ATP Pros and Cons

benfalk10

New Member
I am a 20 year old recent private pilot who is thinking about going to ATP I am most likely going to be enrolling towards the end of January/early February. I see a lot of posts on here about ATP not a lot of positives but then again a lot of those posts are from years ago. So I just want to hear what everyone has to say now days about the subject.
 

Zidac

Well-Known Member
I don't see much of a reason to go ATP these days, especially since the multi time isn't as critical as it was a few years ago. Also, do you have a bachelor's degree yet? What are your industry goals?
 

MikeW

Well-Known Member
I'm currently going to ATP and received my PPL beforehand at a local FBO. About 6 weeks in, I'm happy with the experience so far. I got lucky and wound up with a fairly experienced CFI that I've been very happy with. I'd guess most people's experience has a lot to do with the quality of their instructor. Unlike at a mom-and-pop, you're just kind of assigned someone and unless you're really unhappy I think you're basically stuck with them.

I'm 29 and already have a bachelor's degree though. If I was your age and hadn't finished college yet I probably wouldn't have gone with an accelerated program and would have either done an aviation degree or just got my ratings on the side while going to school.
 

benfalk10

New Member
I don't see much of a reason to go ATP these days, especially since the multi time isn't as critical as it was a few years ago. Also, do you have a bachelor's degree yet? What are your industry goals?
Well I want to fly theres no doubt about it and I figured if I'll do online classes while I'm flying at a regional. I'd rather start making money and go to school rather then go to school for 4 years then get a cfi job somewhere and then get to the airlines. my industry goals is to make it to the major airlines and then hopefully at one point transition to where I can fly to other countries.
 

benfalk10

New Member
I'm currently going to ATP and received my PPL beforehand at a local FBO. About 6 weeks in, I'm happy with the experience so far. I got lucky and wound up with a fairly experienced CFI that I've been very happy with. I'd guess most people's experience has a lot to do with the quality of their instructor. Unlike at a mom-and-pop, you're just kind of assigned someone and unless you're really unhappy I think you're basically stuck with them.

I'm 29 and already have a bachelor's degree though. If I was your age and hadn't finished college yet I probably wouldn't have gone with an accelerated program and would have either done an aviation degree or just got my ratings on the side while going to school.
I just feel like the accelerated program would be good for me because I pick up on things pretty quick and I pretty much self taught myself everything in my PPL. I could just do classes on the side while flying for a regional right? And what location or you flying out of?
 

MikeW

Well-Known Member
I just feel like the accelerated program would be good for me because I pick up on things pretty quick and I pretty much self taught myself everything in my PPL. I could just do classes on the side while flying for a regional right? And what location or you flying out of?
I can't comment on how feasible taking classes while flying for a regional is since I'm still at least a year away from the right seat of an airliner, but I'm sure plenty of people have done it and it would just take some discipline. I fly out of KTIW (Seattle area). Feel free to PM me if you have any questions on my experience at ATP thus far.
 

Sled14

Well-Known Member
I just feel like the accelerated program would be good for me because I pick up on things pretty quick and I pretty much self taught myself everything in my PPL. I could just do classes on the side while flying for a regional right? And what location or you flying out of?
I would say if you're planning on starting in January/February, get started on some of the written tests now. Not sure when they send the box with all the books but if you can knock out some of them it will make you're life a little easier when you're in training and you'll be able to enjoy it more. Before I started in 08 I completed the instrument, ii, commercial and cfi and it made more time available during the program. I taught myself a lot before starting and got the King Schools Instrument program to learn the material, not just memorize the answers.
 

BCTAv8r

Well-Known Member
With the writtens being included in the cost of the career program, do they discount the value of the writtens from the program cost if you get them done prior to starting?
 

MikeW

Well-Known Member
With the writtens being included in the cost of the career program, do they discount the value of the writtens from the program cost if you get them done prior to starting?
I was told that if I did any of the writtens ahead of time, to hang on to the receipt and they'd reimburse me.
 

BCTAv8r

Well-Known Member
I was told that if I did any of the writtens ahead of time, to hang on to the receipt and they'd reimburse me.
Thanks. I contacted them and was told that they reimburse $150 per written exam, BUT, you have to take the written after placing the deposit. If you take the written prior to placing the deposit, they don't reimburse you.
 

BCTAv8r

Well-Known Member
On the topic of the cost of attending ATP, I know a lot of people say you can go through the ratings for significantly less through the smaller mom and pop schools, but since the program costs the same across all locations, it really depends on where you are. In South Florida, I haven't found the price too be much different than what local schools quote for the same ratings.
 

benfalk10

New Member
I would say if you're planning on starting in January/February, get started on some of the written tests now. Not sure when they send the box with all the books but if you can knock out some of them it will make you're life a little easier when you're in training and you'll be able to enjoy it more. Before I started in 08 I completed the instrument, ii, commercial and cfi and it made more time available during the program. I taught myself a lot before starting and got the King Schools Instrument program to learn the material, not just memorize the answers.
Yeah they said as soon as I schedule a start date they will send me the things that I need. I appreciate you replying. would it be alright could we talk on Personal Messages?
 

NoSoup4U

Well-Known Member
Did you folks take out a loan with one of ATP's financing partners? If so, do you mind messaging me (unless you feel comfortable saying it here) with what interest rate and terms you qualified for (loan duration, payments, etc.)?

I plan to apply just to see if I would qualify, as their financing partners (at least Sallie Mae) supposedly allows a person up to six months to actually accept the loan if qualified. I'm curious if my current salary, credit score and history, etc. will qualify me, and at what terms. It may be too much, or maybe not, but worth a shot to see.

