How We Ranked These Flight Schools

To help you make the best decision when choosing a flight school, we gathered information and ranked each school in five categories.

[File Photo: Adobe Stock]

To help you make the best decision when choosing a flight school, we gathered information and ranked each school in five categories.

  • Career Partnerships
  • Value
  • Campus Life
  • Fleet
  • Facilities/Location

Career Partnerships

Partnerships with aviation companies help students get a jump start to their career before they graduate. Because of the value that industry partners bring, schools were ranked based on the number of partnerships held. 

  • Zero partners = 5 points
  • One partner = 6 points
  • Two partners = 7 points
  • Three partners = 8 points
  • Four partners = 9 points 
  • Five or more partners = 10 points

Value 

Learning to fly, especially in conjunction with pursuing a degree, can be very expensive. Most affordable schools may be more attractive to prospective students. The rankings for value are based on academic and flight costs added together and do not factor in any scholarships or financial aid. 

Cost 

  • More than $300k = 2 points
  • $250-$300k = 4 points
  • $200-$250k = 5 points
  • $150-$200k = 6 points
  • $130-$150k = 7 points
  • $100-$130k = 8 points
  • $80-$100k = 9 points
  • <$80k = 10 points

Fleet

Every flight school has a fleet of aircraft for students to utilize in their flight training. While the fundamentals of flying are similar in all aircraft types, up-to- date fleets and similar platforms when transitioning can all play a role in how long a student stays in the program, the investment they put into training, and overall convenience. 

Points were given according to how many airframe types a school offers:

  • 1 airframe type (no multi-engine) = 5 points
  • 2 airframe types = 7 points
  • 3 airframe types = 8 points
  • 4 airframe types = 9 points
  • - 1 point if they are opposite wings (low wing vs high wing)
  • + 1 for rotor-wing
  • Bonus point for new fleet or up to date fleet

Campus Life

Students who attend a college or university for flight school may want to experience traditional college life as part of their training. Some schools offer full college living with sports and clubs, while others offer a simpler menu.. Accelerated flight schools with no degree attachment were not ranked on campus life. 

One point each for:

  • Campus housing
  • Sports (+2 for D1)
  • Clubs and organizations
  • Greek life
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Internship opportunities
  • NIFA membership
  • Recreational facilities 

Facilities/Location

For flight students, commuting to the airport is part of their college schedule and a long commute may be a negative when picking a school. On the other hand, some colleges and universities have an onsite airport for the convenience of the students. This ranking was determined by the commute a student must take to get to the flight line. 

  • 30-40 minutes = 5 points
  • 20-30 minutes = 6 points
  • 10-20 minutes = 7 points
  • 5-10 minutes = 8 points
  • Located on airfield = 9 points 

A school was given a bonus point if it is a PSI testing center.

Updates

As schools grow, there is a possibility that its ranking may change. We will monitor for school changes, school rankings  will be updated if any of the above information changes.

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