7 Best eSports Scholarships for Gamers

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Colleges and universities across the nation are taking notice of the growing interest in eSports‚ÄĒby 2023, the eSports market is on pace to exceed $1.5 billion. One of the most notable ways schools are adapting to the rise of eSports is by creating teams and allocating scholarships to the field.¬†

 

Interested in an eSports scholarship? Keep reading to learn about the ways you can turn your interest in video games into money for college. 

 

Can You Really Get a Scholarship for Gaming?

 

Gaming scholarships are a reality. In 2014, Robert Morris University Illinois (now known as Roosevelt University) became the first university to offer an eSports scholarship when it offered recruited League of Legends players gaming scholarships to cover up to 50% of tuition and 50% of room and board. Just a few years later, Harrisburg University became the first college to award full-ride scholarships to its entire 16-player eSports roster. 

 

Today, 175 colleges and universities are members of the National Association of Collegiate ESports (NACE) and offer varsity eSports, although gaming scholarships are generally awarded for players of just a few select games: 

 

  • League of Legends
  • Super Smash Bros.¬†
  • Hearthstone
  • Overwatch
  • Rainbow Six
  • Rocket League

 

Funding for eSports scholarships, and the number of them awarded, vary from institution to institution. Like other competitive college programs, the largest eSports scholarships are tough to win and awarded to the best players. Earning an eSports scholarship is similar to the path taken by more traditional college athletes: high-profile recruits will have won or placed highly at major tournaments while less-known gamers will need to draw attention to themselves by reaching out to coaches or performing well at a tryout. 

 

Scholarships for Gaming and eSports

 

1. AIAS Foundation Scholarship 

 

Amount: N/A

Deadline: May 2022

Eligibility: 

  • Full-time undergraduate or graduate student attending accredited colleges
  • Minimum 3.3 GPA
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident¬†

Application Requirements:

  • Personal statement (two-page maximum)
  • Two letters of recommendation¬†
  • Transcript
  • Proof of enrollment

 

These scholarships are awarded to aspiring college game makers by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS). The intention of the scholarship is to support undergraduate and graduate students planning on careers in the field of video games in either development or leadership roles. 

 

2. WomenIn Scholarship

 

Amount: N/A

Deadline: May 2022

Eligibility: 

  • Full-time undergraduate or graduate student attending accredited colleges
  • Minimum 3.3 GPA
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident¬†

Application Requirements:

  • Personal statement (two-page maximum)
  • Two letters of recommendation¬†
  • Transcript
  • Proof of enrollment

 

These scholarships are intended to help attract, retain, and advance women in the fields of game development and interactive entertainment. Supported by technology giant Intel, these scholarships provide support to female students with scholarships as well as mentoring programs. 

 

3. ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts and Sciences Scholarship

 

Amount: N/A

Deadline: March 2022

Eligibility: 

  • Woman or minority
  • Pursuing a degree leading to a career in computer and video game arts and sciences
  • High school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors¬†
  • Enrolled or planning on enrolling in an accredited four-year college or university¬†
  • U.S. citizen¬†

Application Requirements: Transcript and FAFSA

 

Established by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation, this scholarship supports underrepresented young people in following their dreams of a career in the video game industry. In addition to monetary support, the Foundation also provides recipients with career-boosting opportunities such as networking and mentoring sessions, as well as access to industry events. 

 

4. AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships 

 

Amount: Up to $5,000

Deadline: April 2022

Eligibility: 

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA¬†
  • Undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in graphic design, illustration, or photography¬†
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Attending or planning to attend an accredited college full time¬†

Application Requirements:

  • FAFSA¬†
  • Official transcript¬†
  • Portfolio of work¬†
  • Written statement
  • Two letters of recommendation¬†

 

Awarded to underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students studying photography, illustration, or graphic design, the AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships is intended to increase diversity in the creative professions. The award encourages social responsibility, environmental consciousness, and cultural awareness, and recipients are chosen based on a combination of their financial need, talent, and commitment to give back to the community through their work. 

