, try to earn your ratings and hold down a job at the same time) you will come out in good shape. You'll have a quality education relating to a subject you can fall back on if for some reason aviation doesn't work out, you'll have ratings that are just as good as the ones they get at ERAU, and you'll probably come out in better financial shape when it's all said and done.

I'm currently in my fourth semester of study and anticipate taking the single engine commercial checkride before summer starts; I had about 30 hours and a student certificate when I started college two years ago.
I will say the one benefit at UND, and I am sure other schools have this kind of setup, but once you are instructor at UND the price for rental significantly. The Warriors here rent for $60 an hour, seminoles for around $118 an hour. Now, most might not want to rent the warrior, but for a seminole with dual Garmin's, I think that is a great rate. And the instructors get free use of all sims, including the Level C CRJ Sim they just got. In June UND is also getting a Spatial Disorientation Sim along with the Altitude Chamber that is already here.

You could look at all this added benefits of a larger flight school when choosing a college, but then again, not everyone gets hired. If you have any more questions, just holla.
Just one thing to add, you can really rack up hours if you play your cards right in college. One guy here had his PPL when he first started college, earned his CFI by his junior year and had close to 2000 hours TT when he graduated. Can't complain about that.
If I were you, I would just major in something other in Aviation as a back up against you can't be a pilot someday. Especially since it doesn't matter what your degree is in anyway. Then you can just take flying lessons over the summer and during breaks from school and be done by the time you graduate.
Thanks a lot guys for all of your help. Anybody in the Austin area, I know that Alchemy is, know of some of the best places to get your ratings? Thanks again guys! You have really helped, and anymore feed back is always welcome.
I chose to go the "non-aviation" major route. I do not recommend going to a community college unless you know your parents will support you for the first two years that you're there (mine dumped out on me after they divorced). So here I am working full time and trying to finish my general ed so I can transfer to a University to finish my Bachelor degree. I am also saving money for SDSU when I transfer. The problem I have is I am 21 and have to pay my mom $400 of rent to live at her house - the same house I've lived in since I came home from the nursery. I'm helping her out sort of financially too because she needs the money since her divorce did not go very well. I might be able to live with my dad (which is what I will consider) because he probably won't charge me anything.

When I transfer to SDSU, I will NOT work full time (I will only do a 15 hour a week job MAX). Do NOT work full time when you go to school. You need to focus on finishing up school and worry about paying off your student loans when you graduate.

Basically don't go to a community college unless you can get help from your parents financially. You will not get student loans for your community college and living expenses while going there because how does the loan company know you're going to pay it back when then are unable to tell if you will transfer to a 4-year or not (to get a good job and pay them back). If you can for sure get help from your parents, and still live at home, DO IT. It will save a lot of money.

Like Braidkid said, there are many ways to go about achieving your educational and flying goals. I too would recommend majoring in something completely unrelated to aviation, simply for reasons of marketability. I, for one, do not wish to loose my standard of living if I’m unlucky enough to get furloughed or loose my medical in the years to come. If you consider the possibility of loosing your job as a pilot, you must be able to attain a job that will continue to support you in the fashion you’ve become accustomed to. To do this, your secondary field must be marketable in todays and tomorrows economy…

Good luck with whatever you choose, and be sure to keep us “posted”!