Flying, airport management, career scholarships offered

September 2, 2014

Every month, AOPA highlights aviation scholarship opportunities for those wishing to learn how to fly or those wanting to pursue aviation as a career. Those who have won scholarships to help pay for their aviation dreams are also featured. This month, scholarships cover everything from flight training to airport management and aviation engineering.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships available from Women in Aviation, International in 2015 now number 91, with a total value of $517,150. The scholarships will be awarded during the twenty-sixth Annual International Women in Aviation Conference in Dallas, March 5 through 7. "The variety of scholarships—and the variety of donors is huge," said WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian  in a press release. "From major aerospace corporations and airlines to WAI chapters and WAI members, we offer scholarships ranging from type ratings to initial training, for academic work, dispatcher training, maintenance training to money to finance a mid-life career change to aviation.” Applications are due Nov. 17.

The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) has announced that it will award more than $156,000 in scholarships to 114 students during the 2014-2015 academic year. AAAE will offer four scholarships through the AAAE Foundation to full-time undergraduate or graduate students who are attending accredited colleges or universities. Eligible students include Accredited Airport Executive members of AAAE and their spouses or children; students sponsored by Accredited Airport Executive members of AAAE; students enrolled in aviation programs with a junior class standing or higher and a minimum GPA of 3.0; and Native American college or university students enrolled in an aviation program with a junior class standing or higher and a minimum GPA of 3.0. A list of the specific scholarships and eligibility requirements is available online. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2015.

Aviation headset manufacturer Sennheiser has announced that it will support the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Eagle Flights program by offering two $1,500 scholarships for deserving pilots in training. Applicants must have completed 10 hours of instruction.

The Ninety-Nines have opened applications for its Fly Now Award (formerly the New Pilot Award). It is a progressive award given to student pilot members who need financial aid to become certificated pilots. The award will provide up to $3,000 toward completion of the recreational pilot, sport pilot, or private pilot certificate, or  non-U.S. equivalent, in any aircraft. This award will be given progressively to winners after they complete four milestones in their training. The deadline to apply is Sept. 15.

Scholarship winners

Franchesca Alejo has been named a Chancellor’s Academic Scholar at Southern Illinois University. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, and room and board for four years. Alejo plans to major in aviation management.

Go Pro has awarded its first-ever Go Fly Scholarship to Sarah Benish, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Benish  recorded a video that displayed her in-depth knowledge of aviation. She’s active in flight clubs, including the Young Eagles, Badger Aviators, and Women SOAR,  and she’s currently researching air quality and air pollution. 

The Santa Barbara Chapter of The Ninety-Nines has chosen Krystene Zehnder and Janette Lanz as the first recipients of the CJ Strawn Aviation Scholarship for Women. Zehnde will use the $1,000 scholarship toward her multiengine certificate. Lanz will use her $1,000 toward an instrument rating.

Heidi Higginbotham, a senior majoring in aviation at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, has been named the winner of a $10,000 scholarship from the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Foundation. The money will go toward her tuition and fees for the academic year.