12 Aviation Scholarships to Help Start Your Flying Career

aviation scholarships

With an aviation scholarship, you’ll soon be flying with an instructor and on your way to accomplishing your pilot certificates. [Credit: CanvaPro]

Flight training scholarships, women in aviation scholarships, emergency maneuver training, you name it and there’s likely an aviation scholarship available. Many different aviation organizations aim to assist students and pilots of all experience levels in completing their education and career goals in both aviation and aerospace. 

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Lack of funding continues to be a main reason students put off furthering their aviation education, and with so many superior aviation scholarships available, this doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be the case. Read on to learn about a few major organizations that offer aviation scholarships. 

1. Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Flight Training Scholarships

The Experimental Aircraft Association is generous with their aviation scholarships each year and continues to look for aspiring pilots who are active in their community. If your interest in aviation propels you and you’re looking to attend flight school within the year, then apply for this superior aviation scholarship today. 

Whether you’re currently in flight school or looking to soon pursue it, the aviation scholarship can help you soar. 

Eligibility Requirements: The EAA aviation scholarships must be used within one year from the date they are awarded and the applicant must be eligible for flight training at the time of submission. 

 When to Apply

  • Flight Training Scholarships (for students starting flight training July 1 to December 31): March 1, 2022 to June 1, 2022 
  • Post-secondary scholarships: November 15, 2021 to January 31, 2022 
  • Air Academy Camperships: January 10, 2022 to April 1, 2022

Award Amount: Each EAA scholarship awards a minimum of $5,000. Annually, the EAA awards over $1 million in aviation scholarships. 

2. UAA Janice K. Barden Aviation Scholarship

The University Aviation Association (UAA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) team up to provide this scholarship for students currently enrolled in programs related to aviation. Named for the late Janice K. Barden, this scholarship is intended for those who are looking to make a difference in the aviation industry. 

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be:

  • U.S citizen or permanent resident
  • Full-time undergraduate student enrolled at an NBAA/UAA member institution
  • Sophomore or higher
  • Enrolled in aviation-related program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Application package includes:
    • Application form
    • Essay
    • Transcript
    • Resume
    • Two letters of recommendation

When to Apply: The application period is generally open from early-September to mid-January. 

Where to Apply: Apply at https://nbaa.smapply.io/prog/Barden/

Award Amount: Annually, five undergraduates are awarded a minimum $1,000 scholarship.

3. AAERO Scholarship

While this aviation scholarship is for those who have yet to obtain their private pilot’s certificate, applicants must be able to complete the training program within 12 months, if selected. 

The AAERO scholarship strives to help committed aviation students complete flight school in a timely and effective manner. 

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be:

  • 18 years or older
  • Located within the U.S.
  • Possess a student certificate 
  • Have a flight school/CFI selected

When to Apply: The AAERO scholarship application will be available online starting April 1, 2022.

Where to Apply: Be the first to apply at https://www.aaero.com/aviation-scholarships/ —when this scholarship reopens.

Award Amount: $150 to $2,500

4. Women in Aviation International Scholarships

The Women in Aviation International scholarships are for more than just those interested in flying. WAI has scholarships available for those interested in aerospace engineering, aviation maintenance, dispatch, professional development, and more. 

When you’re looking to advance in aviation, there’s a great chance that WAI has an aviation scholarship for you. 

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be:

  • A member of WAI to apply
  • Scholarship requirements vary; however, all scholarship applications must include:
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • 500-word essay
    • Professional resume

When to Apply: The 2022 application period has closed. Applications are generally due by mid-October with scholarships awarded the following March at the annual Women in Aviation International Conference. The 2023 application period should open sometime following the March conference.

Award Amount: Scholarships vary. In 2021, WAI awarded 149 scholarships valued at $731,805

5. The LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Scholarships

This aviation scholarship is for those looking to earn a private pilot certificate. LeRoy Homer was the First Officer onboard United Flight No. 93 on September 11, 2001. 

This scholarship was created to honor his integrity and to help support young adults with a love for aviation. 

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be: 

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Between 16 and 23 years old before the application deadline
  • Enrolled in any college or aviation program

When to Apply: The application window is typically open from October 31 to January 31.

Where to Apply: When open, apply at https://leroywhomerjr.org/scholarships/application/

Award Amount: Generally, two scholarships are awarded annually for varying amounts. 

6. Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships & Awards

There are five different Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships available, all differing in the aviation and aerospace departments. 

From flight training to technical training, to emergency maneuver training and more, the Amelia Earhart aviation scholarships are there to support women in all areas of their aviation careers. 

