WMU or ERAU?

FuturePilot81

New Member
Hi, I am stuck deciding between going to Western Michigan university or Embry riddle aeronautical university. I heard ERAU is really good but also really pricey. I read WMU has a good program and is cheaper plus it is in state for me. I want to be an airline pilot for a major airline. If you have any suggestions please respond. Thanks!!!
 

Zapphod Beblebrox

Well-Known Member
With things going the way they are with regards to hiring, I would say it doesn't make much difference. I can attest to WMU's program. It is highly regarded and has been around for a long time. The aviation program started in 1939, and celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014. When I was a student in Aviation at WMU it was a department under the Transportation Technology department. It has since become a dedicated college and is no longer a red-headed step child as far as funding goes.

If you are a Michigan resident, I would say it is a simple decision. WMU would be in-state tuition and is closer to home. Don't get me wrong Embry Riddle is excellent. I have been on the campus recently and it is impressive. It is also terribly expensive. You need to worry more about your own performance rather than the supposed "prestige" of the institution. Your education is only as good as the effort you put into it.

Either place will serve you well. WMU will cost less.
 

Pilotman83

Well-Known Member
Neither. Get a Bachelor's degree in anything that interests you, complete your training Part 61, it will be cheaper and much faster. Get your ratings done as soon as possible and instruct for the remainder of time while working on your degree. You will have plenty of flight time and save a bunch of money that way.
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
Neither. Get a Bachelor's degree in anything that interests you, complete your training Part 61, it will be cheaper and much faster. Get your ratings done as soon as possible and instruct for the remainder of time while working on your degree. You will have plenty of flight time and save a bunch of money that way.
Most aviation schools don't restrict students from progressing their training. Most college instructors are students (who sometimes can receiver credits while getting paid) and can get their CFI as early as your sophomore year. If you have the dedication and work ethic.

You really could save money by training at a 61 school but with the rATP cutting 500 hours of the min requirements and advanced in class hands on training you could receive at these schools, it's not really completely stupid to get a degree in aviation. We aren't the only field in the world that doesn't care what your degree is in either.

I for one would have much rather forked our a couple extra thousand in college fees to study something I loved and get good grades than be miserable studying something I hate and pay a crap load of money for it. That's not the point of higher education.

Plus, I didn't have $$$ in hand to drop at a 61 school and the interest rates on my loans weren't that bad. Definitely gotta look at all the factors before you do it but it shouldn't be completely shut down the way it usually is. Just my viewpoint.
 

GrifGod

Well-Known Member
Most aviation schools don't restrict students from progressing their training. Most college instructors are students (who sometimes can receiver credits while getting paid) and can get their CFI as early as your sophomore year. If you have the dedication and work ethic.

You really could save money by training at a 61 school but with the rATP cutting 500 hours of the min requirements and advanced in class hands on training you could receive at these schools, it's not really completely stupid to get a degree in aviation. We aren't the only field in the world that doesn't care what your degree is in either.

I for one would have much rather forked our a couple extra thousand in college fees to study something I loved and get good grades than be miserable studying something I hate and pay a crap load of money for it. That's not the point of higher education.

Plus, I didn't have $$$ in hand to drop at a 61 school and the interest rates on my loans weren't that bad. Definitely gotta look at all the factors before you do it but it shouldn't be completely shut down the way it usually is. Just my viewpoint.
I completely agree with this. Has somebody done the math on which route costs more or which one is faster? $30k at UND for me for flight training and tuition/room+board and other fees, not including FAFSA. That's $120k for four years with the R-ATP. You'd figure a state college would be less, let's say $20k, but add $60k for flight training at Part 61 and you get about $140k. I just threw some numbers in so I'm not sure if this is completely accurate...
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
I completely agree with this. Has somebody done the math on which route costs more or which one is faster? $30k at UND for me for flight training and tuition/room+board and other fees, not including FAFSA. That's $120k for four years with the R-ATP. You'd figure a state college would be less, let's say $20k, but add $60k for flight training at Part 61 and you get about $140k. I just threw some numbers in so I'm not sure if this is completely accurate...
You'd definitely save by going 61. I did Private in 61, C152 @ $75 hour in 43 hours and cost me $7k. CFI/CFII was also 61 in C172 cost me $7k. I'd say doing everything 61 could be done at $30k I estimate...depending how much time you need....but you also need 250 for commercial under 61....I had Commercial single/multi CFI and CFII in under 250 just because I did Commercial under 141 training.

At the end or the day the timeline all depends on how much effort you put into studying. I've seen it done in 12-16 months. For me it took 3 years from no time to CFI...I took my time because I doubled up classes in college and cut a year off my bachelor's by internships and staying over summer. That saved me $30k in tuition by not having a senior year.

It really all depends on the person. You can save if you plan it and keep yourself motivated. That being said, maybe you want a fun college life and it takes you 4 years for everything....nothing wrong with that either. It's tough to go online and ask a question like this because it really depends on personality....but there are plenty of different ways to save. By me going the college route, I saved by using FAFSA and student loans and graduating early.
 

Pilotman83

Well-Known Member
Most aviation schools don't restrict students from progressing their training. Most college instructors are students (who sometimes can receiver credits while getting paid) and can get their CFI as early as your sophomore year. If you have the dedication and work ethic.

