ACI General Scholarship
Jacob DeFrates is in his junior year at Quincy University, Quincy, Illinois, majoring in aviation. DeFrates says he chose Quincy, about 90 minutes from his hometown of Manchester, Illinois, because he knew some friends attending the university and it offered his major. With nearly three years’ experience at Quincy, DeFrates says he appreciates Quincy’s small classes and working directly with professors.
Though he hadn’t ridden in a plane before deciding on his major, DeFrates says aviation is a longtime interest, and the curriculum is challenging. Now, he’s a licensed pilot. “For aviation, it’s all about building hours, and once you get so many hours, you can move on to bigger things,” he says. “What most of the students do at Quincy aviation is they become flight instructors. I think that’s what I’m going to do for a few years to build my hours.” After that, DeFrates may seek to become a commercial pilot, haul freight or work as a crop duster, which he saw in action growing up in Manchester.
DeFrates was introduced to the ACI General Scholarship by a high school advisor and an advisor at Quincy. “They sent me an email with lists of scholarships that may apply to me,” he says. “One day, I sat down and went through these scholarships and found out this one pertained to me. It has helped me prolong my aviation career, so essentially I can get it done much quicker.” DeFrates says the scholarship has helped him add classes so that he can possibly complete the program in three years.
To DeFrates, scholarship funds provided by donors are vital. “It’s really important, especially to a college student who has the stress of not only dealing with homework but trying to find ways to be able to pay for college,” he says. “Then on top of that, they have to work one to two jobs just to be make sure they can stay enrolled. Relieving some of that pressure goes a long way for students.”