Well after finally getting everything in place and in order to start this process, I call into ATP to start my application process after lots of research of the field and knowing what is needed.
Turns out as of this morning(3/8/2023) at 8am they changed their admission to now require a bachelors degree or already have a private pilots license to even start this program. They stated that is due to the fact that people without these were dropping out at a higher statistical rate then people with them. That is a huge bummer and kind of frustrating as it’s plastered all over the website that a degree is a plus but not necessary. Also frustrating because those people who drop out have nothing to do with me or my character.
After calling in the only thing I really got out of it was that I am SOL and will have to work on getting either a bachelors or private pilots license separately to even get the opportunity to APPLY out this program. This is just frustrating as I was working on getting things in my life in order to make this transition.
While I understand your frustration, ATP is simply reinstating an old policy that was in place for much longer than it wasn’t. Fair or not the reality is EVERYBODY and their brother wants to be a pilot now and admission is through the roof. ATP tried to lower their requirements but sadly it just didn’t work and the failures for those without degrees was considerably higher than for those with.
This is the same reason while many Majors have removed a degree requirement they still list it as preferred or competitive.
This industry is one that is constantly changing; therefore, things will change with short notice etc. When I started ATP in 2020 it was a prerequisite to have minimum 2-year working experience or Bachelor’s Degree… when covid struck requirements changed… as we were recovering from covid, requirements changed, again. Don’t get discouraged by this sudden change, embrace the challenge and seek other options.
Maybe in the near future things will change again, but for now I see ATP adjusting to remain competitive against other schools, which they have the right to. ATP is also looking out for students by integrity with their investment, if students get through one phase and drop out, that still is a chunk of change.
I’m not a mentor here.
I’m doing my PPL part 61 online ground school now and then soon; flight training with a career CFI in my city as it reduces the ATP bill by $21,000 if you go in with your PPL. My CFI is 1/3 of that. Then I’ll attend ATP.
As a matter of fact flight schools in my city promotes part 61 vs 141 citing its more for int’l students.
So even though the info posted might be erroneous as Pilot Chris stated, it still might not be a bad idea (if you can) to do the online ground school part 61 and take the FAA written and find a career CFI to work with but you have to incorporate ground school learning
with flight training to not grow rust and to be successful.
Yes, it reduces the cost of ATP’s program, but probably not by nearly as much as you think. Remember that you will need 78 hours of flight time to enter ATP’s program with credit for private, so make sure to include that into your calculations.
I would wait until you actually have your PPL to pass judgement on the route you are taking. I did the same thing you are doing and it cost me way more than was initially quoted and took much longer as well.
I as well received my PPL outside of ATP, then had to find 30 more hours on my own before I met ATP’s 78-hour minimum (including the 8 hours PIC XC). The other downfall I had was the flight school I was training at closed their location and I was stranded for 3 months… nothing like being ready to solo and having to completely go to a whole new location. It took me 13 months to complete my private, ATP is approximately 2 months. If everything I did when I attended ATP was completed the same when I started my journey, I would’ve been in the airlines a whole year sooner… gaining seniority and a better QOL.
I would also like to argue that you will not find the amount of resources and materials that ATP provides to students at a ‘smaller-scale’ school. I was able to visit the training center every day and if the simulator (AATD) was open, I got on it and just practiced anything I could at the time.