Now days it's very difficult to qualify for outside loans (non ATP associated partners) from excellent and reputable companies, but more people seem to get the financing needed to attent ATP via one of their partners (like Sallie Mae, etc.)
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Did you folks take out a loan with one of ATP's financing partners? If so, do you mind messaging me (unless you feel comfortable saying it here) with what interest rate and terms you qualified for (loan duration, payments, etc.)?

I plan to apply just to see if I would qualify, as their financing partners (at least Sallie Mae) supposedly allows a person up to six months to actually accept the loan if qualified. I'm curious if my current salary, credit score and history, etc. will qualify me, and at what terms. It may be too much, or maybe not, but worth a shot to see.

Now days it's very difficult to qualify for outside loans (non ATP associated partners) from excellent and reputable companies, but more people seem to get the financing needed to attent ATP via one of their partners (like Sallie Mae, etc.)
If you're not worried about the credit inquiry ping, this might be an interesting exercise for you. Generally speaking, if your salary and credit are sufficient, private loans or collateral-based loans are going to give you a better deal than SLM.
 

NoSoup4U

Well-Known Member
If you're not worried about the credit inquiry ping, this might be an interesting exercise for you. Generally speaking, if your salary and credit are sufficient, private loans or collateral-based loans are going to give you a better deal than SLM.
Very true my friend. I think I'll give this a shot and see if I qualify. The loan amount is breathtaking unfortunately.

What's interesting is that I have researched private loans extensively and applied for some, but without collateral (just proof of a good savings account, credit history, and sufficient income, extremely good credit score, etc.), I can't qualify unless I make about a $100,000 per year. If I made that, I wouldn't be looking for a loan, ha-ha. Then again, I see their point because they would be providing an unsecured loan without an ability to take anything away from the qualifier if the borrower defaults on the loan.

It would be an interesting experiment to see if I get qualified for a loan through ATP's partners and for the whole amount at a decent interest rate.
 

BCTAv8r

Well-Known Member
On the topic of the cost of attending ATP, I know a lot of people say you can go through the ratings for significantly less through the smaller mom and pop schools, but since the program costs the same across all locations, it really depends on where you are. In South Florida, I haven't found the price too be much different than what local schools quote for the same ratings.
On second thought, I tried to break down the career program and it is more expensive than a lot of the local schools. I am still considerimg it, but there's no denying that it's a pricier route.
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
On second thought, I tried to break down the career program and it is more expensive than a lot of the local schools. I am still considerimg it, but there's no denying that it's a pricier route.
I think you can still find accelerated programs that have much more valuable teaching information than ATP. Nothing wrong with going to an accelerated school, just make sure they teach you to become a professional pilot rather than teach you to pass your checkride.

That being said, I've met many ATP "grads" that are my colleagues and friends. It shouldn't damage your opportunity to get a job as a CFI and they really weren't bad pilots but for it's price, I still feel like it's not worth it. I don't even think ERAU is worth it but damnit when I saw their campus, I knew their education wasn't that bad like people try to claim it is. Pick what you feel is right and what you can financially afford (or a school that helps pay with a good loan or something).

There will ALWAYS be pro's and con's to your big university/accelerated program/mom and pop flight school. Find one that fits you. That's what I did for my PPL and college and I do not regret my decision. You'll run into people though that absolutely hate it no matter where you are, bud.

Good luck.

BTW, what is your location? I might know a few schools around your area if it's west coast.
 

cameron.stark

New Member
BTW, what is your location? I might know a few schools around your area if it's west coast.
I'm not OP, but I'd be interested in good programs in my area. I'm in Oregon (Mid-Willamette Valley), with how much variation there is in flight schools it's a tad overwhelming looking at the Google results for flight schools.
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
I'm not OP, but I'd be interested in good programs in my area. I'm in Oregon (Mid-Willamette Valley), with how much variation there is in flight schools it's a tad overwhelming looking at the Google results for flight schools.
Don't know that area. Honestly, the best advice I could give you is to not fall into a trap. Don't fall into a scam of free flight training for this or this, or sign your life away etc. First of all, websites can be deceiving. I got my private at a 61 school that has 141 as well. Small for the employees but large for the amount of airplanes we would rent out. Great school with great instructors...their website looked old school though. I didn't know until I went it and got a tour. Opposite to that, another flight school had a great website, went in and toured and facilities were half and airplanes were half as well.

Schools like ATP sell HARD on the fact that you like their website. I mean, I almost didn't go to college and did the whole ATP thing...based off their website. When my parents saw it, they almost pushed me to go that path as well (nobody in my family has done this career). I did my research and I ended up picking a path that fit me well. I went to a 141 college and got my degree and certificates. With the help from some guys here, I got my CFI fast, and I got a job fast. Find what fits you and what the overall goal is. If it's a career, I'd suggest getting a degree in something while you're doing your training/cfi gig/time building job. Doesn't matter if it's aviation or not (IMO) just have a degree. You're much more employable if something happens to your medical or in the industry as a whole/economy.

Asking questions around here definitely helps! I've seen people post threads about certain flight schools and get great applause. Some post about some flight schools and you see how much is really between the lines. I posted about the company I am flying as a CFI with because I had some doubts. People in the community here will definitely help and I'm sure someone around here knows that area, just aren't in this thread looking. Find some ideas and throw them out there to see if anyone has had some experience. Try and go into the flight schools in person. Just get a tour...maybe get a free intro flight? Just don't commit to the ATP website off the bat. It looks great, I know. I sometimes go there and think, wow they can really sell their company but I'm glad I didn't choose that path. That being said, maybe it is the right fit for you also. I know many colleagues who went there and ended up being great pilots and instructors.
 
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