May is a busy month for pilots young and old with an eye on their flight training future. Teens should apply for AOPA High School Flight Training Scholarships by May 19, while students 16 and older should circle May 31 as the deadline for various AOPA Foundation Flight Training Scholarships. Several other financial awards including the American Bonanza Society’s paid fall internship are also available for aviators.
Twenty teens, ages 15 to 18, who are passionate about pursuing a pilot’s certificate will each receive $5,000 to apply toward flight training expenses through an approved flight school or certificated flight instructor. The high school scholarships are part of the AOPA You Can Fly initiative, which recognizes the importance of building the pilot community through programs that include flying clubs, Rusty Pilots seminars, high school learning curriculum, and other pilot-support mechanisms that make flying safe, fun, and affordable. The You Can Fly High School Flight Training Scholarship deadline is May 19.
Outstanding student pilots ages 16 and up may apply for awards from the AOPA Foundation that range from $2,500 to $5,000 to help them advance their flight training. The scholarships are funded by donations to the AOPA Foundation. Fifteen individuals ages 17 to 53 were selected for AOPA Flight Training Scholarships in 2016. The AOPA Foundation Flight Training Scholarship deadline is May 31.
Students and recent graduates seeking a professional aviation career path may apply for a paid internship with the American Bonanza Society. Young aviation professionals can expect total immersion into the Wichita, Kansas-based society’s safety, communications, and outreach functions with an unparalleled introduction to the aviation industry, according to Tom Turner, the society’s executive director. The deadline for the fall semester internship is June 30.
Three $1,000 scholarships are available to both FAA Technical Women’s Organization (TWO) members and non-FAA applicants pursuing an aviation-related or technical degree. The organization encourages studies or training that will advance or enhance an individual's career in a technical area. The deadline is May 9.
The $2,500 National Air Transportation Association’s Navigate Your Future Scholarship is offered to a high school graduate continuing his or her education in the aviation industry to foster and promote careers in the general aviation industry. To apply, a student must be a senior in high school planning a career in the GA field or be enrolled or accepted into an aviation-related program at an accredited college or university. One award is granted yearly, and the application deadline is June 30.
The Spaatz Association Leadership Scholarship is intended to take Civil Air Patrol cadets who have earned their solo wings all the way to private, recreational, or sport pilot certificates. Part of the scholarship also may be used to attend a Civil Air Patrol leadership activity, or to serve in a leadership position at a suitable activity. Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael J. Hower said the application process is now open year-round and scholarships are awarded in February.