What to do after being denied from ATP?

Hello, I recently got denied from ATP and I’m wondering what are the next steps. The e-mail I received from ATP said the school was not accepting any new students as the program is already full, BUT if I were to have a private pilots license, I may be reconsidered. I don’t have any experience or training but I passed all the requirements and the admissions flight went very well - which I understand that does not guarantee acceptance through ATP. Was there something I could have done to have gotten accepted? I haven’t applied for the student loan and thought that’s why I didn’t get in. Should I try to apply at a different school instead? I know this is absolutely what I want to do in life and I’ve been planning on leaving my job and been saving as much as I can to pursue this career so I’m really at a loss of words of what to do now. Thanks for any advice!


We do not have access to the inner workings of ATP. I can tell you though that if this is your dream, you will find a way. I would look into other flight schools, as that is really the only other option you have. You can always apply back to ATP once you have your PPL, or continue with he other flight school.


Sorry to hear that Briana,

Maybe you can call admissions and politely request further details?
I’m only an ATP alumni, so can’t give more advice regarding ATP then that.

Regardless, there is almost always another school at the same airport your ATP location is at. And likely another dozen schools within an hour drive of you. Do your research and hopefully find some that fit your needs (loan, timeline, schedule, etc).
I’ve instructed at 2 flight schools besides ATP and rented airplanes from another 1/2 dozen across the USA. All have students going to the airlines. Aviation is all about problem solving. Think of this as your first test, to get familiar with flight schools and airports in your area. You should visit a few before shelling out $50-120k. I would recommend picking an established accelerated program is the best option over taking a lot longer to save a few bucks (if in your budget).

You have a lot of resources available to you. Look into Women in Aviation, The 99s, Female Pilots Sticking Together on FB, Aviation Training Mentorship on FB, and many others.

Best of luck,
Chris F


As the others have said, Id look elsewhere and see what other options are available. While I appreciate Chris F’s optimism, not sure he’s aware of the current situation for flight training in this country. First off not everyone lives within an hour of “dozens” of flight schools. Second literally all of the flight schools in my area are not accepting new students and many across the country will no longer let you just get your PPL.

The demand created by the pilot shortage has created a very challenging situation for many aspiring pilots. Best you can do is research what’s available on your area and see what options you may have.



Do you have a bachelors degree or at least two years of professional work experience? If you do, I’d focus on getting your PPL done at a nearby school. If you have other choices for accelerated airline career programs you can absolutely try those. However, if you’re more limited in your area get the PPL at a local mom and pop and reapply.


Thanks for your feedback, I will definitely find a way to get there!

Yes Chris, I was thinking of calling back as well and hope I could get more information. This ATP flight school is only 15 minutes from my house and the other schools I’ve looked at the same airport unfortunately don’t have the accelerated program so it looks like that’s the route I would probably have to go. I will definitely do more research though. Thanks!

Thanks for letting me know, Adam! I didn’t realize a lot of flight schools weren’t accepting any new students. I was just confused why they would allow me to do the admissions flight, then less than 24 hours later, tell me the program was full and I was denied. Made me question if I did something wrong. But I will now check if the other schools are even accepting new students or if there’s a wait list for any of the programs.

Hi Hannah, I don’t have a bachelors but I’ve been in the same profession for 13 years, and at my current company for 4 years - I just turned 32. Yes, there are 3 other flight training programs at the same airport as ATP but they don’t offer accelerated flight programs. So, I’m hoping I can try to at least get the PPL at one of those schools or possibly do the full training there.


ATP is a competitive flight school and with as many applications they are receiving, I can say from a perspective I had over a year and half ago, admissions is not guaranteed. The good news as the others have mentioned is there are other path/options at this time that you can do in the meantime. For example, as others mentioned, another flight school nearby to at least acquire the Private Pilot License and reapply to ATP. Yes, we all want to accelerate our path and success to the airlines, but maybe your location is further out than you expect. You can use that time at a nearby school if that is the case to acquire your PPL and enter Credit Private at ATP if approved.

Thankfully we are in a time were headlines have plastered there is a shortage and it isn’t expected to go away anytime soon, Boeing Corporation had a press release saying that there will be a need of over 100,000 commercial pilots in the next 20 years. You’re still below the average age of a student pilot so you’re still “ahead of the curve” to acquire the license.


Thanks for your insight Brady. I will definitely keep trying!