The United States Air Force is pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2020 AIM HIGH Flight Academy. The deadline for this year’s program is 31 March 2020.  Please see the attached Flight Academy announcement, program overview and application and feel free to email if you have any questions regarding the Flight Academy or application process.


The United States Air Force’s AIM HIGH Flight Academy is a STEM-based, aviation- focused, motivation and mentorship program designed to increase diversity across aviation career fields. It is a core component of the USAF’s Rated Diversity Improvement (RDI) Strategy impacting individuals across the pre-accessions (high school) and accessions (college) developmental phases. The AIM HIGH Flight Academy achieves the “warfighting imperative” of increasing diversity and reducing the pilot shortage through meaningful engagement with the next generation of Airmen from all demographics and backgrounds, providing them the tools necessary to increase their rates of success. While flight experiences are a primary activity, the AIM HIGH Flight Academy is focused on promoting and developing future leaders in a holistic manner (i.e., beyond aviation knowledge/skills) – the program’s success centers upon robust interaction with Total Force role models and mentors.


The AIM HIGH Flight Academy is a 3-week, residential program for high school students and Air Force Cadets (AFROTC and USAFA) featuring direct supervision from junior officers and oversight from senior Captains and Field Grade Officers. Students participate in daily aviation activities (i.e., flights in general aviation aircraft, simulators, ground school) while being immersed in a team environment. Flight training is conducted in accordance with Federal Aviation Association regulations and procedures, with the goal of solo flight, and is administered by a partner organization (aviation college/university, flight school, Civil Air Patrol, etc.). Civilian training is combined with military flight training methodologies and expectations (stand-up, ops limits/boldface, “Pilot Training Next” VR sims, etc.) in order to motivate and prepare participants for rated careers. Character and education activities are incorporated into all activities, with periodic focused sessions on personal development, career goals, etc. The officer cadre ensures accomplishment of the character and education goals, while scheduling activities in a dynamic and flexible manner. These activities should include visits to a local Air Force flying unit and an orientation flight aboard an Air Force aircraft. Most importantly, the officer cadre provides the mentorship and role modeling required to inspire and develop professional aviators and future leaders. 



  1. BACKGROUND/OVERVIEW: The United States Air Force is funding approximately 40
    high school students to attend AIM High Flight Academy during the summer of 2020. This is a
    private pilot training program at public flight schools from:
    a. Jun 21-Jul 11 2020
    b. Jul 19-Aug 8 2020
    The scholarship will be awarded to highly competitive students who are interested in aviation
    careers. The scholarship will pay for transportation, room and board, academics, and up to 15
    flight hours to potentially solo an aircraft. This exciting opportunity will be an in-residence
    program, approximately 3 weeks in length. This message outlines the student requirements to
    apply for this scholarship and attend this program during the summer of 2020.
    Students will be nominated by U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service Detachment 1 (AFRS Det 1)
    strategic partner organizations, boarded, selected, and matched to attend partnering flight
    schools. Students will be engaged in an intensive academic flying training program and may
    have classes or flying training during weekend hours. Each flight school hosting students is an
    independent organization and provides its own management and oversight for students and
    programs. The Air Force will provide military leadership and oversight. Student’s completion of
    up to 15 flight hours potentially culminating in a solo flight is singularly dependent on each
    student’s academic and flying ability, and the flight school’s determination to recommend a
  2. WHO MAY APPLY: Applicants must be enrolled in high school (ages 16-18) and understand
    they are volunteering for a scholarship to a public flight school contracted by the United States
    Air Force. There is no military service commitment or obligation, nor does program completion
    justify acceptance to military service. Applicants must be at least 16 years old by 1 Jun 20 and
    have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) to submit a package or be nominated. Applicants must be current high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors.
  1. APPLICATION PROCESS: Strategic partner organizations may submit up to 10 nominees
    each. Students must complete the attached PDF application and have parental/legal guardian
    signed approval (if under 18). Please follow the detailed application instruction form attached in
    the package. Additionally, students must have an endorsement from their high school principal
    or counselor verifying they’re an enrolled student, their GPA, and are in good standing as well as
    an endorsement from a nominating organization. Lastly, applicants must have a “strong” interest
    in aviation and a “never-quit” attitude. Please send completed applications with a single
    attachment to
  2. SELECTION BOARD: The selection process will be a quantitative board based on answers
    and inputs to the application. An applicant’s score will be comprised of 3 parts: endorsements,
    general experiences and aviation experiences. These 3 parts will be weighted to comprise an
    overall score based on a 100-point scale. Weighting is as follows: endorsements are weighted at
    50%, and 30% for general experiences and 20% for aviation interest and involvement
    demonstrated on their application.
  3. MY NOMININEE WAS SELECTED, NOW WHAT: Selected high school students and
    alternates will be notified with additional instructions. These students must obtain a Federal
    Aviation Administration (FAA) Student Pilot Certificate and an FAA Class III flight physical
    within the prescribed critical dates. A verified passing physical is required before the student is
    matched to a flight program. Students will be allowed to provide their preferred flight program
    dates, although needs of the program will dictate final matches. The AIM HIGH Flight Academy
    program will reimburse the selected students for the cost of the actual physical. Non–US citizens
    will have to apply for and pass a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) check in order to
    continue in the process.
  4. NOMINATING ORGANIZATION GUIDANCE: Organizations must work with their
    nominees to ensure students are preparing accurate packages and meeting application deadlines.
    Other youth organizations, not outlined in attachment 1, are authorized to submit applications
    with an endorsement on page 5 of the application.
    a. 1 February 2020: Strategic partners notified of Flight Academy
    b. 31 March 2020: Application suspense to Detachment 1
    c. 6-10 April 2020: Selection board
    d. NLT 1 May 2020: Notify selected students and alternates (as applicable)
    e. 1-15 May 2020: Students complete FAA Class III flight physical
    f. ASAP upon medical completion: Students notified of class start date
  6. If you have questions concerning this program contact the AFRS/Det 1 Director of Operations,
    Lt Col Lindsay Andrew at or (210) 565-3227.