Propelling your career down the runway for liftoff may require financial help from industry-funded scholarships for aviation.
Associate, bachelor’s, and even master’s programs in aviation are found near most U.S. airports to train tomorrow’s flight industry leaders. Aviation majors at FAA-approved schools provide a wealth of cockpit experience as well as hands-on technical maintenance training.
Studying aviation could leave you flying high in a growing air transportation market. The BLS predicts that hiring of airline and commercial pilots will increase by 5 percent through 2024 for 5,400 new jobs. Aviation degrees also taxi toward occupations like avionics equipment mechanic, flight test engineer, aeronautical engineer, air traffic controller, airport executive, and aviation safety inspector.
If you’re shooting for the stars, steer your financial aid search to these 25 great aviation scholarships.
1. Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships
Deadline: December 20th
Inspiring female pilots since 1929, The Ninety-Nines, Inc. administers the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships for up to $6,000. Licensed pilot members must be currently enrolled in higher education for degrees in aviation, aerospace engineering, air traffic management, or advanced flight training with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The Kitty Houghton Memorial Scholarship is specifically reserved for ladies from non-G20 emerging economies like Chile, Egypt, Pakistan, and Vietnam.
Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships
4300 Amelia Earhart Drive Suite A
Oklahoma City, OK 73159
2. Anne Bridge Baddour Scholarship
Deadline: March 30th
Valued at $5,000, the Anne Bridge Baddour Scholarship is presented by the Aero Club of New England each Spring to honor the Exemplary Service Award winner’s 20-year piloting career. Funding lowers tuition at the three FAA-compliant aviation colleges in New England: Daniel Webster College, Bridgewater State University, and North Shore Community College. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, hold a current Airman Certificate, have accumulated 100+ flight hours, and exhibit unmet financial need.
Anne Bridge Baddour Scholarship
P.O. Box 183
Boston, MA 02128
3. Becker-Hansen Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: August 10th
The South Dakota Pilots Association (SDPA) offers the Becker-Hansen Memorial Scholarship for $1,500 to honor two lives lost in a MU-2 airplane crash that also killed State Governor George Mickelson. Young pilot members in the “Mount Rushmore State” must be at least 16 years old, attend any FAA-accredited flight school, display involvement in aviation activities, and need financial assistance. Aviators should also consider the Jeffrey Boulware Scholarship and Christopher J. Gustad Memorial Scholarship.
Becker-Hansen Memorial Scholarship
303 Golf LAne
Yankton, SD 57078
4. Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship
Deadline: August 14th
GlobalAir.com funds the Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship to honor the Korean War veteran who served as assistant superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools. Four recipients earn $1,000 annually to afford FAA-accredited aviation programs, including airport management, air traffic control, and commercial aviation, in the United States. Selected students must agree to write 200-500 word blog posts weekly about their aviation interests for the GlobalAir.com website.
Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship
2700 Moran Avenue
Louisville, KY 40205
5. Captain Kevin Kyle Mosley Scholarship
Deadline: February 28th
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum gifts the Captain Kevin Kyle Moseley Scholarship for $2,500 annually to support Oregon high school juniors and seniors who strive to fly or build aircraft. Eligible candidates must be between 16 and 18 years old, pursue a private pilot’s license or aircraft maintenance degree, reside outside of Yamhill County, possess enthusiasm for aviation, and submit a one-page resume.
Captain Kevin Kyle Mosley Scholarship
500 NE Captain Michael King Smith Way
McMinnville, OR 97128
6. Forrest Jones Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: January 1st
Established in 1999, the Forrest Jones Memorial Scholarship is granted for $3,000 by the Alaska Air Carriers Association (AACA) to graduating high school seniors applying to FAA-accredited colleges, licensed flight schools, or certified A&P programs. Qualified aviation majors must study full-time for 12+ credits per semester, maintain a minimum “C” average, reside in the “Last Frontier,” display personal initiative, and show good citizenship in community service.
Forrest Jones Memorial Scholarship
2301 Merrill Field Drive Suite A-3
Anchorage, AK 99501
7. GMAA-Batchelor Aviation Scholarships
Deadline: May 31st
The Greater Miami Aviation Association (GMAA) awards 10 to 12 scholarships worth up to $6,000 annually to honor George E. Batchelor, the aircraft-trading entrepreneur who founded Aerospace Finance Corp. in 1999. Qualified recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, attend South Florida colleges full-time, have completed at least 15 credits in aviation coursework, carry a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, hold FAA flight certificates, and attach two recommendations.
GMAA-Batchelor Aviation Scholarships
P.O. Box 66-0834
Miami, FL 33266
8. Harry E. Arcamuzi Aviation Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) manages nine small scholarships for aviation, including the $500 Harry E. Arcamuzi Aviation Scholarship. This merit-based, renewable fund helps graduating high school seniors from inner cities like Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, and Seattle who are entering post-secondary programs in aviation with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students could also apply for the five-week DAHER Summer Internship, which includes round-trip transportation from the U.S. to France.
