Part time vs full time student


I have been thinking of becoming a commercial pilot for a while now. I’m almost done with my bachelor’s degree. After graduation, I’m thinking of taking a part-time job and attend flight school at ATP. I was wondering how different a part-time student vs a full-time student can be. How many days will I have to be on campus for ground school as a part-time student vs full time? If someone here can let me know, that will be much appreciated.


Flex Track Policies / ATP Flight School

This link is what I used to give me the answers to those very same questions.

If I was going to be able to attend ATP it would have to be this route as I am a fulltime Father and I own my own business.


The link above should answer your questions but I will say if you can train full-time you should. The Flex option is a fine compromise but there’s a reason the airlines and the military both train their pilots full-time. Each skill and piece of knowledge builds upon the last and the less down time the better.

That said not everyone can afford to take 9mos off from life and again the FlexTrack offers a reasonable compromise by still requiring a commitment and hold you to a scheduled amount of training.

Ultimately the best program is the one that works best for you but again if you can make the commitment, there’s nothing better than the Fast Track.


1 Like

Hey Darrell,

Thank you for the link. It was very helpful. As a part-time student, how did you felt about your experience? Was it stressful to manage your business and study?

Hey Adam,

Thank you for responding. I really appreciate it. Based on my understanding, part-time students are required to login a minimum of 15 hours per one month over the course of 18 months. On the other hand, full-time students are required to be available five days a week for training. My question is how many hours are full-time students required to login? I think that will give me a better idea.




It’s really not a question of how many hours you’ll log per week with the Fast Track. The Flex sets a minimum to keep you on track and ensure you’re progressing. With the Fast Track you’ll be flying more some weeks than others but the goal is progressing through the various licenses and ratings in the alloted time. Suffice to say to reach the required hours for your Commercial license within the time frame you’ll definitely be flying more than 15 per month average.
Here’s the timeline:

Fyi, it is possible to start in either the Fast or Flex and switch if you find whichever you’ve selected isn’t working for you.



To clear something up, logging 15 hours of flight time will take a lot more than 15 hours of your time to do so. There are preflight briefs, post flight briefs, ground school and studying. Now the Flew Track is designed to work around your schedule, but it will take darn near most of your free time.

As for the Fast Track, it really is a full time program. I am not sure what the hour requirement is, but do not even think of working during the program. This is a highly accelerated program, it takes every minute of your time to be successful in it. There will be portions of the training that are required to be done at night and weather is constantly changing, meaning that your schedule will constantly change as well.

If you need to work during training, plan on doing the Flex Track.