Florida Institute of Technology visit


New Member
Well, here is some of what we found at FIT when we took our soon for a visit: The day before our "official" tour of the campus, we went over to the school and nosed around a bit. Met two students, both aviation management majors. Both were very positive and both had already attained PPL. One, who had 25 hours when he got there has his PPL now, 85 hours total and is working on his next step. The other has 60 hours total and is also working on his instrument. Both liked the program, although they said that Aeron. Science with flight is very tough and that is why most are in aviation management program. Also spoke with female computer engineering major and she liked the fellowship of techies, too. New Freshmen arrive a week early and go through a intro. to the school, which they found very helpful. Dorms are fine, food is good, freshmen can have cars and parking spaces--which really helps for flight students as the the FIT school is at Melbourne Airport, about two miles away. Students who don't have cars, and can't find someone to take them out to the Airport use a taxi service arranged by the school. The only downside is that sometimes they will wait for a few students rather than make multiple trips.

The next day we took the tour and met with a counselor. Counselor was very honest about the pluses and minuses of the school. Our son is a swimmer and they don't have a pool. Told us they are going to try to build one, but that they won't have a swim team because so few division II schools in Florida have teams. Liked her honesty. There will never be tons of women at the school (more on that subject). Total cost for freshman flight student is about 31K. Most students receive between 4 and 12k financial aid, based on test scores. School is not interested in lowering standards but raising them. The tour guide was a A/E senior. Visited a dorm--pretty bleak to us, although the student in the room said it was fine. All rooms are non-smoking, showers down the hall for most. There is a large contingent of foreign students--about 27%, and many keep to themselves, although some want to learn about our culture. School is very non-political, tech is the language spoken here. There is a greek system--about 15% of students are involved. No separate houses, they just organize the social stuff and do charity work. Boy/girl ratio is 70/30 and the guide said it feels like 95/5. Counselor was honest about the situation--girls are just not into engineering, etc. to the extent that the situation will change. Visited a dining hall, and the food looked pretty good. Every student has a room on campus if they want it. The school is trying to build two more dorms for increased enrollment, and if they can't get it through because of fights with city, the school will probably be forced to go to a lottery for upperclassmen. Counselor said that FIT takes only about 90 new flight students each year, because PPL takes the most time and they want the students to stay on track for their licenses. Many of the buildings are new, great engineering and A/E building and brand new student center with complete workout facilities. Campus is nicer than ERAU in our opinion, but Melbourne is a quiet town compared to Daytona. If you're a parent, you might like Melbourne. Students may feel differently.
Went out to the FIT flight line next which is at Melbourne airport. Compared to ERAU/Daytona, FIT is paradise. Spotless hangar, pipers lined up one after the other, and no waiting to fly. Simulators are on second floor of hangar. This was our first look at part 141 school and we were impressed. The student who took us around was a junior with 500 hours including 20 multi and is on the flight team. Came to the school with his private (and got credit for it--he encourged our son to get his PPL, which is what he's working on now). All flight students fly 3 times per week on alternate days, and more if they want. If you come in with no prior, $3250 pays for your private which takes 35-40 hours--you pay the extra if it takes longer. The FBO charges FIT students cost. There is an examination site for writtens right there. Every student meets with instructor to go over the lesson before and after each lesson. We saw the records and every student has a file an inch thick, with grades on every part of every lesson. Most of the instructors are FIT grads or upperclassmen (like our guide). Met another who is leaving for OCS at Pensacola in a few weeks. Our guide was really personable,as was everyone we met there. The hangar was great, and they are thinking of building another. The great thing about the facility is that the airport is so accesible and easy to get in and out of. It's no bigger than Akron/Canton where we live. The student told us the planes are kept in great shape, the mechanics are meticulous, and the flight director a stickler for safe operations. No accidents, no deaths, etc. to report. Said nothing bad about ERAU, just was very content to keep FIT their little secret. Did tell us that he visited UND for flight competition and loved the campus. Said UND pilots were awesome, but he would not want to spend the winter flying (or not flying) in those conditions. He also is aviation managment student, and repreated that A/S program is tough. Did tell us that any FIT student can learn to fly at the center regardless of major--just pay the hourly fees. We saw the intsructor's room, the briefing rooms, the weather and examination rooms and they were all super. As I said, we're used to the laid back atmosphere of our local FBO, but as a parent who wants his son to be safe pilot, I would feel extremely confident about FIT. All in all, taking the campus, the students we met, and the flight operation into consideration, FIT beats ERAU, in our opinion. Don't know about job situation after graduation, etc., but was impressed with facilities. Have not seen UND or Purdue, both of which have a more traditional "college" atmosphere, so we'll check those out too.

Hope this is of some help to you.

Hey, thanks for all the input on this school. I have pretty much narrowed it down to FIT or MESA's flight school. They have a new branch in Midland, Tx which is faily close to me. It seems like a tough program but good. They fly all brand new mooney's .................guess I'll be paying for the leather seats
However, I will visit both schools before I make my final decesion. Hey, let me know where you son decides to go.......might need a roommate! Thanks again for all you input. FIT sounds like a great program!