The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has announced three scholarship programs offering more than $130,000 in available funds. Applications will be accepted starting Feb. 1 to help student pilots in training earn their initial pilot certificate, and a new scholarship program to help certificated pilots achieve an advanced certificate or rating.

The application deadline is May 2, 2018 for the scholarship programs, all funded by generous donations to the AOPA Foundation.

The AOPA You Can Fly High School Scholarship program, in its third year, will award 20 scholarships of $5,000 each to provide current high school students age 15 to 18 with funds that can be used to pay for an initial pilot certificate, including a sport pilot certificate, private pilot certificate, or recreational pilot certificate. You Can Fly is AOPA’s initative to support and build the general aviation pilot population.

The winners will be announced in early June, said Cindy Hasselbring, AOPA senior director of the You Can Fly High School Aviation Initiative. For more information about the scholarships, eligibility requirements, or to apply online, visit the AOPA You Can Fly website.

In addition, applications are now being accepted for the AOPA Foundation’s Primary Certification Scholarships. The Foundation’s Flight Training Scholarship program began in 2011, and in 2018 will issue multiple grants of from $2,500 to $7,500. Funds awarded can be applied to training for an initial pilot certificate including a sport pilot certificate; private pilot certificate; or recreational pilot certificate. To be eligible for an award, an applicant must be age 16 or older, and must be an AOPA member.

New for 2018, the AOPA Foundation Advanced Rating Scholarships will provide multiple scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $10,000. Winners can use the awards to help fund training for an instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, flight instructor certificate, instrument flight instructor certificate, or multiengine flight instructor certificate. AOPA membership is required to be eligible for an AOPA Foundation Advanced Rating Scholarship. Age requirements will vary depending on the certificate or rating sought. For more information or to apply online, visit the AOPA Foundation website.

“I find it so rewarding to see so many people chipping in to help others experience the joy of flight,” said AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker. “These generous scholarships will change people’s lives. Kids who dream of learning to fly can now go do it thanks to our donors. Adults wanting to advance their skills now have a financial path forward. All of general aviation should be greateful to the donors who make this possible.”