Over the years, blacks have been constantly making names in lots of industries whether it’s in entertainment, business, sports, etc. However, the rate of growth in the aviation industry is very slow.
In fact, research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 data, shows that 94% of aircraft pilots and flight engineers are white, whereas, just 3.4% are Black in the United States. That means a lot of improvement is needed especially in training aspiring black pilots.
But, the cost of becoming a certified pilot is not that affordable, according to ATP Flight School It costs $96,995 to become a pilot when starting with no previous experience or $75,995 when starting with a private pilot certificate.
The good news is that there are black pilot scholarships that can help you reduce or become a pilot without paying a dime on tuition fees. Moreover, if you’re an African student there are still aviation scholarships for Africans or you’re outrightly an international student may be from Asia, or Europe, these pilot training scholarships might be what you just need.
Without much ado, let’s list these pilot scholarships for blacks.
Black Pilot Scholarships
1. Black Pilots of America Scholarships
The Black Pilots of America is provided by M.J Murdock Charitable Trust and they are partnering with lots of people and organizations in the Pacific Northwest to provide this award. Their aim is to train as many black youths as possible to become competent in various careers in Aviation and to provide scholarships to enable them in this pursuit.
2. OBAP (Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals) Scholarships
This is among the black pilot scholarships that are focused on youths that are underserved or underrepresented in the aviation industry. And, so far, they have been able to award $5.8 million to over 450 recipients throughout the nation.
OBAP provides various scholarships, and applicants are advised to apply for as many scholarships as they are eligible for, and even if you have been awarded before, you can still apply for more scholarships.
However, international students can’t apply, it’s only for applicants that are part of a US-based flight training program.
3. Red Tail Flight Academy Scholarship
This scholarship was established to train a minimum of 997 African American pilots and 300 African American Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) technicians. To take advantage of this golden opportunity you need to be a qualified, motivated student who demonstrates all of the values that the original Tuskegee Airmen embodied.
4. Bessie Coleman Legacy Scholarship
This black pilot scholarship was created in memory of Ms. Bessie Coleman who was the first female African-American to hold a pilot license. Regardless of the intensity of racism and inequality in those years, she was able to scale through.
Her aim has always been to start a school exclusively for African-American fliers before she died in a plane crash, so this scholarship is available for students with a broad array of backgrounds and life experiences. So whether you’re in the category of students that have skills that are underrepresented in STEM industries or you are even among students that are socially and economically disadvantaged.
Interested candidates need to reside in the United States, need to be high school students of color, and girls of all races and ethnicities that aspire to focus in areas of study that focus on aviation, sciences, technology, engineering, and math fields.
5. Emirates Aviation University Scholarships
The Emirates Aviation University are providing two kinds of black pilot scholarships which is also available for people of other races, these scholarships include:
- The Chancellor’s Scholarship; is awarded only in the first (Fall) semester and is limited to up to ten students in each academic year. Even though it’s limited awardees will up to 100% of their tuition fees.
- The Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship opens more doors for a number of winners, up to 100 students can win the VC’s scholarship but only up to 50% of awardees’ tuition fees are covered.
6. EAA Flight Training Scholarships
Thanks to lots of donors, benefactors, and so many others, EAA is able to award more than $1 million in aviation scholarship money via various programs annually. EAA understands the cost of flight training, so they endeavor to provide scholarships that have a minimum award of $5,000.
Some of their scholarships include;
- Adapt to Fly Scholarship
- Air Academy Alumni Scholarship
- Florence “Coffy” Gregory Scholarship
- Richard R. Harper Memorial Scholarship
- Will Martin Flight Training Scholarship
- Wilson “Tex” Edwards Memorial Scholarship
- Matthew Platt Scholarship
Moreover, international students are allowed to apply, but awardees need to use their funds in a flight training school in the US or Canada.
7. AOPA Flight Training Scholarships
AOPA provides scholarships to both black and other students of different races that range from $2,500 to $14,000 to improve their skills in primary flight training, advanced ratings/certificates, and aviation maintenance.
To apply for any of their scholarships, candidates need to be AOPA members that are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent legal residents. Some of their scholarships include;
- THE V. R. EATON AVIATION AND AERONAUTICS ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP – FLIGHT TRAINING
- THE CARLSBAD JET CENTER AND SONOMA JET CENTER GENERAL AVIATION PROFESSIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS
- THE BOEING PROFESSIONAL FLIGHT TRAINING SCHOLARSHIP
- AOPA FOUNDATION YOU CAN FLY TEACHER FLIGHT TRAINING SCHOLARSHIP
- AOPA FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP
And many others.
The truth is black pilot scholarships make it easier, or should I say reduces the competition, but it still doesn’t sweep away the need for a good result, if possible applicants’ involvement in extracurricular activities.
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