Harry E. Arcamuzi Aviation Scholarship
3000 Poberezny Road
Oshkosh, WI 54902
9. Joseph Frasca Excellence in Aviation Scholarships
Deadline: April 7th
The University Aviation Association provides two Joseph Frasca Excellence in Aviation Scholarships for $1,000 to college undergrads who are excelling with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or better in aviation studies. Eligibility criteria requires holding FAA certification in flight or aviation maintenance, attaining junior or senior standing, belonging to aviation-related organizations like Alpha Eta Rho. Applications are accepted at UAA-member schools, such as Auburn, Embry-Riddle, and Westminster.
Joseph Frasca Excellence in Aviation Scholarships
545 N. Airport Road
Murphysboro, IL 62966
10. Joshua Esch Mitchell Aviation Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Since 1945, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation in Michigan has blossomed to administer over $1 million yearly, including the Joshua Esch Mitchell Aviation Scholarship. Qualifying for $1,000 requires having United States citizenship, living in Kent County from Sand Lake to Caledonia, enrolling at least half-time in FFA-accredited aviation curricula, achieving sophomore or higher standing, finishing requirements for a valid pilot’s certificate, and possessing a 2.75 overall GPA or better.
Joshua Esch Mitchell Aviation Scholarship
185 Oakes Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
11. Judith Resnik Memorial Scholarships
Deadline: Last day of March, June, September, and December
Each quarter, the Judith Resnik Memorial Scholarship is bestowed by American Flyers, a national flight school with locations from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles. Qualified women must hold current second class medical licensure, work toward Certified Instructor (CFIA) ratings, be United States citizens, attend accredited colleges with a 3.0 GPA or higher, and exhibit good communication skills. Aviation scholarships cover 120 hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of dual flight training.
Judith Resnik Memorial Scholarships
2501 Airport Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90405
12. Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship
Deadline: August 1st
As one of the National Business Aviation Associations’ (NBAA) most profitable funds, the Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship presents $4,500 annually to five outstanding full-time college undergraduates. Eligible recipients must be United States citizens, attain sophomore or higher status, attend UAA-member schools, pursue associate or bachelor’s programs for aviation management, excel academically with a minimum 3.0 GPA, and display integrity and selflessness in community service.
Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship
1220 G Street NW Suite 110
Washington, DC 20005
13. Lowell Gaylor Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Created by the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) to remember the late president of AvEI Co. in Texas, the Lowell Gaylor Memorial Scholarship distributes $1,000 for student members studying aviation. It’s intended for high school seniors or current undergrads who are entering FAA-approved schools full-time with a 2.5 GPA or greater for majors in aviation management, aeronautics, avionics, or aircraft maintenance. Students specifically at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology could claim $35,000.
Lowell Gaylor Memorial Scholarship
3570 NE Ralph Powell Road
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
14. Mullen Memorial Flight Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
The Aviation Association of Indiana (AAI) administers the Mullen Memorial Flight Scholarship for $1,500 to support graduates of public or private high schools in the “Hoosier State” who are flying toward aviation goals. Interested applicants must be at least sophomores, attend two- or four-year Indiana colleges, major in aviation management or maintenance, present average or better grades, show involvement in extracurriculars, and certify their unmet financial need.
Mullen Memorial Flight Scholarship
135 N. Pennsylvania Street Suite 1175
Indianapolis, IN 46204
15. Navigate Your Future Scholarship
Deadline: June 30th
Worth $2,500, the Navigate Your Future Scholarship is awarded by the National Air Transportation Association for tuition during full-time undergraduate study. Qualified applicants must be graduating U.S. high school seniors, gain freshman admission at FAA-approved schools for aviation-related degrees, have career interests in general aviation, and submit a certified transcript with class ranking. Other NATA scholarships for aviation are the Pioneers of Flight Scholarship and Business Scholarship.
Navigate Your Future Scholarship
818 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 900
Washington, DC 20006
16. NGPA American Airlines Scholarships
Deadline: August 1st
The National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) offers three corporate-sponsored scholarships from American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. Recipients can apply the $5,000 awards for covering advanced flight training or accredited college tuition. Suitable applicants will hold a high school diploma or GED, be at least 18 years old, have obtained a private pilot’s certificate, seek professional aviation skills, and continually advocate for the LGBT community.
NGPA American Airlines Scholarships
4931 W. 35th Street Suite 200
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
17. Northrop Rice Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: January 31st
Ranging from $500 to $4,000 each, the Northrop Rice Foundation offers 40 aviation scholarships for members enrolled full-time at FAA-certified Part 147 schools. For example, the Avotek LLC Scholarship covers textbooks for students studying avionics. The Houston PAMA Chapter Scholarship applies solely to Texans in the Greater Houston area who have aviation dreams. One PDF application package is required with a transcript, five-paragraph essay, and two professional recommendation letters.
