The Virginia Pilot Pathways program will provide flight training for Virginia high school students through a pilot flight training scholarship program. Drawing from students who successfully complete the PFA and the PPGS course to be offered through this project, VSGC provided more than 11 high-school student scholarships, each covering up to 40 hours of flight training. We will also extend the scholarship opportunity to Virginia CAP high-school students who meet the award guidelines. This will serve as a logical next step to move students with outstanding demonstrated potential toward their career goal as commercial pilots. The scholarship winners were selected in September 2022 and another round of selectees in December 2022 timeframe.
Students were selected based on their strong demonstrated interest in becoming commercial pilots and their performance in the PFA program, the online course, and the individual’s CAP flight experience. Students will be asked to submit an essay on their career and academic pathway plans, aviation and flight experiences to date, and to describe their reasons for wanting to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. Two letters of reference from knowledgeable individuals will be requested; a minimum GPA of 3.0 will be a guideline; and an online application and review process that automatically collects letters of reference will be used. Awardees will be selected by a panel of aviation professionals, including pilots, flight instructors, administrators of partnering collegiate aviation programs and flight schools, and a representative from the VDOA. VSGC will administer the scholarships, pay the flight schools directly for flight hours, and monitor the student’s progress on a bi-weekly basis. If a student should fail to successfully undertake her/his training in a timely way, the scholarship will be withdrawn, and remaining funds will be allocated to another qualified individual. Through annual surveys, recipients will be longitudinally tracked to their next training steps and through employment. Success will be measured by the number of scholarship recipients who successfully complete flight training and achieve their private pilot license proceeding the award period. Our goal is that all students complete flight training.