FBO vs College - I already have a degree!


Beating up the pattern in a Piper.

I have a bachelors degree in Software Engineering from a University in West Michigan. I have always been interested in flying and plan to start my flying at the end of the year! Am looking to get up to CFII rating atleast! However I have a few questions for some of the members on this board!

However I am not sure whether I should go the FBO route or go back to University and get a second degree and doing my flying at a place like SOSU, UND etc. I am strapped for cash and will most likely be taking out more loans to pay for this. Do any universities have a masters program in flight? What is approximate cost for getting a second degree (hopefully gen ed classes and the like are transferred over!). Will it just be cheaper to go to a local FBO and get the ratings done?

Look forward to your thoughts and feedback!




Well-Known Member
Save your cash and go the FBO route. You're just wasting your money and end up taking FAR too long to get your ratings. There is no positive way to make the cost/benefit analysis of the second degree work for you. Pay as you go and avoid the loans altogether. That way if you get half way though your private and decide this isn't for you then you're out only what you've paid instead of what you borrowed.


Well-Known Member
Totally agree with the FBO route. Like the previous poster said, the cost/benefit analysis just doesn't work out. Sure, another degree might help you out somewhere down the road, but a collegiate aviation program will cost you a lot more money after you pay tuition, fees, etc. Cheapest way to get your certificates and ratings will be an FBO, and since you already have a degree, it just doesn't make sense to pay for another one if you're short on cash.


Well-Known Member
IMO, having gone to SOSU, worked there as an instructor, and now instruct at an FBO, I actually find that the more structured environment (SOSU or another college) tends to get students finished faster with their flying (and in-turn for less money), but topping off the flying with tuition windes-up making it more money. If you're already planning on going back to get your Master's, then I'd definately say to go for a college that offers aviation so you may get credit for the flying. I think since you've already got your BS, you may not have to worry about credits transferring (I could be completely wrong on this--but it doesn't make sense that you would have to do them again if you already have your degree).

I think the FBO route may be in your favor. There are dozens of instructors out there that are pretty flexible right now and I'm sure you can get everything done pretty quickly if you schedule at least 3 times per week.

Good luck! Hope my opinion helped at all.