AOPA will be closing at 2:30pm on Friday, March 1st. We will reopen Monday morning, March 4th at 8:30am ET.
Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free membership trial today! Click here
You Can Fly | AOPA Foundation | Scholarships
You Can Fly | AOPA Foundation | Scholarships

2024 AOPA Foundation Scholarship Program Is Closed

Made possible through donations to the AOPA Foundation, the more than $1 million in scholarships are a major benefit of AOPA membership, helping members reach their aviation goals.

  • Scholarship applications range from $2,500 to $14,000 for primary flight training, advanced ratings/certificates, aviation maintenance, and more.
  • Open to AOPA members that are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent legal residents
  • Some scholarships also require applicants to meet additional criteria (see listings below)

The 2025 AOPA Foundation Scholarship Program will open September 9, 2024. Be sure to bookmark this page!

The number and amount of all scholarships will be determined by donor funding, which may not be finalized until immediately before awards are announced. Scholarship applicants will be considered for all scholarships for which they qualify.

Review our Frequently Asked Questions for additional information, including how to become an AOPA member.

Attention high school students and teachers! Watch our webinar to learn how to ace your private pilot certificate scholarship application.

Full Scholarships Listing

Filter by Scholarship Type:

AOPA Foundation Scholarship

Award

$2,500 and up; the number of awards will vary

Certificate or Rating

Primary certification
(Sport, Recreational or Private Pilot certificate)

Additional Criteria

  • Must be 16 years at the time of application submission
  • Must hold a student pilot certificate

Donor

Our flight training scholarships are funded by generous donations to the AOPA Foundation. Miscellaneous donations for scholarships are combined and awarded to help members reach their aviation goals.

AOPA Foundation You Can Fly High School Flight Training Scholarship

Award

80 $10,000 scholarships available

Certificate or Rating

Private Pilot Certificate

Additional Criteria

Donor

The Ray Foundation – established by the late aviator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, James C. Ray.

James believed that life skills are learned through aviation. We are proud to help carry on his legacy by awarding merit-based scholarships to 80 high school students.

Resources

Here are some excellent resources to help you ace a $10,000 scholarship and pass the written test:

AOPA Foundation You Can Fly Teacher Flight Training Scholarship

Award

Up to 20 $10,000 scholarships available

Certificate or Rating

Private Pilot Certificate

Additional Criteria

Donor

The Ray Foundation – established by the late aviator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, James C. Ray.

James believed that life skills are learned through aviation. We are proud to help carry on his legacy by awarding flight training scholarships to up to 20 high school teachers utilizing the You Can Fly aviation-based STEM curriculum.

Resources

Here are some excellent resources to help you ace a $10,000 scholarship and pass the written test:

Lt. Commander Michael D. McGibney Top Gun Naval Aviator Scholarship

Award

$5,000

Certificate or Rating

Advanced Rating

Additional Criteria

  • Available to those pursuing a career as a professional pilot, with a preference given to those who aspire to become a Naval aviator

Donor

The friends and family of Michael D. McGibney

The Alliance Texas AOPA Aviation Scholarships

Award

$14,000 for flight training
$2,700 for maintenance

Certificate or Rating

Two flight training scholarships
Two aviation maintenance scholarships

Additional Criteria

  • Available for high school students enrolled in the Northwest ISD or Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD in Fort Worth, TX. The flight training scholarships are available for students in 11th grade only, 16+ years of age. The maintenance scholarships are available for students in 10th or 11th grade.

Donor

H. Ross Perot Jr. via the AllianceTexas Foundation

The Bill Stroecker Commercial/Instrument Flight Training Scholarship

Award

Two $5,000 scholarships available

Certificate or Rating

Commercial Certificate or Instrument Rating

Additional Criteria

  • Must be an Alaskan resident
  • Must have a private pilot certificate and at least 100 hours of logged flight time

Donor

The Bill Stroecker Foundation - William George "Bill" Stroecker was the best known civic leader in Fairbanks over the 50-year period between 1960-2010, when he passed at age 90. Born July 31, 1920 in Fairbanks, Stroecker never called anywhere else home. When he passed, he left a legacy through the Bill Stroecker Foundation designed to benefit the community for another 50 years.

Learn More

The Bruce W. Alatary Memorial Flight Training Scholarship

Award

Amount Will Vary

Certificate or Rating

Primary Certification (Sport, Recreational, or Private Pilot certificate)

Additional Criteria

  • Preference will be given to female applicants training in the Morris County, New Jersey area.

Donor

The Alatary family in memory of Bruce Alatary. Bruce was a Professional Engineer and throughout his career, he helped educate and mentor young people pursuing similar professional goals. He came to flying later in life but it quickly became his passion. In keeping with Bruce’s commitment to sharing skills and knowledge with future generations, we honor his life and memory by offering this scholarship to provide support to those who share his love of aviation either as a hobby or as a career choice.

