Frequently asked questions

  • I wear glasses can I fly?
    Yes, there are many misconceptions on physical requirements for aspiring pilots. Civil standards are much more accommodating than those set forth by the military. Whether you are short or tall, have glasses or not, chances are you will be able to fly.
  • What are the ACT and GPA requirements for admissions?
    Unlike many 4-year institution, we do not have selective admission. This means there is no GPA minimum or ACT/SAT requirement. Simply submitted a high school transcript and complete the Parkland assessments in Math and English.
  • Does Parkland have housing?
    While Parkland does not have regulated student housing, there are many housing options in very close proximity to Parkland’s main campus and surrounding area.
  • I don’t want a degree, can I still fly or take a class or two?
    Yes, students may enroll in flight training courses without pursuing a degree as space allows. However, if you already have a degree, we encourage you to explore a reverse transfer. You will likely receive credit from your previous degree towards an Associates in Aviation.
  • I hold a private pilot certificate, is there a refresher course I can take?
    Yes, we can build your flight time around your specific needs with up to 5 hours of flight time with certified instructors with the fee based on your need.
  • Do you do tours?
    Yes, give us a call to set something up: 217/353-2171.
  • Where are FAA exams given?
    FAA exams are given at the Parkland College Assessment Center.
  • Does financial aid pay for flight fees?
    Yes, financial aid can be used to help cover the cost of flight fees. However, athletic scholarships and some veteran’s grants will cover tuition only leaving flight fees the responsibility of the student.
  • I’m a veteran, what benefit works best?
    Post 9/11 GI bill is the best option for obtaining an AS in Aviation.
  • Will I receive help with job placement?
    Yes.  Between Parkland’s career services office, our vast network of alumni, and corporate agreements, we will work with you as you approach the workplace.
  • How do I reach my required flight hours (1250)?
    We encourage all our students to invest in an extra semester to obtain their certification to be a flight instructor. While there are other options to acquire your required flight hours, being a CFI will give you the most flexibility. Students can enter our program with a private pilot's license. However, to be considered for our R-ATP students will need to complete a minimum of 30 qualifying training hours. This will include courses that are not part of the associate degree, such as CFI and perhaps crew resource management.

  • How many flight hours will I graduate with?
    Flight hours will vary depending on how far you go within the program. Below are approximate flight with simulator hours earned for each aviation course:

AVI 101


AVI 120


AVI 129


AVI 140


AVI 200


AVI 209


AVI 280


AVI 220


AVI 222



  • What salary can I expect to make after graduation?
    Once your reach your 1250 flight hours, we are seeing starting wages at regionals airlines upwards of $100,000 as a first officer. As a CFI, salaries can vary drastically depending on whether you are part-time or full-time instructor. But a full-time CFI can expect a starting wage of $15-$50 an hour, but many in the academic world will begin in the $29,000-$33,000 range for a 9-month contract.
  • Can my degree really transfer to another 4-year institution?
    Yes, Parkland works closely with students to make sure student achieve their academic goals.
  • Where is Parkland located?
    We are located 2 hours south of Chicago, 3 hours northeast of St. Louis and less than 2 hours west of Indianapolis.
  • Can University of Illinois students take aviation courses?
    Yes, we have many UI students that take courses.
  • Can high school students take aviation courses?
    Yes, students can begin to take courses once they are 17 years of age.
  • Can I rent a plane?
    Unfortunately, we do not rent planes.
  • What does the course flight fee cover?
    Flight fees cover mainly the plane’s maintenance, fuel, insurance, and flight instructor.
  • Does the Institute of Aviation offer a maintenance program?
    Unfortunately, we do not at this time.