ATP or AA Cadet Program

Hey All,

I have a few questions wondering if some of you could answer or give me some insight into what you think would be the best option. Currently, I work as a Flight Attendant for a major airline. I have my 4-year degree in Aviation Administration and my PPL. I was accepted into American Airlines Cadet program, but after looking at ATP I am very interested. Not only can it be done in what seems like faster time, but it’s also cheaper. So my question is:

  1. What is your experience/opinion with ATP compared to a program like the AA Cadet program? Is it practically the same? Does ATP have more opportunity because they are partners with envoy, skywest, etc. . .

  2. Do you know if you can get a loan for lets say. . . $75,000 or so to include all the costs that are not included in the $64,000 that ATP is saying it costs to start with a PPL?



Welcome to the forums. Thank you for the introduction as well. Let’s get to your questions:

  1. Let’s be very clear here, all of the mentors on here are ATP grads, so our experience is of course through that lens. But all of us went to ATP, got exactly what we were promised, and believe in the program so much that we are on here sharing our time and experiences with others. I cannot really speak about the AA Cadet Academy is a) they are relatively new and b) they are really just a collection of independent flight schools operating under the banner of AA Cadet, but there really is no such actual thing as the AA Cadet Academy.

As for ATP, they have the highest ratio of airline placements to students of any flight school, aviation college, or flight academy, with almost 700 graduates hired by the airlines in the last 12 months alone. They. have been doing this for decades and know how to produce airline pilots.

  1. Yes, you can generally take out a loan for more than your program costs. Many people do this for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I highly recommend that you contact Kirk in ATP Admissions and speak with them as he is the expert on all such things.

Please let us know what other questions you have as you explore making the jump.


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Thank you for the information!