The Carlsbad Jet Center and Sonoma Jet Center General Aviation Professional Scholarships

Award

Two awards of $6,000 each

Certificate / Rating / Career Path

Flight Dispatcher, FBO Manager, Airport Manager, Aircraft Engineer

Additional Criteria

  • The applicant must be currently employed on a full or part-time basis by an aviation Fixed Base Operator (FBO) in the United States at the time of application and scholarship award.
  • The scholarship shall be available to someone pursuing a career in general aviation through a course of study to become an A&P mechanic, aircraft pilot, flight dispatcher, FBO manager, airport manager, aircraft engineer, or another discipline directly related to general aviation.

Donor

Sonoma Aviation, the owner of Sonoma Jet Center (KSTS) and operator of Carlsbad Jet Center (KCRQ), is an organization that lives its values of Safety, Hospitality, Teamwork, Community, Innovation, and Sustainability. Through these awards, we hope to encourage folks who share these values to pursue fulfilling careers in general aviation so we all can keep our freedom to fly!

The Ceci Stratford Flight Training Scholarship

Award

Two $5,000+ scholarships available

Certificate or Rating

One scholarship for primary certification
(Sport, Recreational or Private Pilot certificate)
One scholarship for an advanced rating

Additional Criteria

  • Must be 16 years at the time of application submission
  • Female applicants only

Donor

Ceci Stratford of Simi Valley, California, is a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Guatemala) and a retired telecommunications, systems and bank operations analyst who has taken her support of aviation’s future to the next level by establishing the Ceci Stratford Flight Training Scholarship.

Ceci is a CFI whose passion for flying extends to her volunteer activities, including serving as former San Fernando Valley 99s Chapter Scholarship Chair, and current Scholarship Co-Chair for the 99s Southwest Section. She has taken many young people on their first flights (over 850) through EAA’s Young Eagles program and serves as an advisor for the Aviation Explorers Post 747.

Ceci has mentored many student pilots in their pursuit of flight training scholarships and careers in aviation and aims to increase the number of women and girls in the aviation field.

The Corporate Aircraft Association Preferred FBO Employee Scholarship

Award

200 $2,000 awards available

Certificate or Rating

Funds can be used for any
aviation education purpose

Additional Criteria

  • Recipients must be an employee of a CAA-preferred FBO at the time of award
  • One of the required recommendations must come from the general manager of the CAA-preferred FBO

Donor

The Corporate Aircraft Association was founded to promote the affordable growth of jet-fueled Part 91 general aviation. CAA serves large corporate flight departments with fleets of aircraft, individual owner-operators, aircraft management companies, and everything in between. CAA promotes loyalty to their member FBOs in return for their industry-leading fuel prices and excellent service, and is excited to partner with the AOPA Foundation to offer these scholarships to employees of our CAA-preferred FBOs.

The Daniel T. Taussig Memorial Flight Training Scholarship

Award

Amount will vary

Certificate or Rating

Primary certification
(Sport, Recreational or Private Pilot certificate)

Additional Criteria

  • Must be 16 years at the time of application submission

Donor

Brenton Taussig in memory of Daniel T. Taussig.

The David & Florence Kleine Flight Training Scholarship

Award

$5,000

Certificate or Rating

Primary certification
(Sport, Recreational or Private Pilot certificate)

Additional Criteria

  • Must be 16 years at the time of application submission
  • Preference is given to those training in Illinois or Minnesota

Donor

David Kleine, in memory of his beloved wife, Florence, who loved general aviation and the opportunities it provided for her family and others.

The Dudley D. and Delores R. Malone Memorial Flight Training Scholarship

Award

Four awards of $5,000 each

Certificate or Rating

Primary certification
(Sport, Recreational or Private Pilot certificate)

Additional Criteria

  • Must be 16 years at the time of application submission
  • Two scholarships will be awarded to females
  • Two scholarships will be awarded to males

Donor

The Dudley D. and Delores R. Malone Family Foundation, in memory of Dudley and Delores Malone. An avid recreational pilot and member of AOPA for many decades, Dudley earned his pilot’s license when he was in his 20’s. He was a life-long entrepreneur with a passion for aviation and anything and everything that took to the skies.

Dudley’s wife Delores was his “co-pilot” in the air and in life for 54 years.

The Edward B. Shafer Future of Flight Scholarship

Award

$5,000

Additional Criteria

  • Currently enrolled at an accredited university or college and pursuing a career in aviation
  • Preference given to applicants in the mid-west United States, females, and minorities
  • Available to those pursuing a career in aviation, including but not limited to aerospace engineering, professional pilot (airline, corporate, etc.) flight instruction, aircraft maintenance and airport management

Donor

Paul Guse in memory of Edward B. Shafer. Ed was renowned in the St. Louis-area general aviation community, serving as a flight instructor for over six decades. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Ed’s enduring commitment to aviation safety was recognized in 2019 with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot award.

As owner and operator of St. Louis Metro-East Airport (Shafer Field), he positively influenced hundreds of new and experienced aviators, generously sharing his knowledge and experience with kindness, patience, and humor.

