How Much Does Flight School Cost? Get Financially Prepared for Aviation School. 

flight school cost

Aviation school is an exciting first step in every pilot’s journey, but it doesn’t start there. Getting financially prepared involves starting early, exploring your options and flight school cost, and creating a solid plan. Here are some tips to minimize the financial stress of preparing for aviation school. 

Know Flight School Cost by Doing Your Research

Flight school training can get expensive, but selecting the right program is worth every penny. Program costs vary depending on which certifications you choose, the length of the program, whether you’re earning additional academic degrees in aviation science, and which aircraft you want to fly.

Costs of LEFA’s Helicopter Programs

Our degree-related helicopter programs through Central Oregon Community College cost students an average of $81,000 to $99,000 for 24-month completed flight ratings and a degree. If you would like to finish your helicopter licensing without a degree directly through Leading Edge, it would cost between $52,000 and $80,000 in a 12 to 18-month accelerated program, depending on how many ratings you earn in addition to commercial and private instrument ratings. See this chart for a more thorough breakdown of the costs. 

flight school cost

Costs of LEFA’s Airplane Programs

Costs for our degree-affiliated programs through COCC typically range from $128,000 to $157,000 for private, instrument, and commercial ratings for a 24-month program. This also includes costs for additional ratings or our Turbine Transition Program. For a program that’s direct through Leading Edge Flight Academy (without the degree), a 12 to 18-month program starts at $97,000, depending on training options. For more detailed information, see the chart below. 


flight school cost


Create a Budget for Your Flight School Costs

Developing a budget will help you determine how much money you’ll need to cover your expenses during aviation school. Consider additional spending like books and study materials, rent costs, transportation costs (gas money or bus passes), and personal costs. This will give you an idea of the total amount you need to save or secure through other means.

Explore Financing Options with Our Partnerships

Explore financing options by looking into different loan programs or repayment terms you might qualify for. If you’re a U.S. military veteran, you’re welcome to explore the Chapter Post 9/11 G.I. Bill (Chapter 33), the Montgomery G.I. Bill – Active Duty (Chapter 30), and Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E). In some cases, you can cover most or all tuition and private ratings costs. 

If you aren’t a veteran, there are still plenty of options to explore, from federal to private lenders. In some cases, depending on where you live, you could be eligible for supplemental loan assistance, as is the case for Alaska residents with the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. Sallie Mae is another federal loan source popular with students to cover pilot training costs. Meritize offers loan options that include different repayment and deferment options depending on what students qualify for according to former academic or military backgrounds. There are also pilot-specific lending options from AOPA financing. When in doubt, aviation-specific scholarships or grants offer a means to subsidize the cost of school. 

Get Financially Prepared for Aviation School 

Remember, financial planning and preparation require careful consideration and time. Start early while exploring your options, and contact Leading Edge if you have questions about flight school costs or want to discuss specific programs. Explore your financing options and press play on your exciting new adventure!