 

5. IGDA Foundation Scholars

 

Amount: N/A

Deadline: June 2021

Eligibility: 

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Identify as a person from an underrepresented background, which may include but is not limited to LGBTQIA+, people of color, people with accessibility needs, marginalized genders, veterans, and neurodiversity
  • Pursuing a degree an accredited institution¬†¬†

 

Not a traditional scholarship, IGDA Foundation Scholars do not receive a monetary award, though there are a bunch of benefits to this excellent program‚ÄĒmost notably an all-access pass to the Game Developers Conference (GDC). One of the most prestigious awards in game development, honorees also receive one-on-one personalized mentorship, lectures from industry leaders, invitations to networking events, and application and portfolio reviews.¬†

 

6. Dotcom-Monitor Women in Computing Scholarship 

 

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: June 2021

Eligibility:

  • Full-time, female undergraduates enrolled at an accredited college or university in the U.S. or Canada
  • Declared a major or completed at least a year of computer science or computer engineering coursework¬†

Application Requirements:

  • Transcript¬†
  • Major declaration or enrollment verification¬†
  • Essay (maximum 500 words)

 

The Dotcom-Monitor Women in Computing is designed to encourage and support female undergraduates with an interest in pursuing a career in computing. Only one winner is chosen per year, and payments are disbursed directly to them. Recipients must spend the award on tuition, fees, books, academic supplies, and other equipment related to, or required for, the student’s classes. 

 

7. The Change The Game Design Challenge

 

Deadline: April 2022

Eligibility:

  • Between 13 and 18 years of age
  • U.S. citizen, permanent legal resident of the U.S., or resident of Canada

Application Requirements: 

  • A written statement answering one of two prompts:
    • Why are you passionate about game making?¬†
    • What change do you want to see in the future of the video/mobile gaming industry?

 

Google challenges young creatives to submit their best video game ideas‚ÄĒfrom game description to storyline to inspiration. Google will select 100 entrants to participate in a week-long workshop, gain access to a valuable mentorship, and receive a prize box containing a Chromebook.¬†

 

8. CollegeVine Scholarships

 

Amount: Up to $500

Deadline: Weekly

Eligibility: High school student and US resident

Application Requirements: Create a free CollegeVine account 

 

CollegeVine scholarships aren‚Äôt gaming-specific, but they are a great way to win money for college‚ÄĒevery week, we award scholarships up to $500. To become eligible to win, all you have to do is join our free admissions platform and earn karma, the free CollegeVine ‚Äúcurrency.‚ÄĚ You can earn karma by reviewing essays through our Peer Review tool and answering questions in our Community Forums. After earning that karma, you bid it to enter the scholarship drawing (if you don‚Äôt win, your karma will be returned so you can ‚Äúspend‚ÄĚ it on essay reviews and expert advice). Awards will be paid out directly to students to help them cover any educational costs.¬†

 

Learn more about the CollegeVine scholarships.

 

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Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission‚ÄĒand how to improve them.

 

Colleges with eSports and Gaming Scholarships

 

In addition to the numerous scholarships and prizes available to students with an interest in pursuing a career in video games, many colleges offer eSports athletes gaming scholarships. 

 

School 

Location 

Games 

Amount 

Alma College 

Alma, Michigan

  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • Rocket League
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate¬†
  • Fortnite
  • Apex Legends

$1,500 

Arcadia University

Glenside, PA

  • League of Legends¬†
  • Overwatch
  • Hearthstone
  • Rocket League
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate¬†

Varies

Ashland University 

Ashland, Ohio

  • Overwatch
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Hearthstone
  • Fortnite
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Up to $4,000

Barton College 

Wilson, North Carolina

  • League of Legends
  • Fortnite
  • Madden
  • NBA 2K
  • FIFA
  • Valorant
  • Overwatch
  • Rocket League
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Call of Duty
  • Rainbow Six
  • Apex Legends
  • Super Smash Bros.¬†
  • Hearthstone
  • Paladins
  • Smite

Varies

Becker College 

Worcester, MA

  • Overwatch
  • Hearthstone
  • League of Legends
  • Valorant
  • Rocket League
  • Madden
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Halo

$500-$1,000

Bellevue University 

Bellevue, NE

  • League of Legends¬†
  • Overwatch¬†

N/A

Boise State University 

Boise, ID

  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • Hearthstone
  • Rocket League

N/A

Brescia University

Owensboro, Kentucky

  • Rocket League¬†
  • League of Legends¬†

N/A

Catawba College

Salisbury, NC

  • Overwatch
  • League of Legends
  • Rocket League

N/A

College of St. Joseph’s 

Rutland, Vermont

  • Hearthstone
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • Fortnite
  • Apex Legends
  • FIFA
  • Madden
  • NBA 2K

