WAI Scholarships Total $10,000,000


With the announcement of the 2016 WAI scholarship winners in March 2016, WAI’s scholarship program will award a cumulative $10,000,000 worth of scholarships to over 1,300 members, changing thousands of lives and launching and enhancing hundreds of aviation careers.

WAI’s scholarship program began in 1995 when the organization decided to award a scholarship at its annual conference and sold $1 tickets to fund the program. A little more than $1,000 was raised, which enabled WAI to award two $500 scholarships that first year.

The following year, in 1996, the annual conference was held in Minneapolis, home of Northwest Airlines which generously offered to augment WAI’s fledgling scholarship program by offering a type rating scholarship for any airplane that was part of Northwest’s fleet. The winner, Jodi Osborne, then a student at Middle Tennessee State University, elected to receive her type rating in the 747.

“We remain grateful to Northwest Airlines for jumpstarting our scholarship program, and for following through with growing support,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “In 2016, our scholarship total will surpass $10,000,000. In the ensuing years, so many companies, organizations and individuals have stepped up with scholarships. Their generosity is an incredible tribute to our mutual belief in the robust future of the aviation industry.”

To date, 98 scholarships are offered for 2016, totaling more than $488,000. WAI scholarships are for members (female and male) in all areas of aviation, from engineering to maintenance to flying. Scholarships range from type ratings to a cash disbursement to fulfill any aviation dream – an applicant doesn’t have to be a student, a pilot or even a woman, but they will have to be a WAI member. Scholarship winners for 2016 will be recognized at WAI’s annual conference which will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee from March 10-12, 2016.