CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College’s pilot training program just made it easier for Illinois residents living outside of the college’s district to pay for flight classes.

At its June meeting, the Parkland College Board of Trustees approved offering in-district tuition rates to all Illinois residents enrolled in the school’s Aviation Associate in Science degree program during the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters. The rate change will provide a significant cost savings to those who live in community college districts that do not offer flight training as a degree option.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, Illinois degree-seeking students enrolled in programs at the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College (both new and current) will pay $164 per credit hour instead of the $370 per credit hour currently charged to out-of-district students. The school’s tuition and fees are subject to board approval and reviewed annually.

Aviation students at Parkland College already enjoy small class sizes that allow for greater individual attention, lower tuition than many aviation schools, and immediate contact with instructors. The institute’s nearly 70-year history provides a large alumni network that proves beneficial to students as well.

Parkland College launched its flight school in fall 2014 when the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation transitioned to the community college. Through Parkland’s program, students can earn a transferable Associate of Science in Aviation degree, FAA-approved private pilot certification, and commercial pilot ratings. Leasing the university’s fleet of airplanes, equipment, and ground school facilities, Parkland College conducts pilot training out of university-owned Willard Airport in Savoy.