The Value of a Degree

What if you could have a job secured before you entered college?  According to, 43.2 million college grads owe $1.56 trillion in student loans and the debt crisis is growing. College tuition and borrowing is increasing while starting salaries for entry level positions is staying relatively flat. The value of a college degree for many students and their families is a hard pill to swallow as the debt can be crippling for decades causing stress, anxiety and worry. A recent Forbes article highlights that tuition is increasing eight times faster than wages, leaving many people wondering if college is still worth the investment.

But what if there was another way to pursue your educational and career goals while having the means to eliminate your debt sooner? What if you had the security of a good paying job and knew exactly what you would be doing and where you would be going after college before you even begin college?

Those questions helped us start the LIFT/VU Partnership Program. Students who enroll are guaranteed a position as a First Officer with Republic Airways once their Associate degree and flight qualifications are met. Students interview for the job before enrolling and once accepted, have the next several years planned for when they graduate. No need to attend career fairs, find an internship, or attend a resume workshop. You and your family have an opportunity to see the house’s hand and make smart financial decisions about your future.

So what does this program look like? Students spend four semesters at Vincennes University completing college coursework while flight training simultaneously with LIFT, completing their private pilot certificate through their certificated flight instructor (CFI)-instrument rating. In less than two years, students can have their Associate degree in Aviation Flight Technology and hold all the ratings needed for the airlines. Students will still need to time build for minimums at Republic Airways, which LIFT will help with as students can be hired as CFI’s at LIFT, one of our partner locations or can choose to time build elsewhere. Students can start earning an income as a CFI and in about 12-18 months, they will transition to a First Officer at Republic earning about $60,000 their first year and can hit six figures at about their third year with the airline. Oh, and while students are building their time as a CFI and then flying for Republic as a First Officer, they can also finish their Bachelor of Science degree through Purdue University, paying Vincennes tuition and fees.

While most college students spend four years or more earning a degree and then start applying for jobs, our students spend half that time in school and have already secured a great paying job at one of the best airlines. Seniority is everything in the airline business so why not start your career sooner? The LIFT/VU Partnership Program is helping students achieve their college dreams and providing a pathway to a more cost-effective way to flight train and have a rewarding career.

If you are looking to enroll into a college program as well as having the security of a great paying career to travel the world, look no further! If you are a recent high school grad, unsatisfied college student, career changer or someone who has been waiting to start their degree, now is the perfect time. Applications are still open for the fall semester! Visit our website to learn how to take off with LIFT and VU and land at Republic.