I am a junior in high school and am looking into getting my PPL before going to a university to finish my flight school and get a degree. Is this a good idea? Or should I wait to just get my PPL with the rest of my flying?
Opinions may vary but I neither recommend you getting your PPL first nor getting an aviation degree.
Getting you PPL on your own at a local school is very inefficient and most people simply waste a whole lot of time and money for no benefit.
As for the university route the airlines neither desire or require an aviation degree. Further they offer no back up should flying not work out whether it be by choice or circumstance.
You’re far better off getting a degree in something else you have interest in and then complete your flight training all at once in an accelerated program like ATPs.
The only thing reason I would go for an aviation degree is management related… personally. I would focus right now primarily on finishing high school strong and getting good grades. Sure maybe take a few lessons here or there, but you don’t want to acquire bad habits and doing bits and pieces of training over an extended period of time will only hurt you. There is a reason ATP trains like the airlines and that’s around consistency and proficiency.
If you were unsure if being an airline or professional pilot was questionable in your eyes, that is why I would first obtain a PPL. Since you are looking to fly, I would wait until you can attend a program like ATP. The other problem that may arise is securing the financing, not every young adult coming out of high school has perfect credit and a high paying job; therefore, you MAY need a co-signer for a loan.
I would find a degree in something you would find yourself enjoy partaking in if something aviation related fell through.