WMU vs. NMC

SpooledUp

Somewhat New Member
I've been looking at colleges, I went to Western Michigan yesterday and checked out their aviation college and loved it. I plan on going up to Northwestern Michigan this summer. I want to get opinions of others who have gone to either school and current airline pilots who know about the perks of each school. I am planning on becoming an airline pilot.

Thanks
 

Adler

Low-Level Individual
I went to WMU. I guess I enjoyed it and I'm happy I went, it has worked out well for me. That being said, I don't really agree with much of what's going on there these days.

Shoot me a PM with questions you have, and I'll help you decipher through the smoke and mirrors you got on the tour.
 

jtrain609

Uniting the black vote.
I went to wmu, though I didn't major in flight. As much as nmc is in a beautiful part of the state, I'd go to western simply because it'll provide you with a four year degree. An associates degree won't be sufficient if you want to move forward in this industry.
 

wmuPHIL

Well-Known Member
I am going to WMU and I'm currently a flight instructor there. I did my instrument and commercial training there.. Who did you tour with yesterday? I'm happy to answer any questions you have.
 

EIR

Erik10
I'm a fellow Bronco as well. The education was like any other college, I'm sure. I started my flight training before they retrofitted all their aircraft, so it was much cheaper.
 

bronco21016

I know H.T.M.L. (How To Meet Ladies)
Really think hard about the numbers they (or any aviation college) gave you. Look at how much time they say it will take to complete the course and ask current or former students if that's really true. Recalculate the costs based on that information. Factor in the fact that rates may go up. They increased about 100% in the 5 years I was around there. I don't think that will be typical though.

Based on this new total figure run some loan calculators. Figure out how much the loan payments will be and figure out how much you'll be making for the 10 years following graduation. Try to avoid debt like the plague.

Another good exercise would be to compare all of the calculations you just made vs. doing the training part 61 and getting a degree in something else.

Strongly consider doing training somewhere in the south. Winter slows stuff down big time and then summer comes around and you wanna go spend time at home.

DO NOT let them (again any aviation college) sell you on attending because of so called agreements with any airline. The agreements come and go over night and you CANNOT bank on something like that. When I started there they had several agreements with an assortment of regional airlines. Long before I graduated they were all gone. I was very fortunate to win the lottery of about 30ish people that made it to a regional on a bridge agreement they had made towards the end of my time there. The agreement lasted somewhere around 10 months if my memory serves me correctly.

Not trying to tell you avoid WMU. Just sharing some things I learned from my experience there.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me.
 

zaza32

Well-Known Member
I went to wmu, though I didn't major in flight. As much as nmc is in a beautiful part of the state, I'd go to western simply because it'll provide you with a four year degree. An associates degree won't be sufficient if you want to move forward in this industry.
I am a NMC graduate and have a bachelor's degree so this statement is only somewhat true - although I completely agree that an associates degree isn't very marketable these days. NMC has an articulation agreement with Davenport University to attain a BBA in the final 2 years of your study (essentially like getting a minor in aviation and major in business during your 4 years). To me this is a much more beneficial and efficient route as you attain your flight ratings in the first 2 years and use your second 2 years to build hours as a flight instructor for the school all while attending night classes to attain your BBA. All said and done, the timing works out that in 4 years you graduate with an Associates in Aviation, Bachelor's in Business, and 1200 flight hours - making you marketable to any entry-level job in Aviation. This also gives you a degree in business that is marketable across many trades and gives you something to fall back on should you have an incident or get burned out on aviation.

Also, NMC is a community college. While this means you end up missing out on some of the "big college experience", the tuition rates are quite a bit lower than a state college (like WMU). Flight fees are pretty standard across the industry so this is where you can save the most $$$. With the way entry level pilots are being compensated in today's economy it's important that you make sure you can minimize your student loan debt to avoid having future payments that can be as big as your paycheck!

I'd be glad to address any questions you have about the program. Feel free to contact me.
 

jtrain609

Uniting the black vote.
I am a NMC graduate and have a bachelor's degree so this statement is only somewhat true - although I completely agree that an associates degree isn't very marketable these days. NMC has an articulation agreement with Davenport University to attain a BBA in the final 2 years of your study (essentially like getting a minor in aviation and major in business during your 4 years). To me this is a much more beneficial and efficient route as you attain your flight ratings in the first 2 years and use your second 2 years to build hours as a flight instructor for the school all while attending night classes to attain your BBA. All said and done, the timing works out that in 4 years you graduate with an Associates in Aviation, Bachelor's in Business, and 1200 flight hours - making you marketable to any entry-level job in Aviation. This also gives you a degree in business that is marketable across many trades and gives you something to fall back on should you have an incident or get burned out on aviation.

Also, NMC is a community college. While this means you end up missing out on some of the "big college experience", the tuition rates are quite a bit lower than a state college (like WMU). Flight fees are pretty standard across the industry so this is where you can save the most $$$. With the way entry level pilots are being compensated in today's economy it's important that you make sure you can minimize your student loan debt to avoid having future payments that can be as big as your paycheck!

I'd be glad to address any questions you have about the program. Feel free to contact me.
Do you work at XJT?
 

Zapphod Beblebrox

Well-Known Member
I cannot say enough good things about WMU. I graduated from there over 30 years ago when the aviation operation was at AZO. It is a far better program now. No matter what I strongly encourage you to get your training at a University program. With the new regs and the possibility of flight times being dropped to a lower level, where you get your training matters.
 

crarazy

Well-Known Member
I'm looking at WMU's program right now as well, being a Senior in high school, still a little on the iffy side if that's what I want to do with my college degree because I've heard that the dreaded furlough can be terrible if you're without a real degree. I'm looking at MSU and getting a business degree and doing flight training on the side at the nearby airport. How does WMU's cost compare to other flight schools because the one near MSU just told me that theirs is anywhere from $50k-$60k, which is the same as Westerns.
 

rockman2343@aol.com

Well-Known Member
I'm looking at WMU's program right now as well, being a Senior in high school, still a little on the iffy side if that's what I want to do with my college degree because I've heard that the dreaded furlough can be terrible if you're without a real degree. I'm looking at MSU and getting a business degree and doing flight training on the side at the nearby airport. How does WMU's cost compare to other flight schools because the one near MSU just told me that theirs is anywhere from $50k-$60k, which is the same as Westerns.
For the love of god do not get an aviation degree. For the most part they are useless outside aviation, and unnecessarily expensive. Get your certs from ATP or some FBO, and major in something else. Remember, a pilot with out a pilot job, and no other degree/skills is an unskilled laborer.

You can't get to the airlines until you are 23 so you have time. Go to college your first year, enjoy it, and work on your private pilot license that year. (I flew once a week for about a year when I got my private and did it in 43 hours, so it is possible to spread the flights out and get it done close to the mins if you prepare.
You can spend year 2 and 3 in various ways, depending on what you decide to do, i.e. ATP or on your own at an FBO. You even have time to take a year off from flying if you want. If you plan it right, depending on where you instruct, you could have the 1500 hrs, by the time your 23, as well as a useful degree.

I
 
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