The rewards of being a pilot can be great both financially and for personal fulfillment. However, studying and training to become one also entails huge expenses as enrolling in a flight school is quite expensive. You may possess the talents and skills to soar high on the controls of a plane but if you don’t have the funds to finance your pilot training, you’ll be completely earthbound for the moment. But lack of money should not ground you forever since there are government grants for pilots that can help you realize your dreams of flying an airplane.
Federal Pell Grant Program – this program awards up to $4,000 for various educational grants, pilot training included. You can enroll in an accredited school and apply for this grant. Application can be done through the grant’s website or through your school’s office. You can use this grant to obtain a pilot’s license and further advance your aviation career. You can visit the Pell Grant website for more information.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – this program was established to support those who have extreme financial needs and cannot pay for their education. Recipients of this grant are usually those with the lowest EFC’s or expected family contributions. Grant range is from $100 to $4,000. The amount you get depends on the time of your application, your actual financial status, the funds available at your school and the school’s financial aid policies. The FSEOG website will tell you more about this program.
All Volunteer Force Educational Assistance – this program is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was started to assist servicepersons leaving the military service so they can readjust easily to civilian life by providing them with educational benefits. They can use this for flight training if they already have a private pilot license. The range of full-time monthly benefit is from $870 to more than $2,000. Grant can last up to 48 months. More information available here:
Department of Veterans Affairs, Central Office
Washington, DC 20420
Telephone: (202) 461-9800
Aside from these government grants for pilots, you can also try applying for grants given by private organizations. Women who want to become pilots but lack financial capability to pay for pilot training can apply for scholarships from Ninety-Nines, Inc., an organization that supports female pilots. Some flight schools will also have their own in-house educational grants and scholarships. The Hawaii Flight Academy for example, offers financial aid options to eligible students. You can also use your Army benefits to pay for your pilot training.