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Old 05-24-2006, 10:35 PM   #1  
MarinerzFAN1876
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Question Ivy League or flight training at school?

I am a junior in high school. I get top notch grades and one school I'm considering for my future is Cornell University. I do not come from a wealthy family, but my parents are generally supportive of my plans.

I recently made the decision that I was going to take a bit of a risk and strive to become a pilot for a career (because it's what I love). I would like to go to a school where I can get all of my pilot ratings while getting my bachelors. I was considering Illinois (Urbana) and ERAU, although I have all but eliminated ERAU because of testimonials on this site.

My reason for wanting to get my flight training done at a university is that I believe I can get better financial aid in college: utilize my good grades. (This is just a guess of mine, but it makes sense in my head If this is unlikely, please let me know.) I highly doubt that I would be able to afford going back to some private/small flight school after graduating from college, and doing so in high school is not an option (although I am going to take an introductory lesson to get the feel of it). However, if I get accepted to Cornell, etc., I would try to somehow go to flight school (but I just don't know if I could do this because of money issues, student loans, etc.).

Aside from the obvious advantage of having a top-notch degree in most industries, is an Ivy League degree going to give me an advantage over pilots with lesser degrees in the airline hiring process? For example, am I giving myself a measurable advantage by getting some degree at Cornell and then getting my pilot's license instead of getting my pilot's license while getting a separate degree at Illinois?

And, kind of a random question:
Does anybody know of any site/reference where I can find a list of major universities that have significant aviation programs? Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks a log,
MarinerzFAN
Portland, OR
 
Old 05-25-2006, 05:32 AM   #2  
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Go to Cornell and get your flight training at a local FBO. Get a job w/ your Cornell degree and fly on the side for fun.
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:56 AM   #3  
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Cornell - military - commercial aviation...

-LAFF
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:32 AM   #4  
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The problem with getting your ratings at a college is that in order to do so, you'd likely be required to enroll in a program that leads to an aviation degree, which is entirely useless in the real world, and no more helpful in securing a pilot job than any other degree. The FBO route is by far the better option. I doubt good grades would get you any discounts on flight training. Of course, scholarships toward tuition are an option, as they are at any school. As to whether the Ivy League degree would give you an advantage over other pilots; all other things being equal, it certainly can't hurt. The obvious advantage you were talking about in other industries DEMANDS that that be the path you take. (Although a subject for another debate is whether an Ivy League school is really any better than a top-rated state school.) Now just don't do something silly like major in liberal arts...

Last edited by Uncle Bose; 05-25-2006 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 05-26-2006, 02:14 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinerzFAN1876
I am a junior in high school. I get top notch grades and one school I'm considering for my future is Cornell University. I do not come from a wealthy family, but my parents are generally supportive of my plans.

I recently made the decision that I was going to take a bit of a risk and strive to become a pilot for a career (because it's what I love). I would like to go to a school where I can get all of my pilot ratings while getting my bachelors. I was considering Illinois (Urbana) and ERAU, although I have all but eliminated ERAU because of testimonials on this site.

My reason for wanting to get my flight training done at a university is that I believe I can get better financial aid in college: utilize my good grades. (This is just a guess of mine, but it makes sense in my head If this is unlikely, please let me know.) I highly doubt that I would be able to afford going back to some private/small flight school after graduating from college, and doing so in high school is not an option (although I am going to take an introductory lesson to get the feel of it). However, if I get accepted to Cornell, etc., I would try to somehow go to flight school (but I just don't know if I could do this because of money issues, student loans, etc.).

Aside from the obvious advantage of having a top-notch degree in most industries, is an Ivy League degree going to give me an advantage over pilots with lesser degrees in the airline hiring process? For example, am I giving myself a measurable advantage by getting some degree at Cornell and then getting my pilot's license instead of getting my pilot's license while getting a separate degree at Illinois?

And, kind of a random question:
Does anybody know of any site/reference where I can find a list of major universities that have significant aviation programs? Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks a log,
MarinerzFAN
Portland, OR

Go to Cornell...opportunities like that are once-in-a-lifetime. Deal with flying after college if you can't afford the time or money while in school. You will be competetive for a high-paid job after Cornell, and that could pay for flight training if necessary. It may not be obvious to you now, but in ten years you will fully understand what I'm saying.

I had a similar educational opportunity at your age, which I fortunately took advantage of, but I cringe when I think of what my life might have been like if I had not taken that opportunity...
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Old 05-26-2006, 02:34 PM   #6  
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I majored in aviation in college, flew for the military, now fly for a legacy carrier. Go to Cornell, if you want to fly afterwards do it, but don't major in aviation it leaves you no backups. Become a CEO it pays better, and their parachutes are packed much better.
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Old 05-27-2006, 07:40 AM   #7  
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"Aside from the obvious advantage of having a top-notch degree in most industries, is an Ivy League degree going to give me an advantage over pilots with lesser degrees in the airline hiring process"

No

Nobody cares where you get your degree or what it's in. Nobody cares what flight school you went to, either. A non-aviation degree in an area that interests you is best. If you did decide on an aviation degree, there is a small, relatively inexpensive, program at Central Washington U in Ellensburg. WA and OR have an agreement to waive out of state tuition fees.

If you ever get up to Spokane, track me down and I'll give you a ride in my 152.
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Old 05-27-2006, 10:51 AM   #8  
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I went the ERAU route...great route learned a lot....but I think you'd be much better off going to Cornell (i'm from ithaca) and getting a degree in something completely different and doing your flight training as cheap as possible in a tiny FBO somehwere...I also had the chance to go to cornell but was ooed and awwwed by ERAU's propaganda and turned down cornell. I think there might be a small flight school right at the Ithaca airport...Do your best to avoid huge loans, i know cornell isn't cheap, and neither is flight training. Best of luck!

Last edited by rightseater; 05-27-2006 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 06-05-2006, 01:37 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloAlpha
Go to Cornell and get your flight training at a local FBO. Get a job w/ your Cornell degree and fly on the side for fun.
I second that. A friend of mine went to Cornell Law. Twenty years later she makes $250+k a year and sleeps in her own bed every night.


When I was a kid, I got to take a few flights in a corporate jet (Sabreliner!). I decided that I wanted to be the guy up front. After I worked my butt off to become the guy up front, I realized that it was a heck of a lot better being the guy in back.

Last edited by ERAU1978grad; 06-05-2006 at 02:11 PM.
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