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Flight Training Scholarships
Applications Now Being Accepted
Application Submission to Close: Oct 31, 2021

Selections Announced in December 2021
Scholarships Begin January 2022

According to The Wall Street Journal, Airlines are boosting salaries and setting up training centers to combat what is projected to be one of the biggest-ever pilot shortfalls. The dearth of pilots has long been forecast, but it is only now that airlines are being forced to act. Boeing Co. estimates that airlines around the world will need to recruit 635,000 pilots over the next two decades to fly the record number of planes being built and to replace the thousands of aviators expected to retire during that span.


According to The Air Force Times, Top Air Force leaders have said since at least 2017 that they were facing a roughly 2,000-pilot shortfall, indicating the situation has not improved — and in fact, may have gotten a little worse... In November 2017, former Secretary Heather Wilson warned that the shortfall had swelled from 1,500 pilots to 2,000, and was a long-term threat that had the potential to “break the force.”


The world needs pilots -- in both civilian and military sectors. With the average cost of obtaining a private pilots license coming in at nearly $10,000 (sometimes more), the mere cost itself can be overwhelming and for many, unobtainable.

The Matthew Shope Memorial Fly-High Scholarship is here to help, providing funding for selected recipients to cover flight training costs. 

What does a Scholarship from our Organization Provide?

In short, our organization provides funding for flight training (aircraft rental + flight instruction), in addition to your FAA Written Exam and FAA Check Ride. We provide access to online ground school provided by FlightInsight, and a $100 voucher from PilotsHQ to be used for training materials. Any scholarship awardee who is approved will receive up to the maximum allotted hours of training allowed by the organization, unless they have recent prior flight training logged.

The Scholarship Grant has strict limits on what and how much it will fund. The below are the (6) items it will approve funding for, along with the maximum funding items provided the awardee does not have previous flight training hours logged within the last 24 calendar months:

(1) hourly aircraft rental for flight training never to exceed a maximum of 50 hours*;

(2) hourly flight instructor training never to exceed 55 hours*;

(3) FAA Written Exam Fee never to exceed more than one paid try;

(4) FAA Designated Pilot Examiner Check-Ride never to exceed more than one paid try.

(5) Complimentary Access to online ground school provided by FlightInsight

(6) $100 Stipend Voucher to to be used exclusively to offset training material costs (headset, books, etc).


An additional condition is that no part of the Scholarship Grant shall be used for anything other than those items listed above. As such, all other supplemental items above and beyond what is listed above will not be funded by the scholarship. Any additional aircraft rental or flight instruction hours, and/or additional written exam or designated pilot examiner check-ride attempts in excess of what is listed above will not be covered by the scholarship. The scholarship awardee will be financially responsible for any additional hours/training needed above and beyond what the scholarship has approved.


The above award limitations are to be considered the maximum amount to be disbursed from the scholarship, provided the awardee does not have previously logged flight training within the last 24 calendar months. In the event a scholarship awardee has logged flight training hours within the last 24 calendar months prior to completion of the scholarship application, the aforementioned maximum hours will be reduced by the amount of hours attained during that period. Disclosure of any logged training hours during the last 24 months is required. Discovery of any hours not disclosed in the preceding 24 months will void any scholarship awarded and will bar you from any future consideration.

How to Qualify for a Scholarship:

In order to qualify for the scholarship, all awardees must meet and maintain the following requirements:


(1) be an actively enrolled high school students;

OR actively enrolled trade school student who possesses a high school diploma or GED;

OR be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited college or university who is pursuing studies or conducting research to meet the requirements for an academic or professional degree;

(2) MUST be at least 16 years old and must not have reached their 21st birthday at the time of application.

(3) must meet all qualifications to obtain an FAA 3rd Class or higher Medical Certificate prior to activation of the scholarship grant, and obtain one no later than 30 days after starting flight training, or earlier if required by your flight training facility.

(4) must be a U.S. Citizen

Although the above lists the minimum qualification requirements in order to apply, scoring will take into account all aspects of your application which include (but are not limited to) professional experiences, volunteering/civic organizations, academic performance and a written essay. Scholarships are limited and highly competitive.

Necessary Application Preparation Steps:


Do you have the desire to submit a scholarship application? Read below to make sure you are prepared.


(1) Make sure you understand the costs not covered by the organization. Some examples are below:

- Aircraft Liability Insurance can cost $150-$300 per year

- Educational Materials (books, headset, E6B, etc) can cost between $150-$300, well beyond the stipend we give you.

Additionally, the amount of flight and instruction hours varies greatly between students. Some students will need more hours than what our organization will fund.

(2) Make sure you have the time! Learning to fly is serious business. It requires hard work on your part and a strong ability to study independently when not with your instructor.

(3) Make sure you meet the qualifications mentioned above. If you are unable to qualify for at least an FAA 3rd Class Medical, you will not be permitted to become a licensed private pilot. 

(4) As part of your application, you must determine the FAA Part 141 or Part 61 flight training facility you intend to utilize. In addition, you must identify the aircraft you intend on using for your training, and its current "wet" (includes fuel) hourly rate. Private or personally owned aircraft are not permitted to be used for flight training using scholarship funds. Finally, you must identify the certified flight instructor you intend on using for your training, and their current hourly rate. Both of these costs must be the current hourly rates -- NOT estimated costs. This information is collected during the application process and is required. Failure to provide this information accurately will result in a rejected application. Any requested changes to the aircraft facility or instructor will be at the sole discretion of the Organization.

Why do we require you to identify the facility and instructor you will be training with and their associated costs

during the application process?

We take all aspects of your application into consideration -- including the costs you are requesting to be covered. We also need to ensure the school, aircraft and instructor pilot are FAA compliant and in good standing. Although our primary evaluation is the applicants qualifications, the organization will take overall costs into account when making a final decision. Please do your homework in regards to aircraft type and appropriate hourly costs.

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