Going to a nonaviation college and getting a separate degree

Hi. I’m Daniel, and I am currently a sophomore in high school. I know that I have a decent amount of time to figure college and flight training stuff out, but I like to plan things out early so I can make the best possible decision.

Should I go to a college that doesn’t have an aviation program with a strong and highly ranked business program, since a of right now, that’s the type of degree I’m planning on getting as a backup in case if becoming a pilot doesn’t work out, or should I go to a Part 141 school like UND to get an aviation and business degree?

Right now, I am leaning towards going to a regular university and get flight training at a local FBO since I only care about getting the ratings and a bachelor’s degree separate from aviation, plus I wouldn’t have to take the aviation courses. Is the part 141 or 61 training usually cheaper? Which path would you recommend? Also, I do know that Part 141 schools have reduced requirements of 1000 hours to get the ATP. Thanks for taking time to answer.


This is a very common question that gets asked daily on this forum (so I suggest you take a look at any of the MANY discussions). That said here’s our take, aviation universities are traditionally very expensive and an aviation degree really serves little purpose. Having a degree in some other field is always a good idea as a back up. Thing is you want to do well so we recommend you focus on one thing at a time. Get your degree, THEN do your flight training so that each can get the attention they require. Now there is no Part 141 vs Part 61 cheaper since every school is different. Part 141 schools are required to stick to a very strict curriculum while Part 61 schools have more flexibility. That’s what gives ATP the edge and allows them to accelerate the training (yes this forum is ATPs). That said if you go to your local part 61 school and fly once a week it’ll cost you ten times as much. Also Part 141 schools do not get reduced ATP minimums. Part 141 PROGRAMS THAT ARE PART OF AN APPROVED AVIATION DEGREE program can qualify for a reduction.

At your age the best thing you can do is study hard and do well in HS to get into a good college. As for what’s best that’s really something you need to discuss with your parents.


Thanks. This info really helped👍.

This is the 2016-2017 projected costs for all the flight training degree programs at UND. It gives a great breakdown of the flight costs and the tuition and fees/room and board. Just keep in mind that those costs rise slightly every year, and that those costs are averages. The actual cost for you going through the program could easily be higher due to delays in training and other factors, which happens a lot with North Dakota weather


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