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Apply for these aviation scholarships

Fund your flight training with those scholarships and use it at any pilot school

If you’re in need of financial assistance to begin or complete your flight training in any pilot school, here are several scholarships you may qualify for.

High school student Joel Cihak lifts off for his first solo flight during a Liberty University summer flight academy for six students at New London Airport in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo by David Tulis.

The Reno Air Racing Association is offering a $10,000 scholarship to fund a student’s private pilot flight training. Applicants must be 16 to 22 years old; located in the Reno, Sparks, Carson City, or Fallon, Nevada areas; be a U.S. citizen; read, write, and speak English; be able to obtain a third class medical; have a 2.75 or higher GPA; and have had a successful discovery flight of at least 30 minutes in a general aviation aircraft. Applicants who have passed the private pilot written exam will be given priority. The deadline to submit your application is January 31. Applicants who are being considered for the scholarship will be contacted for an interview before February 15. Winners will be contacted by March 15.    

AOPA and Breitling have partnered to launch the Breitling Aviation Scholarship. The $10,000 scholarship will be given to one young pilot in the United States to use toward a sport, recreational, or private pilot certificate. Each applicant must be a current member of AOPA at the time of application and award, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, be at least 16 years old at the time of application submission, and hold a student pilot certificate. The deadline to apply is February 11.

The Edward B. Shafer Future of Flight Scholarship is a $5,000 scholarship for an individual pursuing a career in an aviation field such as aerospace engineering, professional piloting, flight instruction, aircraft maintenance, or airport management. Qualified scholarship applicants must also be an AOPA member at the time of application and award, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and currently enrolled in an accredited college or university. The deadline to apply is February 11.

The Captain Jeff Kuss Aviation Scholarship will be presented to a deserving individual who is at least 16 years old but no older than 25 years old and aspires to become a pilot. Each applicant must be a Colorado resident, have a 3.0 GPA if enrolled in school, and be able to obtain a third class medical. In addition to meeting these requirements, applicants must also write an essay and provide a résumé, transcript, proof of Colorado residency, statement of financial need, and a letter of recommendation. The deadline to apply is April 15.

The Bill Cowden Memorial Aviation Scholarship is a $1,500 opportunity for private pilots who want to obtain additional ratings. Applicants must provide a résumé and one letter of recommendation that references aviation-related skills, submit a one-page essay that states their reason for pursuing advanced training, and be located in the Midwest. The scholarship window opens on March 15 and the deadline to apply is May 15.

The Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship that will be awarded to four students who have a passion for aviation blogging. The organization states that they “hope to provide a scholarship that is beneficial to the student, as well as provide a platform for them to share their experiences while training for a successful future in the aviation industry.” Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled in a fully accredited university aviation program with the United States. The organization states that those who apply must be able  to write a 200 to 500 word blog post at least once a week during their school year.” The scholarship window opens March 1 and the deadline to apply is August 15.

The UAA Janice K. Barden Aviation Scholarship is a $1,000 opportunity for a full-time undergraduate student enrolled in an aviation-related program at a National Business Aviation Association/University Aviation Association member school. The student must be at least a rising sophomore with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. The applicant must also submit an essay, transcript, résumé, and two letters of recommendation. Applications must be received by January 20.

Also, the AOPA Foundation is offering 17 different types of scholarships, so make sure to visit the scholarship website to get all the details. Scholarship applications will remain open until February 11.


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Cayla McLeod
Cayla McLeod Hunt
Social Media Marketer
Social Media Marketer Cayla McLeod Hunt is a private pilot with a love for tailwheel and backcountry aircraft. When she isn't writing stories, she enjoys flying with friends and introducing others to general aviation.
Topics: Financial, Flight School, Career

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