Questions To Ask When Evaluating Flight Scholarships

If you're applying for scholarships to flight school, you need to be sure you know all of the requirements and regulations that the scholarship-issuing organization has decided to use. Not knowing the full story means you could end up dealing with some difficult situations, including possibly losing the scholarship or getting funding for only part of your training, when you'd really need funding for all of it.

How to Keep the Scholarship if You Can't Complete Training on Schedule

It's common for scholarships to have time limits, meaning you have to complete the program within a certain number of months or years. However, the organizations that issue the scholarships know students are human and can face unexpected crises. It makes no sense to make a scholarship timeline so strict that students can't handle short-term family emergencies and illnesses, for example. Still, you don't want to assume that all of the scholarships will be flexible. It's best to ask what the procedure would be to keep your scholarship if you had to delay your coursework or final tests due to unforeseen emergencies.

Do You Have to Repay the Scholarship if You Drop Out?

Some emergencies take longer to deal with than others, and if you find yourself in a bind that requires you to drop out of the flight classes, the last thing you need is a bill from the issuing organization. A very important question to ask is whether you'd have to repay the portion of the scholarship already doled out to you if you had to drop out of flight school. If the scholarship is issued in one go, you'd need to know how much might be repayable and how much would simply be used up by the school.

Sometimes, the school might refund the scholarship amount; that often depends on how long you've been in classes. Someone who has to leave within the first couple of weeks of school is in a different situation than someone who has to leave close to graduation. The answer to the question might also depend on the reason you're leaving. Compare leaving due to just not liking your classes and leaving due to long-term medical treatment -- one could receive a very different answer than the other.

Are You Eligible for Further Scholarships From the Same Organization?

If you are planning to get several certifications and learn how to fly several types of aircraft, you may need to take several series of courses. Each of these could have their own fees, and you need to know if getting one scholarship for one series of courses prevents you from being eligible for future scholarships from the same organization.

You could take one series of courses for a basic flight license, and you might have a scholarship for that series. But if you want to get a more specialized license and have to take another series of courses for that, would you be able to get a second scholarship from the same people, or would you have to seek out entirely new funding?

Organizations that offer scholarships should have a point of contact that you can call to find out the answer to these questions. Don't avoid asking because being in the dark is worse than asking the same set of questions every time you inquire about a scholarship.

For more information, contact Institute of Aviation at Parkland College or a similar location.