Military benefits & transition

Hello, I am currently in the army national guard and deployed for the next few months overseas. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree and commissioned as an officer in the Infantry. I am looking for a new career path when I get home and have been wanting to explore flying more since a very young age and potentially fly for a commercial airline. What are the scholarship options? what is the full cost breakdown and time line? Is there any additional benefits for military through post 9/11 GI bill or tuition assistance?


You’ll find there really aren’t any scholarships for flying. That’s because frankly not everyone can or should be a pilot and therfore the schools and airlines are reluctant to offer any help until after you’ve demonstrated you can be successful. After you’ve completed your training there are airlines that offer some Tuition Reimbursement.

As for your military benefits, the problem is while they are available, the govt will only allow a certain amount each year and with certain programs. This would require you to go through a degree program (which you don’t need) which would drag your training out over years. While it would obviously be great to let them pay the bill, the lost wages and seniority benefits would far outweigh the cost savings. You would however be able to use your benefits for checkride fees (which are around $10k).



Welcome to the forum. You will find that there are very little, if any, scholarships for aviation. There are schools that accept GI benefits, but they are made to operate under part FAA part 141, which is a far more prescriptive approach to flight training and usually ends up taking significantly more time. Gi benefits are also required to be spaced out over a certain amount of time, which further lengthens flight training. As you already have a degree, it would probably be best to use your GI benefits for any children you may have.



Welcome to the forum and thank you for your service! The guys answered your questions well. I can touch on the others:

If you come in zero time, the program is 9 months. At the conclusion of your training, you could be offered a job as a CFI. At that point you would start building hours to 1500 which can take an additional 13-16 months. If all goes well, you could be at a regional airline within 2 years of starting the program.

While instructing, you can also to apply to multiple tuition reimbursement programs availed to ATP grads. Every program is a little different but basically instead of you using your income to pay your loan, the airline you commit to will pay per flight hour directly to the principal of your loan until reaching 1500 hours. This makes it a bit easier to live off of CFI income until the airlines.



Unfortunately, there are very sparse scholarships available out there for pilot training. This is primarily because of the cost it takes to actually get the certificates and the risks that companies run by giving out monetary value. While there are a few, you will have to do a lot of Google, Bing, Yahoo! searching to find them.

As far as the GI Bill, I am going to share a link from ATP’s webpage which describes the GI better than what I can:

As per the cost breakdown for training, if attending a program like ATP, there is financing available through partnered credit lenders like Sallie Mae. ATP has four payment periods which are placed strategically throughout the program to ensure you don’t have any time lapses. The current cost of the ATP program $108,995 (6/30/24) - this price varies based a multitude of factors. The overall training footprint and timeline for training can be found here:

After completion of a program like ATP you can expect to build hours for about a year/year half depending on work ethic, student load, job path, etc. There are things you can control and not based on how fast you can build hours.