What steps after high school?

Hi I’m currently in 10th grade enrolled in a dual enrollment program with Embry Riddle. I will earn 20 college credits in Aeronautics. I will also earn my PPL and a Drone license by my senior year. I have had a few flights and I want to continue my path towards becoming a professional pilot. I have been researching and am getting conflicting information regarding going to college then ATP, doing both at a university or just going to ATP after high school. I have read some airlines have waived their degree requirements for the majors. Can anyone give me some recommendations and insight on what is best to do after graduation? Thanks

Welcome, Melissa,

This question is asked often. We talk at great lengths about it in our FAQ section.

Our take is to earn your degree, but we are not fans of aviation universities because of their high tuition prices and limiting degree programs.

We recommend obtaining a degree in a non-aviation subject to have something to use as a back up if needed.

Yes, most of the airlines have changed their degree requirements, but degrees are still recommended. Plus, most pilots have one.


Thank you for the advice. I will look further into some college options. I appreciate your honesty. Some schools I have spoken with have tried to assure me that there are no college requirements but I wanted to get some feedback from elsewhere to see.

Not required, but still recommended.



As Tory said, we believe the best route is to study a non-aviation subject and then pursue flight training immediately after in an accelerated environment. If you can work out instate tuition or community college for the first two years, the cost of college can be minimal. Then the cost of flight training added on would still be less than most aviation degree programs. You come out with a back up degree, more ratings (most programs end at CFI or CMEL), a job as a CFI and opportunities with dozens of pathway programs.

It is true that a degree is no longer “required” meaning they will review applications without one. However, your chances of getting an interview without one are small.



You should absolutely still plan on getting a four year degree. While many of the majors have technically dropped the requirement, the reality is that a degree is still highly preferred.