Ray Scholarship Information

The UND Aerospace Foundation in partnership with the Ray Foundation is excited to announce an extraordinary scholarship opportunity for exceptional individuals.

This scholarship will cover up to $12,000 for Private Pilot Training awarded to qualified veterans or authorized dependents (must be 17 years old prior to beginning training). Training start dates are ongoing and can be found here: https://airlinepilot.training/upcoming-classes/.


The GI Bill® can be used for vocational flight training. However, obtaining a Private Pilot License is a prerequisite (www.va.gov). This scholarship is designed specifically to cover a large portion of the cost of obtaining a Private Pilot certificate at the UND Aerospace Phoenix Flight Training Center (UND Phoenix FTC). After completion of the Private Pilot course, GI Bill® education benefits may then be used to continue studies to obtain the Instrument-Airplane, Commercial Pilot, Multi-Engine Pilot, and ultimately the Certified Flight Instructor Certificate.


UNDAF Phoenix is an FAA-certified Part 141 Flight School and is approved to train veterans and their eligible dependents using VA education benefits in the state of Arizona. We have partnered with Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) in offering the Associate in Applied Science in Airway Science Technology degree for over 27 years. This is a professional aviation training program geared toward preparing students for a career in aviation.


Awardees will begin an accelerated Private Pilot Certification course projected to start at one of four designated dates beginning in January, March, June, and September. Please reference https://airlinepilot.training/upcoming-classes/ for specific start dates. During this time each participant will earn their FAA Private Pilot certificate. The accelerated Private Pilot program is a five-day per week immersion and includes a two-hour ground school three days per week, in addition to daily flying. This will require each student’s full-time attention.

Completion of this certification will coincide with the beginning of the subsequent CGCC semester where awardees are expected to enroll and continue their education for five semesters, and ultimately earn their AAS in Airway Science Technology and receive their FAA Flight Instructor Certificate.

Students are required to relocate to the Mesa, AZ area for approximately 24 months to attend training. All courses are in-person. Relocation costs are not covered by the scholarship.


The Ray Foundation Scholarship will not be paid directly to each individual. $12,000 will be available in each individual’s flight account at the start of training. This money will then be used by the individual to help cover the costs of flight training.

The cost for completion of the Private Pilot certificate is approximately $16,499. Additional costs for ground school and variable monthly fuel surcharge brings the average cost to a total of $18,199. This means that about 30% of the cost of the Private Pilot certificate will be at the student’s expense. For this reason, each awardee will be required to deposit $2,000 in their flight account prior to the start of training. This $2,000 is fully refundable prior to the start of training.

Each student must supply their own iPad, headset, Foreflight® subscription (this must be purchased through UNDAF), and any other supplies they may need for this program. These costs are not included in the $18,199 estimate.



Upon successful completion of the application steps and interview process, applicants selected for the scholarship will be required to take and pass the FAA Private Pilot Airman Knowledge Test prior to beginning flight training at the applicants’ own cost. Testing is available across the nation at any approved PSI testing center. (https://candidate.psiexams.com/index.jsp)

Detailed instructions will be provided by the UNDAF scholarship team for this step of the process


All applicants must submit the following to establish eligibility for award of the scholarship:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill® Statement of Benefits or GI Bill® Certificate of Eligibility–With 24 months of benefit remaining
  • Confirmation of Retirement or Separation Date prior to Class Start Date
  • An FAA First- or Second-Class Medical Certificate
  • An essay of approx. 300-500 words briefly addressing the following topics:
    •  Any professional and/or personal accomplishments that indicate likely success in the program
    • Career goals and aspirations
    • The reasons for aviation as a career path
    • Any previous aviation experience (not required)
    • Why the applicant is a good candidate for this scholarship
  • Professional Resume
  • Letters of Recommendation (Optional)
  • FAA Private Pilot Airman’s Knowledge Exam Results (If Applicable)

All applicants must to agree to the following should they be awarded the scholarship:

  • Ability to relocate to Mesa, AZ for approximately 24 months to attend training
  • Signed a Letter of Intent to continue training in the CGCC AAS Degree Program
  • Deposit $2,000 into their flight account prior to beginning flight training
  • Complete Private Pilot Airman’s Knowledge Exam (Written) prior to start of training


Complete the application by using the link below.

Please complete ALL online application requirements to be considered for the scholarship. Only complete applications will be considered, and each will be considered as it is received. Individual interviews (in-person or virtual) will be scheduled as qualifying applications are received. The scholarship window will remain open until all slots are filled; once filled a waitlist will be established.

It is truly our pleasure to offer this opportunity to the US Armed Forces veteran community and their eligible dependents. We look forward to interviewing, selecting, and training the most deserving individuals.

Still have questions?  Feel free to reach us by phone at: (480)809-4499

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)


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