Is it reasonable to do College and Flight training at the same time?


I am a senior in high school and I was planning on attending Embry Riddle - Prescott this fall as an Aeronautical Science major but due to the absurd cost it is rather unattractive to me. The tuition along with flight training would easily get me to around 250k in debt with scholarships by the time I graduate. Is that even worth it?

My other option was to attend a community college for 2 years while doing flight school locally and then transfer to a 4 year to complete my bachelor’s degree in either Psychology or Business. Thoughts on doing both, flight school and college at the same time?

I was also considering ATP due to their flow programs. The plan would be to get through all of my certifications and get my CFI certification within 9-12 months and then do community college for 2 years, transfer to a university and just keep racking up 1500hrs or more till I graduate with a bachelor’s.

(I’d be transferring to one of the UCs as my community college provides guaranteed admission after 2 years)

If I do get a job at a regional while finishing my bachelor’s degree would it be possible for me to work and maybe do online college at the same time? My goal is the majors but I do understand they require a bachelor’s degree, which is why I want to get it along with having a backup in case flying doesn’t work out for whatever reason.

Would love to hear opinions, suggestions, and advice!!!


You are talking to the right person here. I got my Private Pilots license while I was a full time college student. I went to a small, local school in my area. I would strongly recommend against going down this path. College is a full time endeavor and flight training really should be too. I found that I was very much torn between studying for my college classes and studying for flying. As the college classes were at set dates and times, I prioritized college. As a result, my flight training took much longer, and cost more, than it should have.

After obtaining my PPL, I put flight training on hold and finished college, then went to ATP so I could really focus on the flight training.

My recommendation to you would be to go to two years of community college, then go to an accelerated school like ATP. Once you build your time and get hired by an airline, you can resume your college studies online. Many people are able to balance being both an airline pilot and a college student.

Something else to think about is that many colleges will offer credits for flight training experience:



This is another question that gets asked daily. I’m with Chris. While no one can deny ER is a fine school the price is pretty ridiculous. Particularly when you take into account the Majors neither require nor desire a degree.

With that in mind I always recommend at least 2yrs of college before you start training. Training locally part time is inefficient and expensive which is why both the airlines and the military train daily.

Ultimately it’s your decision but the path Chris lays out is a solid one.


To clarify this, the regionals do not require or prefer a degree. The majors no longer require one, but still prefer the applicant to have a college degree.