Education can be expensive. Scholarships, awards and bursaries can help offset those costs, helping to relieve some of the burden. Whether you are a senior in high school, already a post-secondary aviation student or pursuing your flight training on your own, there are scholarship and bursary opportunities available. Below are links to various scholarships, school awards and financial aid sites.
LIFT Scholarship - Presented by WWFC
The LIFT Scholarship was created to assist student pilots. Training to be a pilot is costly and most aviation students are not eligible for OSAP, or other financial support. In 2017, WWFC established the WWFC Golf Tournament to raise funds for student pilot scholarships. The tournament raised $4,000, which was then matched by the WWFC Board of Directors to provide a total of $8,000 for student scholarships. LIFT was chosen as the name for the scholarship because it is a familiar aviation term, as well as a perfect representation of what the scholarship sets out to do – give student pilots a lift in their flight training both in terms of financial assistance, as well as confidence.
Post-secondary Applicants and Current UW or CC Aviation Students
High school students applying to either the Conestoga College Aviation General Arts & Science or to one of the University of Waterloo Aviation programs can apply for entrance scholarships through the respective schools.
Students currently in either of these post-secondary programs can browse through the many scholarship and bursary opportunities on the school's website.
Aviation Industry Awards & Scholarships
The aviation industry is known for supporting the initiatives and accomplishments of student pilots and pilots looking to advance their training. Many organizations offer scholarships and bursaries towards these efforts.
Three prominent organizations that offer scholarship opportunities are:
The Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots offers many scholarship opportunities.
Arnold and Vi Milstead Warren Flight Training Scholarship
An annual scholarship of $2,000 is intended to contribute to the cost of an Instructor Rating for a female Ontario resident. Applicants may apply for themselves,OR may be nominated by an instructor or another pilot. They must complete the Application Form and write a statement of no more than two pages describing the applicant’s personal and professional qualities which would contribute to her becoming an excellent flight instructor. If nominated by someone else, the candidate should also submit a statement re her personal and professional qualities. Applicants or Nominators are also asked to provide names of two referees. The referees need not provide Letters of Reference, but will be contacted about the Applicant.
The ideal scholarship candidate is someone who is likely to be committed to students’ progress, and demonstrates excellent flying ability, a love of flying, as well as good communication skills.
Applicants may have already started the Instructor Rating when they apply, or they may apply in advance of beginning the rating. APPLICATION FORM
Flight instructors play a vital role in developing pilots’ excellent flying skills and good judgment. This scholarship has been established to celebrate the wonderful work of Canadian flight instructors, and in particular to acknowledge the contributions of two outstanding flight instructors, Arnold and Vi Milstead Warren. Vi Milstead Warren left a legacy in her will for a few flight instructor scholarships. Though the scholarship name celebrates her husband Arnold’s work as well as her own, Vi agreed that with the dearth of female flight instructors, this award should go to female instructor candidates.
Vi Milstead (1919 - 2014) learned to fly in 1939, just as World War Two was beginning. Within just eight months she earned her Private and Commercial Licenses, while working fulltime in her mother’s, and then in her own woolshop. She then went on to complete her Instructor Rating. Vi was one of a very few female instructors in Canada in the early 1940s. Though women could not fly with the RCAF, Vi taught many male students who later flew with the RCAF.
In 1943 Vi joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in England and delivered military fighters, bombers and training aircraft throughout the United Kingdom and into continental Europe. For this work she received a unique style of flight training. ATA pilots were trained on one representative plane of each class, and then were considered capable of flying several other types, without checkouts or any additional training. Vi’s logbook shows 47 different types (74 including different Marks). For example, there were more than 20 different Marks of Spitfires, some with Merlin and others with Griffon engines. The stall speed for different Marks ranged from 66 to 86 mph, with flaps and undercarriage up. It would probably be more realistic to consider that she flew 74 different models of aircraft, than 47.
Following the war Vi returned to instructing, first with Leavens Brothers at Barker Field, then on floats with Nickel Belt Airways in Sudbury and subsequently with the Windsor Flying Club.
Arnold Warren (1908 - 2000) learned to fly in Kirkland Lake and Barker Field, Toronto, completing his Private Pilot Licence in 1940. During World War Two he was an instructor with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, training pilots with the RCAF. Part of his work involved doing research in flight training, with the goal of perfecting the RCAF flight training syllabus. This work formed the basis for his book Let’s Learn To Fly. Following the war he worked as Chief Flight Instructor for Leavens Brothers, where he met Vi. He later claimed he was so impressed with her flying ability he decided to marry her.
After instructing with Nickel Belt Airways, Sudbury and the Windsor Flying Club, through ICAO, Arnold was invited to head up a flight training program in Indonesia. Vi and Arnold lived in Indonesia for two years. Vi was issued an Indonesian pilot licence, but Arnold was not allowed to hire her as an instructor, though the school needed another instructor. After Arnold completed his two year contract, he and Vi returned to Canada.
Though they gave up flying professionally, they continued to fly a Piper Cub, and then a Mooney, recreationally. Vi and Arnold would hope that successful scholarship winners will enjoy sharing their love of flying as much as they did.
Applications should be mailed directly to:
The Arnold and Vi Milstead Warren Scholarship
313266 Hwy 6
Durham, ON, N0G 1R0
or may be e-mailed to
Completed applications must be received by Friday, February 15, 2019. The successful applicant will be notified by March 30. The scholarship will be paid directly to the Flight Training Unit, to be applied to the costs of the applicant’s Instructor Rating, upon successful completion of the flight test.
Anyone wishing to donate to the Arnold and Vi Milstead Warren Scholarship Fund, and thus extend the number of years it can be offered, may mail a cheque to the above address.