Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?
Apply here!

Is it a good time to start training to become a commercial pilot?
In a word, YES!  If you use this time for training, you will set yourself up for prime-time hiring. The airlines have ramped up their hiring programs with unprecedented starting salaries, bonuses and other benefits.
About 70 percent of commercial airline pilots will be retiring in the next 15 to 20 years, which has created a significant pilot shortage. The military no longer trains pilots in the numbers they used to, so airlines have been forced to come up with creative solutions to fill their expanding needs. You will be the beneficiary of this hiring frenzy if you start training soon. There are very few two-year college degree tracks that can boast nearly 100% hiring statistics along with six- figure starting salaries.

If I’ve never flown before, can I enroll in this program?
Yes, the program is designed for students with zero flight experience. You can also enter with a Private Pilot’s License, but licenses higher than a PPL will disqualify you from a Restricted ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) license certificate from the MCCC part 141 program.

If I already have my Private Pilot's License, am I still eligible to enter this program?
Yes, you are eligible to enter the program with a PPL. If you have a PPL, it will save you some time and money. You will still need to take a placement ride with a member of the MCCC Aviation department.

Why should I choose MCCC for aviation training?
The MCCC Aviation Degree Program has been in existence for more than 50 years. It is the only two-year internationally accredited aviation degree program in the nation.  If the airlines are your destination or you would like to go the corporate route, we can also guide you to the right people to achieve your individual goal. Earning the Associate Degree in Aviation Flight Technology with the Restricted ATP allows you to go to the airlines with only 1250 hours, as opposed to the 1500 hours required without the degree.

How long does the Professional Pilot program take to complete?
The Associate Degree program takes five semesters to complete for a full-time student who is starting with no flight hours.

When do classes start?
Aviation Flight Technology for Commercial Pilots starts in either the Fall (early September), Spring (mid-January), and Summer (May) semesters.

Are Aviation classes online?
In the last year, some Aviation classes have become available in a convenient online modality. You will, of course, still need to come to the airport 3 to 4 times per week to fly.

Do airlines accept a two-year degree?
Yes, most airlines, including Piedmont/American, are hiring pilots with an Associate Degree.

I'm a Bucks County resident. Do I get a tuition break?
Yes, Bucks County residents pay in-state tuition.

What if I already have a degree or have taken college classes or have millitary JSTs?
In addition to traditional first-time college students, MCCC recognizes that many of its students are looking for a new career, and many of those in career transition are interested in becoming a pilot. A member of the aviation team will do a thorough transcript evaluation to make sure you are granted as many transfer credits as possible.

Are there requirements I must complete before starting the program?
You must have a high school diploma, proof of citizenship or TSA approval for non-citizens, pass at least a first or second-class aviation medical exam (please be advised the airlines will require a first-class medical certificate, so you may opt to get a first class medical), and be proficient in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English.

Where can I get a flight physical?
Below are three links to FAA websites. The first two are where you can locate an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) near you.
After making an appointment with an AME, you must register on the MedExpress website. 

Can foreign students apply to the MCCC Aviation program?
Yes; you will need to contact MCCC for more information. This link will help:

As a foreign student, do I need to apply for TSA approval?
Foreign students must also go through TSA approval. When seeking TSA approval for the college 141 program, use Mercer County Community College (NOT Infinity Flight) - TSA Link:

What does the program cost?
The entire two-year degree program costs about $87,000, compared to a four-year aviation program which can easily run between $250,000 and $300,000. We fly the newest model aircraft, not SIMS as most four-year schools do.

Is there financial aid available?
Yes, MCCC offers financial aid: MCCC Financial Aid.  There are also a wide variety of grants and scholarships available. Interestingly, many aviation-specific scholarships do not get distributed because students simply don’t apply. Don’t leave money on the table; take time to apply!! Google “aviation scholarships” or flight training scholarships” or view the following website for a list of scholarships: .

I’m a Veteran; can I use VA benefits for flight training? How about Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)?
Yes. You can use your VA benefits for the entire program -- Private, Instrument and Commercial: MCCC Veteran Student Services.  Since this is a public institution, there is no flight training cap -- yes, the Private Pilot License is covered! The VA will cover the minimum prescribed flight hours in the curriculum. Hours flown outside of the framework will be the responsibility of the student. Since this is a degree-seeking program, full-time Veteran students may qualify for Post 9/11 BAH.

What pilot certificates/ratings will I obtain?
You will earn your Private Pilot License, Instrument Rating/Commercial Single Engine Land Certificate and Commercial multi-engine add-on. (These are the identical ratings you would earn at any/all four-year Aviation colleges or universities.) As a graduate you also have the privilege of the Restricted ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) of 1250 hours, as opposed to 1500 hours for non-degree holders. This means you will need to build less hours to be hired by the airlines – a faster route to your seniority number.

Where does flight training take place?
We are partnered with Infinity Flight Group, located at the Trenton-Mercer Airport, Trenton, NJ. They have the largest fleet of newer model Cessnas in the Northeastern United States. You will be training in some of the busiest airspace in the country, in all types of weather conditions, which will put you ahead of the pack in terms of practical experience when you go to the airlines.
Infinity Flight Group Website

Will I be training in simulators or flying actual aircraft?
You can expect most of your training to be done in newer model Cessna 172 training aircraft, both round dial and glass cockpits. There are several new-model simulators equipped with the latest technology that can be used for procedure training and proficiency. Simulators are provided at no cost when flown with an MCCC Flight Instructors at Infinty Flight Group.

How often will I fly?
You should expect to fly three to four days per week. Each lesson initially lasts about 2 to 3 hours total, including ground time. Later lessons will include some cross-country flights lasting about 4 hours. Please keep in mind, frequent flying sharpens your skills and builds muscle memory quicker, which will save you money in the long run.

What supplies will I need to budget for in addition to the flight costs?
A headset will probably be your most important purchase to begin with. You can look at this two ways: go inexpensive ($150 to $250) until you get to the airlines or go with a great headset ($300 to $1100) from the start. Consider your long-term hearing when making a purchase.

Other less expensive items include: VFR navigational plotter, kneeboard, E6B flight computer (manual is fine) current FAR/AIM, Pilot Operating Handbook, foggles or training hood if you wear corrective lenses, logbook, and a flight bag. All of these items can be purchased online, and most run $15 to $60.  An iPad with a Foreflight subscription is optional, and nice to have, though not required. All instructors are proficient in traditional and electronic flight planning methods.

Is there another training option if I don't want to go through the college program?
Yes, Infinity Flight offers flight training for the same FAA licenses and ratings as the college. The main difference is that the college program is more structured and allows you to earn the restricted ATP of 1250 hours required for the airlines instead of 1500 hours required without the college. Some students also find more opportunities with financial aid options when going through the college. For more info on getting started outside of the MCCC Aviation Program visit the Infinity Flight Group website:

Who can I contact if I have more questions or if I want to start the progrm?
MCCC Contacts:
Aviation Department: Janien Rosenberger,
Veterans Office: Eric Testerman,

Infinity Contact:
Dan Tesfaye, 

Can I schedule a tour of the airport facilities?
You are welcome to visit Infinity Flight at the Trenton-Mercer Airport Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please reach out to Dan Tesfaye to schedule a time to meet.