Real Answers from Real Pilots

40yr Old (Liberty, TSU or Flight School)

Hey guys, I’m trying to decide the best route to go.

Been a flight attendant since 2008 and finally in position to make the jump to my dream.

I’ve been accepted into Liberty’s Aviation program but feel really mislead as they originally told me I could use my federal aid (5k a semester) towards flight program but I’m hearing that’s no longer the case and my core classes would eat all of my federal aid.

Liberty partner school in my area is United Flight Systems and I could bypass the degree program for now and go to them directly.

Texas Southern University also has a Aviation Program now… and being that I’m in-state the core classes would leave more federal aid available.

Financing I’m not worried about as I already talked to American Airlines Credit Union about their “ Line of Credit” vs Sallie Mae or Meritize.

As I’ll still be working as a FA, I’m trying to decide the best route as unfortunately I can’t attend ATP 7 days a week.

Raymond,

At 40 you need to bite the bullet, take a leave and bang this out. Pilots retire at 65 (FAs can go forever). Every year you delay is a year you’ll never see the big money or have the quality of life seniority affords. The time it will take to complete a university program will cost you many times what you’ll lose not working. If you were 20 or 30, sure, take your time but at 40 the clock is ticking loud.

Adam

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Thank you for quick response…yeah I know my clock is ticking … Now that I’m past the Sallie Mae hurdle… I’m leaning towards TSU because they appear to have a relationship with both United and Southwest (Houston) and total cost of degree program comes in under 80K.

Raymond,

Your call but know that the money you save and the time you take will cost you hundreds of thousands in the long run.

Adam

Raymond,
I’m assuming you don’t have any degree right now and trying to “kill two birds with one stone”? Is that right?
It’s a common misconception that aviation programs will be the best route to get the degree and flight training done. However they are incredibly inefficient. They are expensive, take a long time to complete and you get very little flight training seeing as though it’s over a 4 year period. You aren’t the first flight attendant to want to make the switch to flying but doesn’t want to leave the comfort of their job to do it. It’s a risk. A big one but if you want to do it successfully and as efficiently as possible you just need to take the leap. Quit your job, take out the loan and hammer through the 7 month fast track program. At that point you can start earning an income again and secure tuition reimbursement with a cadet program. At this point you’d be about 42 making it to a regional. You could be there for about 4 years and apply to a LCC without a degree and have a nice 20 year career left. Or you can start working on an online degree and eventually make it to a major once it’s completed.
-Hannah

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