Erral Lea and Glenn Plymate Memorial Flight Training Scholarship

Award

Multiple; $2,500 and up

Certificate or Rating

Primary certification
(Sport, Recreational or Private Pilot certificate)

Donor

When Glenn Plymate’s wife, Erral, passed away in 2003, he and his family suggested that in lieu of flowers, gifts be made to the AOPA Foundation (at the time, known as the AOPA Air Safety Foundation). Glenn and his family pledged to match these and other contributions, coming together to create the Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Endowment, which now funds several flight training scholarships each year. When Glenn passed away in 2015, his name was added to the endowment.

We are honored to continue their legacy and passion for aviation.

The Fred and Diane Fitts Memorial Flight Training Scholarship by CAA

Award

$7,500 each

Certificate or Rating

Private pilot certification or instrument rating

Additional Criteria

  • Age 17-35 years at the time of application submission
  • Preference is given to applicants interested in becoming corporate pilots, members of CAA and their relatives, and employees of CAA-preferred FBOs and their relatives

Donor

Corporate Aircraft Association (CAA) in memory of Fred and Diane Fitts. Fred Fitts was a pilot and FBO owner before starting the Corporate Aircraft Association in 1990. Together with his wife, Diane, the couple built the successful fuel and resource purchasing program from scratch. CAA continues to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Part 91 operators by the power of their membership numbers to negotiate the best possible fuel prices.

Designed to help young people get into aviation, CAA hopes these scholarships will allow future generations to fulfill the Fitts’ goal of providing value and quality to others.

The Landsberg Endowment Scholarship - Aviation Maintenance and Avionics

Award

Amount varies

Certificate or Rating

Aviation Maintenance Technician Certificate

Additional Criteria

  • Veteran of the United States Armed Forces

Donor

This endowment was created in memory of the son of Bruce and Jan Landsberg, Captain Neil C. Landsberg, who was a USAF Special Operations Combat Controller – one of America's finest. Neil led teams into harm's way to serve our country and they lost members on nearly every deployment. This weighed heavily on him and he lost his struggle with Post Traumatic Stress.

The Richard McSpadden Scholarship for Advanced Pilot Training

Award

Quantity and amount will vary.

Certificate or Rating

Advanced training such as tailwheel,
upset recovery, or other advanced ratings.

Donor

The Richard McSpadden Scholarship for Advanced Pilot Training has been funded through contributions from multiple donors in memory of AOPA Air Safety Institute Senior Vice President Richard McSpadden, who died in an aircraft accident on October 1, 2023. Richard’s work at AOPA centered around providing aviation safety education to all pilots in pursuit of a world without fatal general aviation accidents. We are proud to carry on Richard’s legacy by providing resources to make better, safer pilots to advance this goal.

APS Intro to Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPFT)

Award

$5,000

Certificate or Rating

Intro to UPRT, advanced training to mitigate Loss of Control In-flight, the #1 fatal air safety threat.
(academics, sim, and on-aircraft instruction)

Additional Criteria

  • This course will be offered to the winner of the Richard McSpadden Scholarship for Advanced Pilot Training.

Donor

Aviation Performance Solutions (APS) is a global leader in aviation safety training, with an exclusive three-decade focus on transformational UPRT solutions uniquely designed for each operator. Trusted by major legacy air carriers, leading flight departments, insurance companies, military/government agencies, flight schools, and professional pilot owner-operators, APS is committed to reducing Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I) accidents through top-tier UPRT training and resources.

The Richard Santori Memorial Scholarship

Award

$6,000

Certificate or Rating

Primary certification
(Sport, Recreational or Private Pilot certificate)

Donor

Dr. Gina Santori, in memory of her husband Richard Santori

"I created the Richard Santori Memorial scholarship to honor my late husband, who was an Air Force reserve pilot and loved flying his Bonanza. I want to encourage and support young people to pursue recreational aviation as well as aviation careers. A life lived helping others is rewarding, and the joy felt when the scholarship recipients earn their private pilot certificate is worth it all!"

— Dr. Gina Santori

The Scott Stuart Flight Training Scholarship

Award

$5,000

Certificate or Rating

Primary certification
(Sport, Recreational or Private Pilot certificate)

Additional Criteria

  • Must be 16 years at the time of application submission
  • Must hold a student pilot certificate
  • Female applicants only

Donor

Scott and Jane Stuart via the Imperial Foundation

Senator James M. Inhofe FAA Knowledge Test Scholarship

Award

$250 (multiple awards available)

Certificate or Rating

FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Exam or FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Knowledge Exam

Additional Criteria

  • High schools students in Oklahoma enrolled in the AOPA Foundation You Can Fly STEM curriculum

Donor

The State Chamber of Oklahoma is excited to establish this scholarship In honor of Senator Inhofe’s numerous contributions to aviation throughout his career. These awards are available to Oklahoma high school students enrolled in the AOPA Foundation You Can Fly STEM curriculum. The awards cover the testing fee for the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Exam or FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Knowledge Exam at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center, transportation to the testing center, or additional preparation materials.

We hope this scholarship will help many students in Oklahoma achieve this milestone in pursuing a private pilot or remote pilot certification.