Four accredited flight schools exist in America. One, Upper Limit Aviation (ULA), is now on board with the U.S. Veterans’ Benefits Office and Salt Lake Community College, providing service members who dream of piloting with 100% tuition free education.
The news comes as a positive financial shock to the military student community. The decision is sure to boost the number of service men and women with piloting licenses. However, the program not only offers a license, it also gives members in the program the chance to earn an Associate of Science Degree or a Commercial Certificate of Completion after graduation. This is possible because of ULA’s partner, Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, college students who want flight training receive numerous benefits if eligible in accordance with the bill.
Post 9/11 GI Bill
The GI Bill, in effect since August 1, 2009, compensates military members with at least 90 days of cumulative service on or after 9/11/01 with funds needed for education and board.
Not only will eligible veterans receive 100 percent free pilot schooling, but they can also obtain money for books, supplies, tutoring, and housing under the bill.
Veterans with a low pay grade and high dependency status could earn as much as $2,800 a month towards their housing cost thanks to the Basic Allowance for Housing program, also a part of the 9/11 Bill.
Yellow Ribbon Program
If the student does not qualify for full tuition coverage, SLCC does have the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program). This program allows SLCC to contribute up to 50 percent of a military member’s tuition, which the VA will match.
Upper Limit Aviation
“We’ve worked hard to bring this program to ULA,” Lois Reid, ULA school director, said. “We finally have the chance to offer America’s veterans the chance to train for a career in aviation at virtually no cost to them.”
ULA’s unique position as a flight instruction school gives it the ability to offer students diverse flight skills. The government allows the school to instruct in class B airspace—high traffic and regulated airspace. Students also learn to fly at altitudes above 5,000 ft, in mountainous landscapes and in different weather conditions. GI Jobs named ULA one of 2010’s Military Friendly Schools. In addition, the Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) recognizes ULA as a School of Distinction, according to a PR Newswire news release.
Photo thanks to phxwebguy under creative common license on Flickr.