Hey everyone! My name is Nicole Brown and I am a Financial Aid Supervisor for L3Harris Flight Academy in Sanford, Florida. My role is to help qualified students apply and secure funding for their pilot training.
I know that navigating pilot training costs and applying for financial aid can be frustrating and confusing - especially if you have recently decided to become a pilot. So, here are my top five tips for finding financial aid to help pay for flight school!
1. Always apply for aviation grants and scholarships before applying for student loans
Everyone wants free money! Unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid unless under certain circumstances. There are numerous types of aviation scholarships and grants offered that could be applied towards a degree or career/technical program.
Scholarships are a source of funding that most students must find on their own. Search online, make sure you meet the requirements, and apply before the deadlines. Check with the Admissions Department at L3Harris Flight Academy to see if there are any scholarships being offered at that time.
2. Apply for Federal Financial Aid
Many students concerned about the cost of a pilot license consider Federal Financial Aid. This is money to help pay for college or a career school provided by the federal government. US citizens can apply for Federal Aid through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.studentaid.gov. If you are going to apply, along with other info, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your household income
- Your tax information (two years prior)
- Your school’s FAFSA code (ours here at L3Harris Flight Academy is 041571)
Leaving blank fields or listing incorrect tax information may cause miscalculations on the application or errors/rejections.
3. Find out about the different types of loans that are offered at your school
It is important to learn the details of each flight school loan since different loans will have different terms. Some loans may be better for you than others, so knowing the details (like interest rates and repayment terms) will benefit you in the long run. Currently, L3Harris Flight Academy students may be able to take advantage of:
- Federal Financial Aid
- Private loan options like Meritize or Sallie Mae
- Aviation Scholarships
- Other state loans
For Federal Aid loan information, you can visit www.studentaid.gov.
4. Know who the Financial Aid Officers are at the college you are applying to
Financial Aid Officers are the best resources and people to contact for questions about the cost of a pilot license and how to access funding to help with your pilot training. They will be there for you throughout the entire enrolment process, while attending school, and after graduating.
5. Be aware of agencies that charge to help complete applications
The FAFSA is a free application for Federal Student Aid. If a website seems too good to be true, reach out to a Financial Aid Officer to get more information. They are there to help and will guide you in the right direction.
If you have any questions about funding at the Florida L3Harris Flight Academy, feel free to reach out at USfinancialaid.Cts@L3Harris.com.