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


Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

November 21st, 2016, 2:34PM

The AOPA High School Flight Training Scholarship is offered to pilot trainees ages 15 to 18. The AOPA Foundation Scholarship seeks pilot trainees ages 16 and over. And the AOPA AV8RS Scholarship is intended for teens from 13 through 18 for a number of aviation-related goals beyond flight training. Awards range from $2,500 to $12,000 and some require a membership in AOPA (the first six months of membership is free to students). All flight training applicants must hold an FAA student pilot certificate. Profiles of previous winners are online.


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.”


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.


In 2016 the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance awarded scholarships to 36 women and eight men to study aircraft maintenance at all skill levels, and in 2017 will expand the program through donations from at least 20 maintenance companies, airlines, and cargo shippers. Most scholarships are for tuition but some cover the purchase of mechanic’s tools. Most applications require an essay of 250 words along with academic achievement.


International Women Helicopter Pilots

November 21st, 2016, 1:08PM

The Whirly-Girls scholarship fund from the International Women Helicopter Pilots are offered in 18 categories and total $150,000 in awards. The fund is driven by proceeds of the annual Heli-Expo trade show and merchandise booth along with contributions from helicopter manufacturers and commercial helicopter operators. At least 18 recipients will be chosen next year and honored at the Heli-Expo banquet. The awards are to help pay for initial flight training, add-on ratings, advanced flight skills, the use of special equipment such as Garmin avionics and Night Flight Concepts goggles, and training in specific aircraft such as the Robinson R22/R44.


National Business Aviation Association

November 10th, 2016, 12:28PM

The National Business Aviation Association manages educational programs for a diverse membership representing every aspect of the aviation business from ownership to operations and regulation to maintenance. Its main scholarship page lists 14 scholarships for undergraduate students and trade-school attendees worth $100,000, with another $100,000 set aside for professionals to advance their career skills.


Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame

November 10th, 2016, 12:24PM

The Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame offers seven or more scholarships for residents of Wisconsin enrolled full time in an aviation or aerospace program at a college or trade school. Some awards are based on academic strength while others are simply assessed on “a passion for aviation.”