Eligibility Requirements

Generally, applicants must: 

  • Be a member of The Ninety-Nines Inc.
  • Have a realistic goal and drive to further advance in aviation or aerospace
  • Be in need of financial assistance to achieve aviation goals
  • Hold all required prerequisite certificates or ratings prior to submission of application.

Additional requirements vary depending on the AE scholarship for which you apply. 

When to Apply: Application deadlines are generally January 1.

Award Amount: Varies depending upon each scholarship and its financial requirements. 

7. Aviation Distributors and Manufacturers Association Scholarships

Focusing on providing assistance for youth aviation education, the Aviation Distributors and Manufacturers Association offers scholarships for aviation students.  

With an ever-changing aviation industry, these aviation scholarships are geared toward ensuring the younger generation is prepared to help the industry thrive. 

Eligibility Requirements: Requirements vary, but applicants must be currently enrolled in an aviation program at an accredited institution

Applicants must: 

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 
  • Submit a 500-word essay
  • Submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation

When to Apply: Application period typically closes in May.

Where to Apply: Apply at https://www.adma.org/scholarship

Award Amount: Varies, usually between $2,000 to $4,000.

8. National Aviation Explorer Scholarships

The National Aviation Explorer Scholarships were created to encourage Aviation Explorers to advance their education in the aviation industry. Aviation Explorers is a program offered by Learning for Life, which is a branch of the Boy Scouts of America. 

Helping to build future leaders in aviation, these aviation scholarships support those eager and determined Aviation Explorers. 

Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be current and active with an Aviation Explorer post. Additional requirements are listed in the application. 

When to Apply: Applications are due March 31, 2022

Award Amount: Varies, usually between $5,000 and $20,000

9. The Ninety-Nines

The Ninety-Nines is an organization that has been inspiring women pilots since 1929 and they have more than 30 different aviation scholarships available, some of which are based on your location. 

These aviation scholarships are intended to help women with a passion for aviation complete their goals—regardless of their financial state. 

Eligibility Requirements: Varies based on scholarship and location

When to Apply: Varies based on scholarship

Where to Apply: Apply for the many different Ninety-Nines Scholarships at https://www.ninety-nines.org/other-scholarships.htm

Award Amount: Varies based on scholarship and location

10. University Aviation Association (UAA)

The University Aviation Association has six different aviation scholarships available. The goal of the UAA aviation scholarships is to promote and enhance the quality of aviation education. 

This organization works to ensure education is available to those with a love and determination to pursue a career in aviation. 

Eligibility Requirements: Varies based on scholarship

When to Apply: Scholarship applications are accepted beginning April 1, 2022.

Award Amount: Varies based on scholarship

11. Aviation Education and Career EXPO Scholarship

With more than 30 different types of scholarships and awards available, the Aviation Education and Career EXPO aims to assist young aviation enthusiasts in furthering their education. 

Flight school awards and scholarships are available, both monetary and tuition awards. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be 16 to 22 years old and enrolled either in high school or college
  • Application requirements vary depending on scholarship

When to Apply: Deadlines are typically in early October. The winners are announced at the EXPO in late October; selected applicants must attend the EXPO to receive their scholarship/award.

Award Amount: Varies based on scholarship

12. The Boeing Company Scholarships

The Boeing Company has been supporting students in the aviation and education fields for years. They work directly with universities to help students reach their aviation goals. 

Reach out to your university relations department to learn more about the many aviation scholarships Boeing offers. 

Eligibility Requirements: Varies based on scholarship

When to Apply: Varies based on scholarship

Where to Apply: To learn more about scholarship opportunities, email UniversityRelations@boeing.com

Award Amount: Varies based on scholarship 

Don’t Let Funding Get In The Way of Your Aviation Education

With an incredible number of aviation scholarships available, it can be tough to know which one is the best fit for you. If funding is the only thing holding you back from your dream aviation career, don’t waste any more time, look through the available aviation scholarships and apply today!

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Where do you find aviation scholarships?

Different aviation scholarships can be found in several locations online. FAA.gov is an excellent source with a large number of aviation scholarships listed.

Who are aviation scholarships for?

Aviation scholarships are for aspiring pilots, aircraft mechanics, and so much more. Nearly anyone with an interest in the aviation or aerospace industries can apply for some type of aviation scholarship.

How to qualify for aviation scholarships?

Most aviation scholarships can be applied for online. Depending on the scholarship, requirements can differ from application to application.

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