Students join lawsuit against UofM commercial aviation degree program

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nearly 40 students have joined in a lawsuit against the University of Memphis after they said a new commercial aviation degree program does not deliver on what it promises.

Sherif Mansour, a student, said he learned two months before his recent graduation the university had not received accreditation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“I feel like I put all of this effort, four years studying ground lessons, many classes, a lot of studying, a lot money (and) I have the same result as somebody who went to flight school and got it done (for) $50,000 to $70,000. It’s just frustrating,” said Mansour, one of the students named in the lawsuit.

Mansour said people wanting to be commercial pilots can go two routes. He said he could have gone to a traditional flight school and would have needed 1,500 flying hours after graduation to become a commercial pilot. He said going that route would have cost him between $50,000 and $70,000. He said it would have taken two or less years to complete a traditional flight program. He said his four-year aviation degree from the University of Memphis cost him $150,000 and took four years to complete and now since the university isn’t accredited by the FAA, he will still need to complete 1,500 hours of flying time before he can be hired by a commercial airline.

FOX13 did some digging and uncovered a media release from 2018 which stated:

“By earning a bachelor’s degree in aviation, pilots reduce the required number of flight hours needed to become commercial pilots by 500 hours.”

Mansour said in an email to students the University of Memphis claims it is working to get the aviation program accredited by the FAA, but he said the university’s application for FAA accreditation has been rejected twice.

FOX13 has reached out twice to the University of Memphis for a comment, but we have not heard back.