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How to Balance Flight School and College: Pursuing Your Passion While Keeping Your GPA Up

If you’ve always dreamed of taking flying lessons, but you’re currently enrolled in college or a university, you may be wondering if it’s possible to do both. Well, balancing traditional schoolwork with anything – be it a hobby, job or social life – can be tough. But, with the right approach, it’s can be done. Here’s how to balance flight school and college, so you can pursue your passion while keeping your GPA up. Let’s get started!

Note: For those that are considering pursuing an aviation-related degree at a university, learn more about the pros and cons of choosing a local flight school instead.


Ask the Flight School about Flexible Training

The majority of private pilot instructors are passionate about seeing their students reach certification – as such, they will most likely work around your schedule to ensure that you receive the proper training. Before you decide to enroll in flight school, ask about their scheduling and if they’ll be flexible in building a flight training program that gives you the ability to still focus on your studies at college. 


Avoid Accelerated Training Programs During the School Year

Accelerated flight training is an intensive approach to obtaining a certification or rating, shortening the time it takes for a student pilot to become licensed. If you’re attending college, it wouldn’t be wise to sign up for an accelerated program during the school year due to the requirements of accelerated training. Every flight program is unique, but it usually takes two weeks to two months to complete an accelerated course, with student pilots training up to eight hours a day, five to seven days a week. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough time in the day to do both accelerated courses and college simultaneously. This type of program may, however, be a good idea for those college students that have time off between semesters, since you can become certified in about a month’s time. 


Stick to a Schedule & Focus on Goals

A rigorous schedule will go a long way in keeping you on track for graduation at both flight school and college. Keep some kind of detailed calendar updated from month to month and try not to deviate from it. Additionally, always keep your end goals in mind so you can stay motivated when the going gets tough.  


Split Up Ground School and Flight Training

While it’s generally best to go through ground school and flight training at the same time, you can lessen the load by doing one at a time. First, sign up for ground school, where you’ll gain the aeronautical knowledge needed to become a private pilot such as reading maps, planning routes and learning weather patterns. You’re then tested on this knowledge on exams that require passing grades in order to become certified. Once completed, you undergo hands-on flight training that actually applies that information to flying an aircraft so you can pass your final checkride. This may extend the amount of time before you can solo on your own, but it will ensure that you have enough time to focus on both college course work and flight school.


Remember: A Good Pilot Needs to Have Good Judgment

For those college students that are dreaming of becoming a pilot, remember that a good pilot must use good judgment and be able to properly manage risk – so keep that in mind if you’re worried about being able to balance flight school and college and don’t overdo it. Otherwise, your progress toward both a college degree and pilot certificate could be seriously delayed. 


Are you looking for a flight school that offers personalized training programs?

Then get in touch with the certified flight instructors at Inflight Pilot Training today! We are a leading flight instruction company in Minneapolis/St. Paul, providing a personalized approach to every student that comes through our hangar. With a reputable and extensive roster of highly skilled, certified flight instructors, we can help you gain the skills needed to become a certified pilot. For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.