$2,000 

Concordia University

St. Paul, MN

  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch¬†
  • Rocket League

Varies 

Defiance College

Defiance, Ohio

  • League of Legends
  • Fortnite
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Rocket League
  • Rainbow Six Siege¬†
  • Super Smash Bros.¬†

$1,500 

ECPI University

Virginia Beach, VA

  • Hearthstone
  • League of Legends
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Overwatch
  • Paladins
  • Rocket League

Up to $5,000 

Fontbonne University

St. Louis, MS

  • League of Legends¬†

$2,000

Full Sail University 

Winter Park, FL 

  • Call of Duty¬†
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch¬†
  • Rainbow Six Siege¬†
  • Rocket League¬†
  • Smite¬†
  • Super Smash Bros.¬†
  • Valorant¬†
  • Stream Team

N/A

Harrisburg University 

Harrisburg, PA

  • League of Legends¬†
  • Hearthstone¬†
  • Overwatch¬†

Full tuition 

Hawaii Pacific University

Honolulu, HI

  • League of Legends¬†

$1,000-$6,000 per year

Illinois College 

Jacksonville, Illinois

  • League of Legends

$5,000 

Juniata College

Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

  • League of Legends¬†
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive¬†
  • Rocket League¬†
  • Super Smash Bros.¬†

Up to $2,500

Lebanon Valley College

Annville, PA

  • Call of Duty
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • SMASH
  • Hearthstone
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • Valorant
  • Rocket League

$2,500

Lees-McRae College

Banner Elk, NC

  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Hearthstone
  • Fortnite
  • Rocket League

$1,000‚Äď$5,000

Missouri Valley College

Marshall, MS

  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch¬†
  • Rocket League
  • Fortnite
  • Hearthstone¬†

Up to $15,000

Mount St. Joseph University

Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Fortnite
  • League of Legends
  • Rocket League

Up to $2,000

Ohio Northern University

Ada, OH

  • Apex Legends
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Fortnite
  • Hearthstone
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • Player Unknown‚Äôs Battleground
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Rocket League
  • Teamflight Tactics
  • Valorant

Up to $2,000

Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio 

  • League of Legends¬†
  • Overwatch
  • Rocket League¬†

N/A

Roosevelt University

Chicago, Illinois 

  • League of Legends
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Rocket League
  • Call of Duty
  • Overwatch
  • Fortnite

N/A

Schreiner University

Kerrville, TX

  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • Rocket League
  • Super Smash Bros.

$1,000

Southern New Hampshire University 

Manchester, NH

  • Fortnite
  • Hearthstone
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch

$3,000

Southwestern College

Winfield, KS

  • League of Legends

Up to $5,000

Texas Wesleyan University

Fort Worth, TX

  • Overwatch
  • Hearthstone
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate¬†
  • FIFA

Up to $2,000

University of Akron 

Akron, OH

  • League of Legends
  • Rocket League
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Overwatch
  • Hearthstone
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Fortnite

Up to $5,000

University of California at Irvine 

Irvine, CA

  • League of Legends¬†
  • Overwatch
  • Super Smash Bros.¬†

$1,000-$6,000 per year

University of Jamestown

Jamestown, ND

  • League of Legends
  • Hearthstone
  • Overwatch
  • Super Smash Bros.¬†
  • Rocket League
  • Fortnite

$2,000-$2,500

University of Texas at Dallas 

Richardson, TX

  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch¬†
  • Super Smash Bros.¬†
  • Rocket League¬†

N/A

University of Utah 

Salt Lake City, UT

  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch¬†
  • Rocket League¬†
  • Hearthstone

$1,000

Valparaiso University 

Valparaiso, IN

  • League of Legends
  • Rocket League
  • Super Smash Brothers
  • Overwatch
  • Magic the Gathering Arena

N/A

 

Interested in learning your odds of acceptance at one of these game-friendly colleges? CollegeVine can help! Our free chancing engine uses factors like GPA, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities‚ÄĒsuch as participation in eSports‚ÄĒto estimate your chances of admission at over 600 colleges and universities.

 

 

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Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.

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