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Esports Scholarships / Scholarships for Gamers

All those long nights staying up till 2 am to play video games can finally pay off...literally. Being an avid gamer in this day and age is now worth more than just fun and games - there are quite a few scholarships for gamers who are looking to pay for college! Esports have entered the collegiate sports arena, where students can land Esports scholarships and get paid to play.

Esports has been around for nearly two decades, but is fairly new in the collegiate arena. There are more than thirty U.S. colleges and universities that offer scholarships for gamers, and the University of Utah is one of the larger sports schools to offer scholarships for video gaming. Its varsity Esports team competes at the popular and high-profile League of Legends competition. The university currently offers players partial video game scholarships, with the future goal of offering full video game scholarships to its gaming team. The University of California-Irvine similarly recruits students on partial video game scholarships and have even built a gaming arena for gamers and its school's 10-player team. Robert Morris University was the first college in the U.S. to offer video gaming scholarships, where students can earn up to $19,000 a year in gaming scholarships. Robert Morris University Esports athletes also don team uniforms and post-game meals, just like any other collegiate sports team.

Although many Esports teams are co-ed, the many of the gamers are men. Stephens College joined the National Association of Collegiate Esports, which is home to over 31 video game scholarship-sponsored Esports programs and it is the first women's college to sponsor a varsity team and offer video game scholarships for women. The roster allows for up to twelve female gamers, all of who receive partial video game scholarships.

If you're looking to play competitively at the collegiate level and earn a college scholarship while doing so, there are plenty of video game scholarships with many more to come as popularity increases at the collegiate level. Here's a comprehensive list of scholarships for gamers:

Maryville University Esports Participation Award

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: $2,000
  • The eSports Club at Maryville University provides a competitive, yet friendly online gaming environment. Players hone their skills with the help of some of the best players in the country and receive assistance in preparation for the professional leagues from Maryville staff. Each game features one varsity team and JV teams. There is no cap on the number of teams, but 10-12 teams for each game [...] More

The NYU Game Center EVO Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: Varies
  • The NYU Game Center has partnered with the Evo tournament to create a scholarship to study game design at New York University. The Evo Scholarship is awarded annually to an applicant who best demonstrates an active participation in the fighting game community, an interest in game design with a focus on innovating in the field of competitive games, and a legitimate financial need. For more [...] More

University of California - Irvine Esports Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: Varies
  • University of California - Irvine eSports recruits some of the best gamers around the world and offers them scholarships to compete for "Eater Nation." UCI hopes that participating in eSports will allow students to engage in various aspects within the gaming world - game development, graphic design, marketing, and video production, etc. For more information or to apply, please visit the [...] More

University of Utah League of Legends Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: Varies
  • The University of Utah sponsors a varsity eSports program, with players who compete in the League of Legends Collegiate League. All students who participate on the eSports varsity team will receive partial scholarships; the plan is to grow the program to the point where the university can offer full scholarships to 35 students. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship [...] More

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Last Reviewed: September 2020