I need all the advice I can get.

Ryan F. Guest

Hey everyone.. I know a lot of you guys are older and pilots in real life, so I'm lookin' for some input here:

I'm 17 years old.. and I'm graduating high school in June. I'm unsure of exactly what school I want to go to, but regardless, I'm definitely going for a bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Science. What would you older guys and/or pilots recommend for me? And although quality of education comes first, it would be nice to save a few bucks too! 😀

As far as big 4-year schools go, I've been accepted to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, FL campus) and Daniel Webster College in NH.

My dilema is that my local community college (Dutchess Community College - "DCC") just started a 2-year associates degree program for aviation. Should I do that and save money on room and board (it's close enough to commute from home).. or just go straight to a 4-year college? I'm afraid some credits won't transfer and the process will get messy (although they should - because I've looked into it). And as far as those 2 4-year schools go, which one would you guys recommend? (if any)

one last thing..

I wish I could say I've had time in a real cessna, but the only flying I've done in real life was two "discovery flights" in a C152 at my local airfield (KPOU - Dutchess County Airport). So I was considering taking lessons and "working my butt off" this summer to get my private license before 1st semester of college, that way I'm "ahead" to some extent. Any input or opinions you guys have I would GREATLY appreciate!!!😀😀😀

Sorry to sound really pesky on this post guys.. it's just such a pivotal point in my life I can really use all the advice I can get - espcecially guys with plenty of experience!

Thanks a lot in advance!

8 Responses

Pro Member Captain
PanAmerican Captain

Hay Ryan,

My school had me take a survey about my college options. When I do graduate college I also plan to get my Bachelors in Areonautical Science. Getting to the point, take a look at this website:
See if you get any other results. I have also heard of 2 year colleges offering 4 year degrees. In my mind, I would go straight to a 4 yr. college.

Don Wood Guest

I assume from the schools you mentioned that you reside in the US. Embry-Riddle is excellent but may be pretty expensive. If the community college you mentioned is accredited, all your college level courses should transfer and you would save quite a lot with that option.

It is probably too late for this school year, but you might also consider applying to the USAF or Naval academies. If that does not work, once you have completed two years of college, you'll be eligible for ROTC. Again, unless you want to fly helicopters, I'd suggest Air Force or Navy ROTC. the availablility of the correct ROTC program may have some influence on the scholl you choose.

Getting your private pilot's license ahead of time will save you a little time in your qualification courses but it will also eat up a fair amount of money you may need for tuition and expenses. I've always been a strong believer in letting someone else pay for your flight training if at all possible. Once you are in ROTC, assuming you qualify for the pilot track, the government will pay a considerable share for your flight training.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Pro Member Chief Captain
CrashGordon Chief Captain

Embry-Riddle, if you can handle the expense. Good reputation and you can be sure that the first two years will prepare you for the last two. Too often, transferring from from a community college, one discovers that all curricula are not created equal.

Besides, the weather is a lot better in the winter. 😉

Ryan F. Guest

I understand the government will pay for my training and all, but to be honest, I want to stay off the military track. The only option I have considered concerning military is the Air National Guard. There's a base 10 miles from my house, across the Hudson River (KSWF - Stewart International Airport). There's a fairly large fleet of C-5s over there, always roaring over my house on approach. And even if I went to the ANG -- you need your 4-year degree before you join, and it would only be a "backup" career behind my commercial pilot career.

Well anyway.. thanks for the input everyone. I'm using every piece of advice I can get into my head.
😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Pro Member First Officer
freedspeak First Officer

You live near my old stomping grounds. I used to do a lot of skydiving at Blue Sky Ranch located at Gardiner airport not to far from Stewart Intl. I'm tempted to suggest you go there and talk to the Otter pilot, an old friend of mine, Jon Noorgard. He might have some suggestions as to what path to take for your career. Tell him Richard Nordli sent you. It's also a fun place to hang out and watch the jumping. Who knows, maybe you'll try it yourself. Also one of the owners of the drop zone, Bill Richards, might be a good person to talk to. He's also an accomplished pilot.

Good luck Ryan. If I were younger I'd be pursuing a career in aviation also. I did take a Discovery flight at my local flight school and got to fly a C172. Tons of fun.

super sexy Guest

do u have a gf by any chance? is this a long term hobbie of yours?

Pro Member First Officer
Canyon (NoWorries) First Officer

Hey Ryan,

I am 24 credits away from my B.S. in Professional Aeronautics from Embry Riddle, but I took a different route. Instead of going to their campus, paying room and board and tuition, I joined the USAF, where they pay for ALL of that.

I think that the AirForce is the best thing I've ever done, I've been all over Europe, gained valuable trade skills, made great friends, and have currently used over $6,000 on Embry Riddle Classes...

It's not the answer for everyone, but if money is tight, it's not the worst decision you could make.


As a sophmore at ERAU Daytona, I can say that the very best thing you could do if you decide to come here would be to get your PPL done before your first semester. It's possibly the smartest thing I've ever done. I spent $4000 on my PPL and I've seen people spending 3-4 times that here on the very same PPL.

ERAU is good, and it's finally starting to improve. But it is very expensive.

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