Guide to Your Future

Hundreds of organizations in the aerospace industry are ready to give you money—to train to fly, to learn their trades, to work for them as apprentices, or to study their subjects in school. Here is your Air & Space/NEXT guide to these sources. Know a resource we could add? Contact us at editors@si.edu.

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The Ninety-Nines

November 21st, 2016, 2:30PM

Since 1929, the Ninety-Nines has promoted the advancement of women pilots, technicians and mechanics, and since 1940 has awarded scholarships to at least 400 women. Their Karen Johnson Solo Scholarship, in conjunction with the WomenVenture portion of the annual fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, awards $3,000 to women ages 16 to 20 to reach their first solo flight. The Amelia Earhart Scholarship Memorial Fund offers awards up to $6,000 in categories ranging from adding a multi-engine pilot rating to a full type-rating, to learning emergency maneuvers and spins, to women in a non-G20 “emerging economy country” to pursue an aviation career in their own nation. The Ninety-Nines also offer grants to research scholars for “the expansion of human knowledge in areas of specific differences faced by women in aviation: as pilots, as engineers, as administrators, and in military aviation.”

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The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals is dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of minorities in all aviation and aerospace careers. In the last 40 years, the organization has coordinated donations from its 3,000 members to award more than $4.8 million in scholarships to 470 recipients. Scholarships range from undergraduate college tuition assistance for an “aviation related program” to graduate and professional advancement. Their website profiles a student who received $35,000 for training for a 737 type-rating with Delta Air Lines.

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National Gay Pilots Association

November 10th, 2016, 12:49PM

The National Gay Pilots Association acts as a umbrella for six $5,000 scholarships funded by American, Delta, and United Airlines to meet their goals for diversity and inclusion. Applicants must hold at least a private pilot certificate. The scholarships can be used for advanced flight training and/or flight education at an accredited institution or program. The Association says that the funds are not awarded on the basis of sexual orientation, but “the applicant should provide evidence of his or her contribution to the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] community.”

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Lightspeed Aviation Foundation

November 10th, 2016, 12:45PM

The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation grants up to $10,000 each to organizations that arrange for pilots to fly charitable missions. Winners have included Pilots N Paws, which brings rescue animals to adoption sites; New Tribes Mission Aviation, which transports missionaries and disaster relief to remote areas; and JAARS, which flies people to otherwise-inaccessible locations for missionary work, reading education, health education, community development, and more.

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Idaho Aviation Association

November 10th, 2016, 12:10PM

The Idaho Aviation Association helps residents of Idaho, and occasionally from nearby states, to pursue their initial flight training or add a rating with companies based in Idaho under one of four scholarship programs.

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Southern California Aviation Association

November 10th, 2016, 12:09PM

Companies based in Southern California offer scholarships to individuals pursuing an aircraft type rating or airline transport pilot rating, as well as maintenance training assistance for the Cessna Citation 500, 550, or 650 series aircraft.

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Experimental Aircraft Association

November 10th, 2016, 12:08PM

The Experimental Aircraft Association lists seven types of scholarship to help with training toward a first certificate, 11 types of scholarship funds for college-level study, along with 31 opportunities for tuition or attendance costs to “camp” at its summertime Air Academy program in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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National Air Transportation Association

November 10th, 2016, 12:07PM

The National Air Transportation Association describes itself as “the voice of aviation business,” representing 2,300 companies in the general aviation market. The association offers scholarships in five categories including high school seniors just accepted into university, initial flight training for college students, and course fees for professionals who want to advance their current trade.

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Aerosim Flight Academy Disciples of Flight

November 10th, 2016, 12:02PM

Veterans of the U.S. military enrolled in Aerosim Flight Academy's Airline Pilot Track can submit a 500-word essay to win a $10,000 scholarship. The academy’s president Hank Coates served 23 years as a Navy aviator and wants to provide “a seamless transition for our valued Veterans into the next stage of their career.” Essays are judged by a committee based on originality, composition, clarity, and relevance to airline pilot training.