Board of Regents Approve Next Steps in Southeast Professional Pilot Program

March 2, 2021

In fall 2021 Southeast Missouri State University will welcome its inaugural group of students in its Professional Pilot program. The Southeast Board of Regents approved one of the last major components of the program, flight and training fees from US Aviation Group (USAG), at its meeting on Feb. 26.

“Excitement continues to grow around this program,” said Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success. “The flight and training fees approved by the board are competitive with other institutions. What stands out about our partnership with USAG is the significant amount of savings on checkrides, which could result in thousands of dollars in savings for our students.”

Checkrides, technically referred to as a Practical Test by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is the required examination an individual must pass to receive an aircraft pilot’s certification or rating for additional flight privileges. Average costs for checkrides are in the $400 to $600 range. Southeast students will not have to pay additional fees for checkrides because USAG has been granted “self-examining” authority by the FAA and this is incorporated into the fee structure approved by the Board of Regents.

“This is one more way we meet our goal of providing an affordable, high quality education experience with career opportunities in a growing industry, while minimizing costs for our students,” said Below.

Students will pay hourly fees for the flight and related training provided by USAG. The total costs incurred will vary based on a student’s progress. The average total cost for the Southeast program is estimated to be $66,030. The table of costs, developed by USAG, reflects a schedule of average costs per student per course.

These fees are not University fees. However, since Southeast will charge and collect the fees from students on behalf of USAG, the university administration shared it with the Board of Regents for consideration.