March 31, 2009
By Ian J. Twombly
Responding to what it calls “difficult market conditions,” Sallie Mae announced via letter to select flight schools recently that it is significantly reducing the amount of flight training loans it generates.
Although the reduction is thought to be significant and widespread, the company wouldn’t comment on how many schools will be cut from the loan program.
“Due to difficult market conditions, we have found it necessary to focus our resources only on those schools that generate sufficient volume of approved loans to justify the expense of maintaining this manually intensive program,” said a spokeswoman.
The effective date of the termination is May 8. Applications submitted up to that point are being processed, according to the letter. Students are encouraged to speak with their flight school manager for additional details on whether or not financing will be available through Sallie Mae.
AOPA reminds members that if offers an alternative financing route through its Flight Training Funds Program. The Program doesn’t require students to use a particular school; even private instructors are eligible.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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