Listen up Airlineguy
Community College of Beaver County (PA) just out side of PIT is the best kept secret to getting a job as an air traffic controller.
Its how I got mine.
Why is it so great. Its a two year program with the fist year getting your private pilot . You can do this at Beaver county or you can do this at home. I chose to do it at home in Kansas City as well as getting some other courses (math and science) out of the way. Then the second year was spent at the college. The school is located in Chippewa Township (spelling?) half way between PIT and Youngstown, just east of the PA, Ohio border.
As part of the second year at college you get good radar simulation experience and you also get to work a live VFR tower. There are three flight schools at the airport so it stays pretty busy. And its a great community in that the pilots you are talking to are students of the school as well. I don't know if it is now but at the time I went there it was the only college working directly with the FAA that you could get tower time.
And for the most part it is pretty affordable. For $20,000.00 I got my year at Beaver county, including everything it takes to live except my car payment and car insurance.
Let me tell you bud, I love my job! Im in Waco now working tower and approach (and yes, even we can get busy) making $70,000 a year separating planes and guarding presidential airspace at Crawford TX.
The controllers that make up the air traffic control staff in the FAA are an awesome group of people to work with and its an honor to make the skies safe with them every day.
If you have any questions feel free to email me and remember---
---JUST SAY NO TO ATC PRIVATIZATION---
Take care and good luck