Flight Training Scholarships

AOPA Flight Training Scholarship Program

Brought to you by the AOPA Foundation

Flight Training Scholarship application information
will be posted in May 2016.


Scholarship applicants must meet all criteria listed below.

1. Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident

2. Be at least 16 years of age at the time of application

3. Hold a current FAA Student Pilot Certificate at the time of application

4. Be a current member of AOPA at both the time of application and when the scholarship is awarded. Military, student and AV8RS memberships are eligible to apply. 

5. Not have completed the FAA practical test/checkride at the time of application

Please Note: The application process is closed. 2016 scholarship information will be posted in May.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can I submit more than one scholarship application?

A. No, you cannot submit multiple applications. You only need to submit one application to be considered.

Q. What is a student pilot certificate and how do I get one?

A. A student pilot certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You can obtain a student pilot certificate from an aviation medical examiner (AME), a designated pilot examiner (DPE), or an FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). Visiting an AME is the most common method for obtaining a student pilot certificate, especially for those seeking a private or recreational pilot certificate. In these cases, the AME will issue your student pilot certificate as part of the aviation medical exam. If you’re pursuing a sport pilot certificate and won’t be getting an aviation medical exam, your flight school or instructor can direct you to a local DPE and/or FSDO in order to get your student pilot certificate.

Q. I currently hold a private pilot certificate to fly gliders and I am now working toward my private pilot certificate for airplanes. Can I apply for this scholarship?

A. If you already hold a pilot certificate of any type (other than an FAA student pilot certificate), you are not eligible for this scholarship. Only students training for their initial pilot certificate may apply.

Q. Do I have to be enrolled in a collegiate aviation program to apply?

A. No, there is no requirement to be enrolled in an accredited aviation program or college to apply. Additionally, you do not need to have aviation career aspirations to apply.

Q. Which two people should I have complete the online recommendation form?

A. Choose two people who know you well, are familiar with your goal to earn a pilot certificate, and can share why you’ll successfully complete flight training. Consider asking your flight and/or ground school instructor, a pilot mentor, or a professional colleague to complete the recommendation form on your behalf. We do not recommend having two family members complete your recommendations.

Q. Should I ask more than two people to submit recommendations for me?

A. No. The system will only accept two recommendations for each scholarship applicant. You should only ask a third person if one of the first two people you ask is unable to complete the online recommendation form by the deadline.

Q. I didn’t win a scholarship last time I applied. Should I apply again?

A. Of course! We know there are many outstanding student pilots who would really benefit from a flight training scholarship. Please note all applications are cleared after the scholarship recipients are selected. You must submit a new application and recommendations each award cycle to ensure we’re reviewing the most current information.

Q. I have a question that isn’t addressed above. How can I contact AOPA?

A. For scholarship related questions, send an email FTscholarship@aopa.org.

Application Process

1.Complete the online application. Paper applications will not be accepted.

2. After completing the online application, you will receive a unique link for an online recommendation form that is specific to you. Send that exact link to two individuals and ask them to complete the online recommendation form by the application deadline (10:00pm, EASTERN, on Sunday, August 9, 2015). Send the unique link to only two individuals. The online system will not accept more than two recommendations.

A special thank you to those who have donated to the AOPA Foundation in support of the Flight Training Scholarship Program. Because of you, we are able to support passionate aviators of all ages who serve as lifelong ambassadors for general aviation.

2015 Scholarship Donors:

  • Buddy Flights Scholarship
  • Blackburn Flight Scholarship
  • Breitling Aviation Scholarship Fund
  • The Richard R. and Gretchen E. Harper Scholarship in memory of Richard R. Harper
  • Noe-Singer Flight Training Scholarship
  • Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Endowment Scholarships
  • Gina Santori Flight Training Scholarship
  • Richard Santori Memorial Scholarship
  • Ceci Stratford Flight Training Scholarship

>>Learn more about this year's Flight Training Scholarship donors
>>View the list of 2015 scholarship recipients