If you do a search under this topic you will find previous posts. Most colleges and universities require 141training in order to get credit. 141 follows a strict syllabus, that can sometimes be time consuming and pointless.
61 is a lot cheaper and easier. You can go at your own pace and skip around lessons.
It's been a while since I've been either in training or actively flight instructing but I can offer my observations.
Part 141 is far more restrictive and requires a school to keep stellar records of training and have an organized sylabus. Part 141 programs require less time to acquire various ratings so therefore the overall price would be less. It takes effort on the part of a school to become Part 141 certified which will look better on a resume when you are looking for a job down the road.
With that being said, I went to an aviation college which had a Part 141 program as part of it's curriculm. I completed my CFI, MEI and CFII at a local Part 61 school specillazing in career minded students. After getting my ratings I taught at this school for almost 2 years.
I found as an instructor the Part 61 program was much more flexible in regards to allowing me to adapt the sylabus to individual student needs.
I would say if you are looking to become a weekend warrior go Part 61 and if you desire to become a professional pilot choose a Part 141 school. Part 141 or 61 doesn't really matter in the long term to employers. So pick a school that can work at your speed for a price or financing you can afford. Ask around and visit the school. Ask for their record of pass/fail, if they have any FAA violations and what is the age and up keep of there fleet. Newer airplanes doesn't mean better training just more money per flight hour.
I can't think of anything else but I'm sure I left a lot of information out. Let me know if you have any questions.
Superfly gave you a pretty thorough analysis of the pros and cons of 61 v. 141. I just want to add a few comments to his excellent post. I have trained students under 61 and 141.
A Part 141 school is approved by the FAA. The FAA reviews the school's syllabus and inspects its facilities. Both have to meet certain minimum requirements. In particular, classrooms have to meet certain size and space requirements. In addition, the Chief Flight Instructor and Assistant Chiefs have to meet minimum quals and experience requirements set forth in FAR Part 141.
One other point to mention regarding 141 schools is that during the course you will take several stage checks. A stage check is a flight examination. The purpose of a stage check is to ascertain that the trainee is meeting certain minimum standards for that point in his training. This is a good thing, because it helps to maintain a consistent quality of training. Flight training is based on the building-block concept of learning and is very much predicated on building a solid foundation before starting a new phase of training. Compare it to building a house. Chances are, if the foundation of the house is weak, the entire house will be weak. Stage checks, contrary to popular belief among many in the Riddle crowd and elsewhere, are a quality control check and are not designed to beat up or harass a student.
In line with stage checks, many 141 schools have self-examining authority. That means that after you pass your final stage check in a certification course, e.g. Private Pilot, the school will issue your pilot certificate to you. Without self-examining authority, you have to take a practical test with an FAA pilot examiner to receive your certificate.
Self-examining authority has its pros and cons, and is usually a major political football in schools that have it. The pros include not having to shell out money to pay an examiner for his time on top of tuition. 141 schools must maintain a high flight test pass rate among its students to receive and retain self-examining authority. The pass rate includes the in-house stage checks I just described. There is big trouble if the FAA pulls self-examining authority from a school, so you can imagine the pressure the school is under to maintain a high pass rate. That means that stage check pilots are under pressure to pass students. That can compromise their objectivity when evaluating a trainee, and the quality of training can suffer. There are quite a few people who don't like self-examining authority for that very reason. Again, your Riddle people can tell you tall tales about self-examining authority.
So, after reading all this, you may be convinced that Part 141 schools are not worth the hassle. Actually, they are worth it in many ways because you are checked several times in your training to ensure you are receiving proper, standardized training. You want that kind of training, whether you train under Part 141 or Part 61.
If you train under Part 61, there are no stage checks or self-examining authority. Your instructor supervises all of your training, ensures you meet the standards, and sends you to an FAA designated pilot examiner for your flight test. The quality of your training depends solely on the quality of your instructor. There is no objective party to check you along the way before the FAA flight test. The FAA flight test is the same whether you train under Part 141 or Part 61.
Part 61 indeed has its pros. Your instructor can adapt the course to your specific needs. There are schools that operate similarly to an FAA-approved school and give stage checks. I think the cons include not having a standardized, organized syllabus and the discipline associated with having to meet standards as you progress through a flight course. I believe you need a certain measure of discipline if you are training for a career.
One other point worth mentioning is minimum hours to train. Under Part 141 the minimum hours are lower than 61. That is somewhat of a red herring, in my .02 opinion. Few people train in minimum times. Nearly everyone goes over times to some extent during training, so the supposed advantage is negated. By the way, there is nothing wrong with going over times. Sometimes you just need extra time to grasp a concept and to be trained to proficiency. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It does not mean that you are not airline calibre if you go over time.
Hope that helps. Good luck with your training choices.
I think the above covered it very well, I just want to add a few more points
. If you want to be an airline pilot, you'll probably be better off going 141. The school I went to used procedures very similar to the airlines. We had MEL's, maintanence records seperate from the logbooks, dispatching, dispatch radio, flows and checklists. I'm not saying that you can't or won't get all that at a part 61 school but its highly unlikely. Besides you can easily learn all that stuff when you go to an airline, but I think its much much easier to transition to an airline if you've already experienced many of those procedures.
I also think that a 141 syllabus is very good at ensuring that you have met all of the requirements and had a very thorough lesson. 141 syllabi aren't as rigid as some think. You can skip around on lessons as long as you don't skip into the next block of training.
The biggest advantage to the reduced minimums is your commercial license, I think you can do it in 200 hours versus the 250 hours you need part 61 (someone correct me if I'm wrong I'm going off memory and I've packed my FAR's)