Flight School Financing International Students
Flight school financing international options vary. Each year we welcome hundreds of international student pilots who want to become commercial pilots. However, many students who inquire cannot afford the cost of tuition for flight training. With the growing pilot shortage, job security for pilots is at an all-time high. However, the average training cost of $40,000 for international students can be a challenge for many. The rewards of becoming a commercial airline pilot are great, especially considering that training typically occurs in less than a year, and the average pay for commercial airline pilots in 2020 exceeded $186,000 annually. The pay, job security, and thrill of flying make a career in aviation a good investment in your future.
Ideally, students and/or their families can save the tuition needed to cover training, materials, and housing while living in the U.S. and attending flight school. Currently, there are no U.S. lenders to provide student loans for international flight students. Below are suggestions to help you find the financial support you need to pursue your flight training in the U.S.
4 Steps to Apply for Flight School Loan
How to apply for flight school financing for international students:
- Research grants and scholarships.
Before you apply for a loan, you should first find out if you qualify for grants or scholarships. Research organizations in your country that provide this type of funding.
- Research loan options.
There are many types of student loans available for flight training. First, inquire at your local bank. Ask other pilots how they borrowed student loans. Check with your flight school. Find out the total amount you will need to borrow.
- Meet the requirements.
When you find a loan option that fits your needs, check the requirements. You will need to be a certain age, and you may need to ask a co-signer to help you get this loan. You will need to have good credit.
- Submit your loan application.
Once you have found your flight school and your loan provider, submit the loan application. You may need to provide additional materials, such as proof of enrollment at your flight school.
Loans – Contact banks and other lending agencies in your country to learn their requirements. Depending on your country, your personal credit score, and other factors, you may be able to secure a loan for flight school. If your credit history is not as good as it could be, take steps to do credit repair now before applying for a loan.
- Grants and Scholarships – There may be government or non-government organizations (NGOs) in your country that offer educational support. These could be international civic and service organizations, such as Rotary, Lions, Chamber of Commerce, etc. There are many organizations like this; you just need to take the time to research and apply. Women in Aviation International and the Ninety-Nines both offer scholarships for female student pilots. Many students are resourceful in finding grants from different organizations or within their communities.
- Tuition Reimbursement – With the pilot shortage, many U.S. airlines are offering tuition reimbursement for flight training in return for your commitment to fly for them for a minimum number of years. We encourage you to research the airlines in your country to see which ones are offering tuition reimbursement plants.
- Credit Cards – Although this is not the best route, some students and/or their families have paid for training use credit cards. Chances are, if you have a credit card with a high limit, you are probably eligible for a bank loan at a better interest rate.
- Airline Training Programs – Again, due to the pilot shortage, some airlines have their own flight training programs that require a commitment from you to be employed as a pilot for a minimum number of years. Check the airlines in your country to see if any of them offer such a program.
- Aviation Loans – Research aviation loans in your country. For example, Colombia Finance offers aviation loans to residents of Colombia.
We understand that you are eager to pursue your dream of becoming a professional pilot. However, sometimes the financial challenges mean you have to wait just a little longer before starting. Don’t let that discourage you. Many of our students have worked and saved over a period of years in order to come here to train. Others have had help from their families. We understand the financial hardships this can create, so we try to help from every possible perspective. For example, one step we have taken is the creation of the Epic Virtual Flight Academy. This allows students to do preliminary training online before arriving at flight school. This is one way to help reduce costs.
We are here to help and look forward to welcoming you someday soon to make your dreams a reality! Don’t let the cost of training stand in the way of your dreams. Make a plan, stick to it, and soon you’ll be flying every day!
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso