Real Answers from Real Pilots

Financial assistance for bills

I’m going to be applying soon for ATP and had some questions regarding financial assistance. I’m 28 and have a wife and child. I work a full time job and I will be quitting said job to pursue my dream of becoming a pilot full time. I will be doing the fast track program so it will be 9 months of school. My question is does the financial aid provide for bills and things? also do you get paid by ATP once you get to the CFI stage?


If you need extra money to cover living expenses you are able to ask for more money from Sallie Mae when you apply for the loan. Just add what you think you’ll need to the amount that you are requesting. Here’s a helpful calculator: Sallie Mae Application FAQ / ATP Flight School

CFI pay does not start until you actually start teaching. Here’s a breakdown of CFI pay: Flight Instructor Certification (CFI) - Definition, Privileges, & Requirements / ATP Flight School


It’s not necessarily financial assistance like you can have in college. It’s a loan that you apply for. You can opt to cover just tuition, or tuition plus ATP student housing or some additional program costs like an iPad and headset. The money is not meant to provide a source of income during the program. It only provides the funds needed to get through the program costs. I recommend saving as much as you can prior to starting and using that to pull from during the 9 months.
You will not start receiving an income from ATP until you finish your program, get offered an instructor position and get offered an INDOC date and location.