Northrop Rice Foundation Scholarships
300 S. John Rodes Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32904
18. PJ & Dietra Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
Since 1997, the Airport Minority Advisory Council has gifted over $300,000 total to diverse African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian students who are entering the airport industry. The $2,000 PJ & Dietra Memorial Scholarship selects B.A./B.S. candidates majoring in aviation, business, accounting, architecture, engineering, or related fields. United States citizens must attend accredited universities, sustain a 2.5 GPA or better, and participate in the AMAC Student Program.
PJ & Dietra Memorial Scholarship
100 M Street SE Suite 600
Washington, DC 20003
19. Regional Airline Association Scholarships
Deadline: May 1st
Led by Cape Air Chair Linda Markham, the Regional Airline Association (RAA) grants four yearly scholarships of $4,000 apiece to outstanding students expressing intent to enter the airline industry. Appropriate applicants will attend accredited two- or four-year U.S. colleges, select aviation-related majors, maintain good standing with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and actively participate in community activities. Don’t forget to upload a transcript copy, resume, faculty recommendation, and 350-word goals essay.
Regional Airline Association Scholarships
2025 M Street NW Suite 800
Washington DC 20036
20. Sean DeRosier Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: December 31st
Named after the Blue Ridge Aeronautics employee who performed at the Oshkosh Air Venture, SeaFair, and more, the Sean DeRosier Memorial Scholarship awards $1,500 from the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Foundation yearly. Eligible male and female pilots must be between 17 and 31 years old, pursue aerobatic flight training, intend to receive a private pilot’s or A&P license, and write a one-page aviation goals essay.
Sean DeRosier Memorial Scholarship
748 Miller Drive SE Suite G-3
Leesburg, VA 20175
21. Searching for Success Scholarship
Deadline: December 1st
The Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance (AWAM) announces over $185,000 in scholarships each year, including the Searching for Success Scholarship. This merit-based program is organized by the Louisville for female bachelor’s students who are studying aviation maintenance, aerospace engineering, or related technical fields with a minimum 3.0 GPA and avid community service participation. Claiming this $1,500 prize requires living in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, or Tenneseee.
Searching for Success Scholarship
2330 Kenlee Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45230
22. Theresa Nistler Colley Scholarship
Deadline: January 9th
The Montana Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division has established several aviation scholarships like the Theresa Nistler Colley Scholarship, which honors a young pilot who lost her battle with leukemia in 2012. To qualify for $1,000, Montana residents must be seeking aviation professions, hold a private pilot’s certificate, be between 17 and 35 years old, and attend accredited U.S. institutions. Also consider the Vigilante Hangar Scholarship and Edwards Jet Center Scholarship.
Theresa Nistler Colley Scholarship
P.O. Box 200507
Helena, MT 59620
23. Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation
Deadline: January 26th
Celebrating the history of the U.S. Armed Forces’ first Black military aviators, the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation provides 40 scholarships of $1,500 apiece to assist financially disadvantaged youth interested in aviation. Eligible aspiring pilots must have graduated from accredited high schools, pursue higher education, maintain a “B” average or better, and have community activities like Junior ROTC or Explorer Scouts. Applications can be obtained by students’ local Tuskegee Airmen Chapter.
Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation
1816 S. Figueroa Street Suite 4.13
Los Angeles, CA 90015
24. VABA Aviation Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 31st
Headquartered in Richmond, the Virginia Aviation Business Association (VABA) hosts the annual Aviation Scholarship Program to provide $2,000 to well-deserving, in-state high school seniors or graduates who are pursuing careers in aviation, including aerospace engineering. Hopeful applicants must be accepted at a technical college or university in Virginia, attain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, attach two recommendations, and write a 500-word essay titled “Why Aviation is Important to the Commonwealth.”
VABA Aviation Scholarship Program
1011 E Main Street Suite 400
Richmond, VA 23219
25. Walter Beall Aviation Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
The Fleet Reserve Association Educational Foundation honors Walter Beall, the U.S. Marine Corps veteran and past regional president, by awarding an Aviation Scholarship for up to $5,000. Funding is reserved for FRA members in good standing and their spouses, children, or grandchildren. Other criteria includes being a United States citizen, enrolling full-time in a college or technical school, pursuing aviation-oriented degrees, and have financial need.
Walter Beall Aviation Scholarship
125 N. West Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Soaring tuition prices could create some turbulence in your aviation education. The College Board reports that the average total budget is $24,610 at public and $49,320 at private U.S. institutions yearly. Although the median pay for pilots is $102,520, upfront tuition costs may leave you calling “Mayday” before graduation. Fortunately, free financial assistance can keep your flight plan on track without hefty loan debt. Make your training less expensive with some of these money-saving scholarships for aviation.
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