Considering ATP

Hi all, First time posting. So I just graduated college with a B.S. in Airway Science Management and an Associate in the CTI program (ATC). My heart has always been set on being a pilot but am a little frightened to be honest about the huge amount of money taken as a loan. I would love to do the Airline Career Program but would like to know the realistic view about paying the monthly payments. Once flying for a regional or major, will it be a smoother ride to pay the almost 80k off?

Hello Angel and welcome,

To be honest I completed the program quite a while ago and used money from a business I sold to pay off the debt so my sitch is very different than yours. This is however a very common concern and from what I’ve read while it won’t be easy, with ATP’s new pay structure and the Tuition Reimbursement programs it’s actually quite doable. Take a look at this thread:

Once you get hired by a Regional and then a Major it obviously becomes easier.

You don’t mention if you have any flight experience? if not I STRONGLY recommend you take a Intro flight before you start sweating any of this since until you don’t it’s really a moot point.


I have approx 10 hours. I was with a local flight school but didn’t like the administration as I didn’t feel that I was learning there.

Good, now we can continue the conversation :slight_smile:



I was in a situation similar to yours when I started the program, I had graduated from college and needed to take out a loan to cover flight training. ATP worked with different loan vendors then, but they offered similar loan packages. I had a 15 year loan with payments of about $350 per month.

I was able to make these loan payments pretty easily and that was when both instructors and pilots made less money. Sure, I didn’t have a lot of extra money, but I had enough to be comfortable.

Once I was hired at a major my pay increased dramatically and I was able to pay the loan off several years early.

As Adam mentioned, the Tuition Reimbursement program is a huge help. Also keep in mind that student loan interest is in most cases deductible on your taxes.


Awesome news! Another question just popped in my head. If I graduated with an aeronautical degree, do I qualify for the 1000 hrs vs the 1500? If I’m not mistaken, I think it was called the restricted ATP?

Angel, yes, that would qualify you for the restricted ATP, but you would need to do both your flight training and degree work at the approved university. Be sure to verify flight time prices as you look into this.


Just to clarify, having the degree but then going to ATP you would not be eligible for the R-ATP. As Chris said they BOTH have to be completed as part of the degree program at a certified Part 141 program.


Understood! Thank you both for the fast response!

Anytime my friend, that is what we are here for.