You really could save money by training at a 61 school but with the rATP cutting 500 hours of the min requirements and advanced in class hands on training you could receive at these schools, it's not really completely stupid to get a degree in aviation. We aren't the only field in the world that doesn't care what your degree is in either.

I for one would have much rather forked our a couple extra thousand in college fees to study something I loved and get good grades than be miserable studying something I hate and pay a crap load of money for it. That's not the point of higher education.

Plus, I didn't have $$$ in hand to drop at a 61 school and the interest rates on my loans weren't that bad. Definitely gotta look at all the factors before you do it but it shouldn't be completely shut down the way it usually is. Just my viewpoint.
Most aviation schools only allow you to earn one rating per semester, that's how both aviation universities I went to worked. There is a lot of beaurocratic crap you have to deal with as well. I'm just saying, you can go from zero hours to cfi in less than a year if you have the money lined up ahead of time.

And the 500 hours difference between atp and restricted atp is absolutely nothing, that's about 6 month instructing max.

Save money, get ratings done faster, I see no reason to get your ratings at a university. Coming from someone who went that route, I wish I didn't believe the junk the 141 schools feed you when you sign up. In both of my experiences, they were all lies and cost me a lot of money and ratings took way to long on their end, not mine.
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
Most aviation schools only allow you to earn one rating per semester, that's how both aviation universities I went to worked. There is a lot of beaurocratic crap you have to deal with as well. I'm just saying, you can go from zero hours to cfi in less than a year if you have the money lined up ahead of time.

And the 500 hours difference between atp and restricted atp is absolutely nothing, that's about 6 month instructing max.

Save money, get ratings done faster, I see no reason to get your ratings at a university. Coming from someone who went that route, I wish I didn't believe the junk the 141 schools feed you when you sign up. In both of my experiences, they were all lies and cost me a lot of money and ratings took way to long on their end, not mine.
Again, it's all personality based. Rush it if you want but you'll be drained and try juggling rushing flight training and going to school.

Financially was better for me and you can still deal with the same crap at a mom and pop shoot. I know some that don't restrict how many ratings you get.

I'm sorry you had a negative experience but doesn't the entire system is that way. Lots of positives to going collegiate aviation.
 

Pilotman83

Well-Known Member
Again, it's all personality based. Rush it if you want but you'll be drained and try juggling rushing flight training and going to school.

Financially was better for me and you can still deal with the same crap at a mom and pop shoot. I know some that don't restrict how many ratings you get.

I'm sorry you had a negative experience but doesn't the entire system is that way. Lots of positives to going collegiate aviation.
Yes, but looking back, I really wish I had gone the 61 route the entire way. There are positives to going to collegiate, believe me, I know. But I have seen far more negatives at more than just two places. You may have crap at the mom and pop place, but in my opinion, finding a good 61 program would be much cheaper and faster than any of the 141 colleges. Save your money now, so when you make next to nothing as an FO, you're not far in debt, if you are at all.
 

Adler

Low-Level Individual
Would it be significantly cheaper to get a privot pilot license and then go to wmu?
WMU will make you do a "short course" to prove you know your stuff - aka get more money from you. I spent more on the short course than my entire private pilot training.

Still, I think you should it before at a part 61 place if you can. You won't save much money, but it's great to see what GA is really about. Most of the instructors there learned to fly at WMU, and have only ever flown at WMU. I'm not saying that they're not good, they are, but there's something to gained by getting out of the 141 bubble, or at least starting outside of it.
 

Jordan93

Well-Known Member
Go for the cheaper school. Get you ratings as cheap as possible and stay out of debt. No one cares what your degree is in. In the end you'll have the same thing written on your license as every other pilot. I know ERAU grads that are still paying off their loans and I have the exact same ratings as them and I am debt free.
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
Would it be significantly cheaper to get a privot pilot license and then go to wmu?
YES! ABSOLUTELY!

Did my private in a 152 for 7k...colleges estimate about $10-$12000 for your private. Rental rate for a 152= 75/wet....college PA-28 was $130/wet and we are significantly cheaper than WMU...which probably charges A LOT for their aircraft....I think they're all cirrus or something...if I remember correctly. Probably low $200 or something an hour.
 

FuturePilot81

New Member
Would it be harder then to get a job at an airline by going to a flight school than wmu? I know wmu has a pipeline program to get a job at the airlines.
 

Jordan93

Well-Known Member
Would it be harder then to get a job at an airline by going to a flight school than wmu? I know wmu has a pipeline program to get a job at the airlines.
Regionals are taking anyone with a pulse and ATP minimums. Pipeline programs don't really matter
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
Would it be harder then to get a job at an airline by going to a flight school than wmu? I know wmu has a pipeline program to get a job at the airlines.
No...plus, many companies have programs for flight instructors...if you know what airline you want.

I didn't instruct at my college but decided to go to a different company to get more flight time. The company I'm at has all the "pipeline" programs too...so you don't even need to go to college necessarily to take advantage of those programs.

That being said, don't go somewhere for an airline program....like @Jordan93 said....they'll hire mostly anyone right now and if you're just starting...who really knows what the "regional" industry will be in those 4-5 years from now you get your times. Focus on picking a school for your education now and flight training. Worry about where to instruct later.
 
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