Whether you are an avid player or an aspiring designer, gaming can turn into real money. It can help cover the costs of your college education and help you break into the business. The computer technology sector is rapidly evolving. The video game industry sees over $10.5 billion in revenue each year. And there are more than 2.7 billion gamers worldwide. As a result, gaming and esports have surpassed their original definition. In fact, gaming has developed into a valuable pathway to education. Today, video game design and development are exploding with educational opportunities. 

esports scholarships

You don’t have to be an expert gamer to design video games. Video game design is a cross-disciplinary field. It incorporates computer science and computer programming. It also includes graphic design and creative writing. There are scholarships for competitive gaming. In addition, some organizations offer video game design scholarships to those interested in non-competitive games. They are available for many programs, including game development and video game arts. Other programs include animation, programming, and sound design. 

Notable studios are willing to hand over thousands of dollars in esports scholarships to attract top talent. This means that you can turn your video game obsession into scholarship funding to help pay for higher education. And you can jump-start an in-demand career without tossing aside your gaming console. Make your hours playing video games pay off by cutting tuition expenses.

If you are a gamer looking to take your hobby to the next level, this article is for you. There are many scholarships for talented gamers, but generalized scholarships can also be used at schools with video game programs and esports teams. Others focus on computer science or graphic design. And these skills are also essential for video game careers. We’ve found 25 great scholarships for gamers to help you with the financial backing you need for education expenses. We’ve also listed a few schools with some incredible gaming degree programs.

1. AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships

esports scholarships:  AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships

Deadline: The 2022 deadline for these esports scholarships has passed but check back regularly for 2023 information or subscribe for updates on the AIGA website.

The AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships are for those wanting to influence the world with their talents in video game arts. Disadvantaged and minority students majoring in illustration or design can seek aid through this scholarship. $6000 annual gaming scholarships are awarded to support designers and artists who plan to pursue careers in the gaming industry. Applicants must be US citizens and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. They also must have a critical financial need and display great potential in an interactive design.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships

164 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10010



2. AIAS Foundation Scholarship Fund

Deadline: although gaming scholarships 2022 applications are now closed, 2023 applications will open soon. You can register for the AIAS Foundation newsletter to get updates.

The AIAS Foundation Scholarship Fund helps aspiring game developers. It also aids new graduates who have worked in the video gaming industry for less than two years. Eligible students must be pursuing careers in game development or interactive entertainment.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences

3183 Wilshire Blvd.

Suite 196 F13

Los Angeles, CA 90010


3.DigiPen Graduate Merit Scholarships

esports scholarships: Digipen

Deadline: all candidates are automatically considered when they submit their admissions application. Merit grants run out, so be sure to submit your applications for these esports scholarships early.

The DigiPen Institute of Technology offers several annual scholarships for gamers for up to $5,000 to incoming graduate students. These graduate students will use their gaming skills while enrolled in the school’s Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science or MFA in Digital Arts. Eligible candidates must demonstrate academic excellence. And graduate students must also prove their talents in their portfolios.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

DigiPen Graduate Scholarships

9331 Willows Road NE

Redmond, WA 98052

(866) 478-5236


4. Eric Dybsand Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: The 2022 deadline for this scholarships games award has closed, but applications for 2023 will be accepted soon.

Eric Dybsand was a cherished game designer best known for his work in artificial intelligence. To honor his efforts, the IGDA offers this scholarship in his name. Established in 2007, it is currently in its sixteenth year. It provides associates with a $1,000 stipend for tuition support and passes to the annual AI Summit. Gamers must be a high-achieving undergraduate student with a shared interest in AI for eligibility. The Dybsand Scholar enjoys all the advantages of the IGDA Scholars program. They furthermore get coaching from AI experts and other possibilities linked to AI.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

1 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 705

Toronto, ON M4P 3A1 Canada

(856) 423-2990


5. The ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts and Sciences Scholarship

esports scholarships: The ESA Foundation

Deadline: Applications for the scholarship for video gamers 2022-2023 school year closed in April but will reopen for the new year soon.

The Entertainment Software Association Foundation offers many esports scholarships each year. These grants are for graduating seniors and current college students pursuing careers in computer and video game art. Since 2007, the Entertainment Software Association Foundation has helped over 400 women and underrepresented students pursue degrees. The scholarship includes non-monetary values such as networking and mentorship sessions. It also gives access to significant industry events, including the Game Developers Conference.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

ESA Foundation Scholarships

317 Madison Avenue, 22nd Floor

New York, NY 10017

(917) 522-3250


6. Game Center EVO Scholarship

esports scholarships: Game Center EVO Scholarship

Deadline: April 15th, 2023

The annual NYU Game Center EVO Scholarship enables a member of the fighting game community to pursue a master’s degree in game creation at NYU. Eligible applicants must be actively involved in the fighting game’s community. In addition, they must exhibit legitimate financial needs and a keen interest in competitive game design. The scholarship is funded by revenue from the EVO Pay-per-view HD live stream. The more people who watch the event online, the more money will be awarded in these scholarships for game design. Based on prior years, the sum is projected to be between $20,000 and $30,000. 

