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AOPA Flight Training ScholarshipsAOPA Flight Training Scholarships

Funded by your donations to the AOPA Foundation

In an effort to support outstanding student pilots, the AOPA Foundation awards various scholarships, ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, in 2017.

Applications are CLOSED for the 2017 cycle.

A special thank you to those who have donated to the AOPA Foundation in support of the Flight Training Scholarship Program. Because of you, we are able to support passionate aviators of all ages who serve as lifelong ambassadors for general aviation.


Eligibility Requirements:

Scholarship applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident.
  • Be at least 16 years of age at the time of application. There are no exceptions to this; if you will not be 16 years old by May 31, 2017 then you are not eligible to apply.
  • Hold a current FAA Student Pilot Certificate at the time of application.
  • Be a current member of AOPA at both the time of application and when the scholarship is awarded.
  • You cannot have completed the FAA practical test/checkride at the time of application.

Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions before emailing AOPA with a question.

Applications are CLOSED for the 2017 cycle.

  • Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. No exceptions can be made for missing the deadline. Paper applications cannot be accepted.
  • Once you submit your application you will receive a unique link for an online recommendation form that is specific to you. Send that exact link to two individuals and ask them to complete the online recommendation form by the application deadline (noon, EASTERN, on Wednesday, May 31, 2017). Send the unique link to only two individuals. The online system will not accept more than two recommendations.
  • When a recommendation is submitted on your behalf you should receive an email confirmation. You can also log back-in to the application system to see if your recommendations have been submitted.

Recipients will be announced in July!

If your question is not answered in the FAQs below, please email [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a member and I am logged in but I got an error message that says I need to log-in to see the application. What is going on?

  1. Log out of
  2. Close your web browser
  3. Re-open your browser and log back into
  4. Go to the scholarship page and click on the application link

I can’t log-in. What should I do?

Verify you have the correct log-in ID and password. You may call AOPA Member Services at 800-872-2672 for log in assistance.

What is a student pilot certificate and how do I get one?

A student pilot certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You can obtain a student pilot certificate from a designated pilot examiner (DPE), a FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), a Certified Flight Instructor or flight school.

The easiest way to get a student pilot certificate is to visit a local flight school. To find one near you click here and ask to make an appointment to get a student pilot certificate.

To find a Flight Standards District Office or a designated pilot examiner, click here. Contact the office and ask to make an appointment to get a student pilot certificate. If they cannot see you or are not conveniently located near you ask them to provide contact information for the designated pilot examiners in your area.


IACRA is an FAA website that is used to electronically apply for Airmen Certificates. At the end of the process your application is sent to the Airman Registry for processing and issuance of your certificate.

You may apply online by yourself, however, it is easier to have a Certified Flight Instructor (or Recommending Instructor) with you to assist. You MUST meet with a CFI or RI in order to complete the process and submit the application. Be sure to bring a valid photo ID with you when you meet.

You can read more about the process here and here .

I currently hold a private pilot certificate to fly gliders and I am now working toward my private pilot certificate for airplanes. Can I apply for this scholarship?

If you already hold a pilot certificate of any type (other than an FAA student pilot certificate), you are not eligible for this scholarship. Only students training for their initial pilot certificate may apply.

Do I have to be enrolled in a collegiate aviation program to apply?

No, there is no requirement to be enrolled in an accredited aviation program or college to apply. Additionally, you do not need to have aviation career aspirations to apply.

Can I print the application and mail it in?

No, paper applications cannot be accepted.

Can I submit more than one scholarship application?

No, you cannot submit multiple applications. You only need to submit one application to be considered.

If I win one of the scholarships how do I get the money? Does it go to my flight school?

If you are a scholarship recipient the funds are provided to you directly via check. You may use the funds to:

  • Pay your instructor for services rendered
  • Reimburse yourself for past debts in flight training
  • Use it to pursue your next desired rating.


No, all recommendations need to be submitted using the online recommendation link that is provided to you once you submit your application. The link is unique to you and attaches their recommendation to your application.

Which two people should I have complete the online recommendation form?

Choose two people who know you well, are familiar with your goal to earn a pilot certificate, and can share why you’ll successfully complete flight training. The best recommendations will come from your flight and/or ground school instructor, a pilot mentor, or a professional colleague to complete the recommendation form on your behalf. We do not recommend having family members complete your recommendations unless they are your CFI or serving as a flight training mentor.

Should I ask more than two people to submit recommendations for me?

No. The system will only accept two recommendations for each scholarship applicant. You should only ask a third person if one of the first two people you ask is unable to complete the online recommendation form by the deadline.

I didn’t win a scholarship last time I applied. Should I apply again?

Of course! We know there are many outstanding student pilots who would really benefit from a flight training scholarship. Please note all applications are cleared after the scholarship recipients are selected. You must submit a new application and recommendations each award cycle to ensure we’re reviewing the most current information.