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Most aviation scholarships require the applicant to submit a copy of their certificates. Typically, this consists of your student-pilot certificate/3rd class medical. To obtain a student pilot certificate and medical, you will need to contact a flight instructor and an FAA-designated aviation medical examiner. A local flight school should be able to point you in the right direction. If you have additional certificates and are competing for scholarships beyond the private-pilot certificate, then you will need to include all certificates that you currently hold and a valid medical certificate. Some scholarships also require a driver’s license, valid passport, and FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Operators Permit. Be certain to check the requirements and submit all required documents. If you don’t have one of the required documents, go get it. Don’t apply without ALL required documents.

Certificates, like logbooks, are an easy way to add 5-10 points to your application. Don’t miss out on these easy points by being careless. Aviation scholarships are so competitive that it usually comes down to 1-2 points to determine the winner.

Common errors:

  1. Poorly-aligned documents.
  2. Not signing your pilot certificate and medical certificate.
  3. Not including all required documents.


  1. Scan each document, front and back (if applicable), onto one page/one PDF. If you are having trouble, then go to your local print shop and have a professional help you to get it right.
  2. Sign your certificates!!!! They are not valid or legal until they are signed.
  3. Follow directions. Include all required documents and certificates.

For an example of how to scan and present documents, click the blue hyperlinked Certificates Example. For the example, I redacted my personal information. However, for scholarships, don’t do this unless the scholarship application explanation directs you to do so.

If you made it this far and are still asking “what is an FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit?” chances are, you don’t need one – yet. This permit is for flights outside of the United States that require radio communication. However, to receive your FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit, it is an easy process via the FCC website.