Real Answers from Real Pilots

Financial Assistance


My name is Maria Garcia and I am a 20-year-old female. I started studying for my Private Pilot’s license independently a few months back. It has been great but challenging - especially considering my full-time student status at University. I am now considering joining a full-time flight program at ATP and am not very excited about having to take out a private loan in order to fund this passion.

Are there any types of agreements or opportunities that airline companies offer to aspiring pilots? If so, what steps and measures should I take to get connected to these bigger organizations?

Thanks so much for your time and help!

Maria Garcia

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There is ATP’s Tuition Reimbursement program, check it out on Basically you take out a loan up front for the whole amount, but the airlines help you back it back your first few years.

Other than that, there really are not any other programs. Remember that you are taking out a loan for an education and education is never a bad thing.


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Hi Maria,

Airlines do offer what’s called tuition reimbursement. The amount can add
up to $11k. To be eligible to receive the funds one must be a CFI for ATP
with a minimum of 500 hours and have received a conditional job offer from
a regional airline.

Most regional airlines are also offering signing bonuses too. They range
between $10k and $20k.

So, there are ways to make some of your money back, but it requires you to
either pay out of pocket or take out a loan.


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Just curious. If one chooses to not take out a loan to finance ATP, are they still eligible for tuition reimbursement?


Yes. The money will be paid directly to the CFI instead of to the lender.