College & Flight School

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all doing well.

I recently developed this strong interest to become an airline pilot and just won’t let it go, regardless of what my parents may say. I’ve done hours worth of research on everything I may need to know before taking my first step. But I don’t even know what my first step would be. College or flight school? What comes first? I was thinking it might be more beneficial to get my college degree before going to flight school, due to loan payment timelines, right?

How did you all go about schooling? Did you all also major in aviation or chose a different degree? Did you first attend college and then flight school? or the other way around?

Thank you in advance!:slight_smile:

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Emillee,

First I’d encourage you to do more research by visiting our FAQ section and browsing the many threads on the subject as this question literally gets asked daily.

In short we always recommend continuing your education first. It’s simply easier to get it out of the way at this stage of your life. Further we do not recommend aviation degrees. The airlines neither require or desire them and they offer no backup should flying not work out for whatever reason.

Adam

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Emillee,
Welcome to the forum! It sounds like your parents may not be as “on board” with an aviation career as you’d like? What’s their hesitation? First off, there is no rush. At this point, all you can really do is take an intro flight and see how you like it! If you do, nothing really changes for a few more years. We still recommend you go to college, major in something you’re interested in and enjoy time with friends and family. Then when you’ve got a college degree then pursue flight training. Good news is, you’ve got at least four years to try and convince your parents :slight_smile:
-Hannah

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I attended college, then flight school. My degree is in Business Administration, so that is completely different than aviation. I do not recommend getting an aviation degree, there really is no advantage to it and the majors are not concerned with what your major is.

Spend some time on this website, particularly the FAQ section as it will help to answer many of your questions.

Chris

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Emillee,

I’m about 3 days out from graduating college with an ATP class date January 10th. I highly recommend college first, aviation second. My degree is also in Business Administration as a backup. Partly why I recommend college first is the discipline it teaches you. I was disciplined in high school and finished in 3 years. However, college pushed me yet again and I feel much more prepared now going into flight school than if I’d simply gone to flight school straight out of high school.
-Jack

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Welcome, Emillee!

As the others have said, college first is the most popular recommendation. My degree is in Communication Studies. I had no plans of becoming a pilot until after college, but even if I did I still would have majored in something other than aviation because a non-aviation degree could be used as a backup if, for some reason, I needed to leverage it.

Tory

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Thank you Jack,

Couldn’t have said it better.

Adam

Their hesitation has a lot to do with the difficulty and discipline of everything. They don’t think I could go through and FINISH. I know they have no doubt I’d start but they’re scared I won’t make it to the end. I guess it’s a reasonable fear and it’s up to me to show them I can.

Thank you so much everyone! You’re all so so helpful, big thanks! I will definitely spend a lot of time exploring everything, including this website.

Emillee,

If having your parents approval is important to you (whether it be financially or just for their support), perhaps you could show them something with a short term goal to demonstrate your dedication to that goal. While I’m generally not a fan of breaking up the training, perhaps if you set a short term goal like getting your Private license at a local flight school in a set period of time (say 3 months or over the summer) that would convince them your serious.

Adam

If you’re taking out student loandfor college, it’ll be harder (close to impossible to take out a 2nd loan for atp)

Rubin,

Acquiring a second loan is not necessarily out of the equation. I still have a loan from my Bachelor’s Degree and I was approved for my ATP loan…the one thing they may require is a co-signer and/or some sort of liquid verification like co-signer with a steady paycheck. Credit lenders want to ensure they will get repayment, if they’re willing to hand over $60,000+ to learn to fly, the last thing they want is not receiving repayment.

Brady

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Sounds about right