Going to Atp after college

Hello all, i hope you are doing well. I am a third year business college student and aspire to go to flight school after I graduate. Originally I was a aviation student, but I halted training because of the expenses and it was hard for me to focus doing my degree and flight training. So now I want to do the flight training separately. I have about 100k+ in debt and if I was to go to Atp that would be me at 200k+ in debt. Is it worth it? is going into 200k debt worth a pilot career? I am very young 20 and will be 21 when i graduate college. Any advice would be appreciated


I recently took my son to Morton’s and spent $160 on an Ocean Tower and another $130 on a Tomahawk ribeye. My son thought I was smoking crack. The only person that can decide what’s worth what to you is YOU.

As far as the debt goes (from my perspective) it’s a no brainer. The Regionals are giving hiring bonuses of over $100k which will more than payoff the flight training portion of your debt and you’re going enough that in 10-15yrs you could be not only earning $400k+ BUT continue to make that money for another 30+ years. To me that’s an exceptional return on your investment but again it doesn’t matter what I think, it’s all up to you.


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Thanks Adam debt is a big worry for me, but it defiently will be worth it for sure.


For me, I can say that the debt I took out for flight school has repaid itself many, many times over. I personally look at education debt as an investment. You will have to decide if that investment is right for you.



Only you can make that decision. For me, I’d do it all over again. It’s a hefty loan but everyday I pinch myself knowing I have the best job in the world. Job satisfaction alone is enough. But add on the fact that pilot pay is the highest its ever been with tons of opportunities to pay off the loan quickly, it becomes a no-brainer. Plus at your age, it’s a small investment for the multi million dollars you could have in career earnings.



Not only did I have a 4-year degree debt when I enrolled, I had a depreciating debt such as a car that I was also paying off. Almost 3 years since I attended ATP, it is safe to say I’ve paid off at least 10% of my loan. I am not being aggressive with paying it off right now or I could have almost half of it in about two years’ time. I took Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Loan which allowed me to pay the $25 per month, then 6-month grace period as I was instructing to build up funds for when payments started hitting. It’s all about budgeting, debt isn’t scary if you plan ahead.