General scholarships can usually be applied to associate degree programs, bachelor degree programs and master degree programs. However, there are many scholarships that are particular to aviation programs of all types. Students who are hoping to attend aviation or air traffic control schools can all benefit from applying for these lucrative scholarships to offset the cost of earning a certificate or degree. Aviation related scholarships can help students who are interested in working in some sector of aviation realize their educational dreams.
Students can find some aviation-related scholarships through traditional scholarship search engines, some of which offer categorical specializations in aviation so that students can filter their results. Most aviation schools also provide scholarships directly to their own students and this is the most popular way to earn money for one’s education. After students are accepted by an aviation school or possibly while he is still in the application process, they can apply for any aviation scholarships offered by their schools as long as they meet all requirements. Many schools require that students meet certain income requirements and many others only offer scholarships to upperclassmen.
Some organizations offer privately funded scholarships, although students should be aware that these are often quite competitive. The National Coalition for Aviation Education lists a number of privately funded scholarships on their website, for which the requirements and standards vary significantly. Some of the scholarships currently listed on their website include a $12,000 undergraduate scholarship – disbursed over the course of four years – from the Air Line Pilots Association, International, a number of scholarships from the Aircraft Electronics Association, $600 from the Soaring Society of America, and scholarships from Girls With Wings, Delta Airlines, and the Leroy W. Homer Jr. Foundation.
Aviation scholarships are usually offered to students who have demonstrated both a strong interest in aviation and financial need. There are some scholarships, however, that do not take financial need into account. There are also some scholarships that are available to students who have no prior experience with flight or aviation. Still, to set themselves apart from the crowd, students should put together an application that details their passion for and commitment to aviation. Earning a pilot’s license, attending training programs and constantly pushing oneself to meet new goals can all help set students apart. As a general rule, anything that helps set a candidate apart when applying to an aviation program will also help set them apart when applying for an aviation scholarship.
Most students who pursue an aviation-related degree do so at a two-year community college or a four-year college or university. Therefore, they are technically no different than students who are pursuing traditional degrees like computer science or history. These students are free to pursue the same financial aid options as anybody else, including federal funding and private loans. Any institution that provides undergraduate loans and grants can provide funding to students of aviation and air traffic control.
Stafford loans are perhaps the most popular type of financial aid distributed to undergraduates. Subsidized by the federal government, Stafford loans do not take credit into account when determining eligibility, so young students have access to them and all students are given a fixed-interest rate that is significantly lower than any other loans. Interest rates can be as low as 3.4 percent. Students can also get relatively large student loans – approximately $20,000 per year depending on the school they attend and their financial eligibility – and they do not have to begin a repayment schedule until after they graduate.
The majority of students who finance their own college educations will take out some measure of Stafford loans because they are arguably the best option for the vast majority of college students. In order to qualify for federal Stafford loans, students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each January.
The federal government also offers Pell grants to students who have demonstrated significant financial need. Students can get answers to their questions regarding federal funding through their school’s financial aid office.
Private student loans are usually only used by those students who need to supplement their federal loans, personal contributions and contributions from parents to meet room and board, books and tuition financial needs. There are many banks and lending institutions that offer private student loans and it is important that students compare all of the options available to them so that they can get the best possible interest rate and prepare a repayment plan that is feasible for them. Some private loans have fixed rates while others have variable rates.
It is more difficult to get a private student loan than it is to get a federal student loan because banks do often take credit into account. Students can apply with a cosigner, if necessary, which will help lower a student’s interest rate. Usually, the cosigner is a parent. The most popular private student loaners are Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo, Citibank, PNC, Citizen’s Bank, and U.S. Bank. (PrivateStudentLoans.com)