I am 17 years old and I was wondering if you need to go to college to become a pilot or after high school, you could just straight up go to a pilot school
ATP has strict enrollment requirements which can be found here: https://atpflightschool.com/airline-career-pilot-program/enrollment.html
Most other schools will allow you to start now. The question is, what is your end goal? You may want to finish your 4-yr degree before you do anything else. Check out the FAQ section.
I would recommend that you finish your degree, then go to flight school. Please take a look at the FAQ section as there is a wealth of information there.
The short answer is you can but as the others have said it’s not recommended. This is ATPs website and ATP requires you to have a 2 year degree (or equivalent work experience) or your Private Pilot license. Before the implemented this requirement they found students who came straight from high school struggled with the program.
ATP usually requires 2yrs of college or comparable work experience but they will make exceptions. You’d have to contact admin directly and inquire.
That said I still think it’s a bad idea. Honor student or not many people straight out of HS don’t have the life experience or maturity to drive head first into the program. It’s highly accelerated and requires tremendous dedication, hardwork and self motivation. The fact is for many years ATP would not even consider taking someone right out of HS because they generally did not fair well.
I know you may feel like you need to get started now, but remember that you can only do your flight training once. You get one shot at a checkride and you can’t erase a bust. It’s stuck on your record for your entire career.
With that said, you need a degree at some point. Could you get hired without one? Maybe, but the reality is, you’ll be the very last to be hired in a pool of applicants with one. Getting a degree, at least an associates, before you start will not only help prepare you for the rigors of the program but also ensure you’re successful academically without extra responsibilities. If you want to get started after that, you’ll be better prepared and can tackle the last two years to a bachelors degree while at the regionals.
An Introductory flight is intended to INTRODUCE you to the training environment and ATP. The goal is not for you to “look good” and you’re not going to impress anyone.
You could get your degree after but know many people find it challenging to go back to school after they’ve entered the workforce. Again we encourage people to get their degrees first.