International Flight Students Can Earn College Degrees
When we recently announced our collaboration with Daytona State College (DSC) through which flight training hours transfer as college credit, we began receiving inquiries from international students about whether this program is available to them. The answer is “yes,” which brings us to the “how” and “why” of it.
Why would international flight students want to also earn a college degree in the U.S.?
Although a college degree is not required by many airlines, some flight students choose to earn a college degree anyway as it can help boost opportunities and salary. There could be many personal reasons for this, but one of the most prevalent reasons foreign flight students choose to earn a college degree is the requirement of a Class 1 medical certificate by the FAA. Many flight students consider a college degree to be a back-up plan in case they ever develop a health condition that would put their Class 1 medical into jeopardy. This is a prudent approach to a career in aviation. Even if medical reasons ground you as a pilot, your college degree can offer many career opportunities.
How do international flight students earn a college degree in the U.S.?
Foreign students are required to take their flight training under an M-1 visa, which is required for a technical school like a flight school. Foreign students at Daytona State College (or any other U.S. college) are required to have an F-1 visa. Because these visas have two distinct sets of guidelines, you cannot enroll simultaneously at Epic Flight Academy and at college. The most efficient way international flight students can transfer their flight training hours from Epic to Daytona State is to first complete the International Pilot Program at Epic, which typically takes less than one year. Following completion of all required hours to satisfy Daytona State College’s requirements, you will return to you home country and apply for your F-1 visa to return as a full-time student at Daytona State College. Once you have earned 24 credit hours at DSC, they will transfer your Epic flight hours – equivalent to 23 credit hours – toward your A.S. Degree. This leaves you with just 17 credit hours to complete your A.S. in Industrial Management Technology. This should take no longer than two years. Once you have earned your A.S. degree, you can stay at DSC to earn your Bachelor’s degree, or transfer your Associate’s degree to another college to earn your Bachelor’s.
What are the tuition costs at Daytona State College?
The cost of tuition depends on whether or not you’re a Florida resident. If you lived in Florida for one year while completing your flight training, you will likely meet the requirements that define you as a legal Florida permanent resident. You will be required to verify this by providing required documents (e.g., Florida ID card, rent/utility receipts for one full year). You will find that DSC is surprisingly affordable even if you don’t qualify for in-state tuition rates. In-state (Florida residents) tuition costs $102.38 per credit hour. An Associate’s degree requires 60 hours; however, you will be transferring 23 credit hours from your flight training. This leaves 37 credit hours at $102.38 for a total of $3,788.06. If for some reason you are unable to qualify for in-state tuition, don’t worry. DSC’s out-of-state tuition is only $398.65 per credit hour. So, the total cost for your 37 credit hours would be $14,750.05 at out-of-state rates.
What are the costs for a Bachelor’s Degree?
After you earn your A.S. degree at DSC, you can stay there to earn your Bachelor’s or transfer your A.S. degree to another college toward your Bachelor’s. You will need to earn 60 credit hours to add to the 60 you have already earned from your Associate’s degree (120 total credit hours). The rates are slightly higher for the Bachelor’s program at $120.32 per credit hour for in-state tuition and $623.29 for out-of-state tuition. If you have already established Florida residency for your A.S. degree, this means you can go on to earn your Bachelor’s degree for an additional $7,219.20. Out-of-state tuition would total of $37,397.40. Remember, there are other additional fees that will be required, but this gives you a good idea of what a college degree would cost through our partnership with Daytona State College.
What are the next steps?
If you are already an international student who has trained at Epic or is currently training, email us to determine when you should enroll at Daytona State College. We will help with every detail of transferring your flight credits toward your college degree. If you have not yet started your flight training at Epic, what are you waiting for? Contact us now and let us help you achieve your dreams of becoming a pilot and earning a college degree!