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Evo College Scholarship for Gamers

2 Metrotech Center 8th Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11201

(646) 997-0708


7. International Game Developers Association Scholarships

esports scholarships: International Game Developers Association Scholarships

Deadline: The 2022 deadline for these esports scholarships has closed, but applications for 2023 will be accepted soon.

The IGDA awards scholarships to students pursuing a degree in the game development industry. Candidates for these $1,000 awards over 18 and must be IGDA members in good standing. They must also be actively engaged in the video game industry and buy an all-access pass to the Game Developers Conference. The scholarship is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

International Game Developers Association Scholarships

19 Mantua Road

Mt. Royal, NJ 08061

(856) 423-2990


8. Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition Scholarships

esports scholarships:

Deadline: May 12th, 2023

Each year, the Microsoft Corporation hosts the Imagine Cup Competition. Gamers over 16 create a Windows desktop or tablet game, a Windows phone mobile game, or a Windows Azure web browser game. Students can enter the competition by submitting their proposals, game software, and instructions. The Imagine Cup winner gets $100,000, a grant from Microsoft Azure, and a mentorship session with the CEO of Microsoft.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition Scholarships

One Microsoft Way

Redmond, WA 98052

(206) 882-8080


9. Minecraft Scholarship

esports scholarships: Minecraft Scholarship

Deadline: July 31st, 2023

Apex Hosting provides a $2,000 Minecraft Scholarship to students so that they may focus on their academics and professional goals. Open to high school seniors and college students, it can be used towards college tuition. For eligibility, you must be a US citizen with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, applicants must submit an essay of at least 500 words on how Minecraft can have a beneficial impact on education and development.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Apex Hosting

8388 S. Tamiami Trail Suite 61

Sarasota FL 34238

Live Chat

10. University Of California Irvine Pokimane Scholarship

Deadline: Applications open January 23rd, 2023 for these esports scholarships.

UC Irvine was the first public university to establish an official Esports program. As a result, it has a vibrant gaming culture and a tradition of top competition. It also has some of the best video game scholarships on our list. For example, in 2020, a well-known gaming figure known as “Pokemane” contributed $50,000 to UCI’s scholarship program. The Pokimane esports scholarship awards one deserving student between $2,000 and $2,500 yearly.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

University of California Irvine

501 Aldrich Hall

Irvine, CA, 92697



11. Harrisburg University eSports Scholarship

esports scholarships: Harrisburg University eSports Scholarship

Deadline: May 1st, 2023

When it comes to helping students get the know-how to succeed in the eSports industry, Harrisburg University is at the forefront of the field. Whether in the game or off the screen. Each year, housing stipends and complete scholarships are provided to 22 eSports competitors. 

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Harrisburg University of Science & Technology

326 Market St.

Harrisburg, PA 17101

(717)901-5100 ext.1672


12. The Randy Pausch Scholarship Program

Deadline: Applications for 2022 have closed but check the website often for the new year. You can also sign up on the mailing list for future updates regarding these esports scholarships.

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) presents the “Randy Pausch Scholarship Program.” It honors the late professor, who was very involved in the video game industry and the co-founder of the entertainment technology center. Those pursuing doctoral or undergraduate degrees are eligible for the esports scholarship. The program aims to assist students pursuing professions in interactive entertainment creation. All academic majors are eligible for this chance. And it is to both undergraduate and graduate students. The successful candidates will each receive two $2,500 scholarships.

Esports Xcholarships Contact:

Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Foundation

3183 Wilshire Blvd.

Suite 196 F13

Los Angeles, CA 90010


13. Unreal Engine Epic MegaGrants

esports scholarships: Unreal Engine Epic MegaGrants

Deadline: Applications open on January 4th, 2023, and run all year long for these esports scholarships.

Epic Games funds awards for imaginative and cutting-edge projects created for Unreal Engine. This includes initiatives that improve the open-source 3D graphics community. Awards are provided for development, but you can also use them for education to further your career in video games. You can also apply for a grant to support the conversion of a current in-development game to Unreal Engine. Grants vary between $5,000 and $500,000.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Epic Games, Inc.

620 Crossroads Blvd.

Cary, NC USA


14. Taco Bell Live Mas Scholarship

Deadline: January 11th, 2023

Since 1992, the Taco Bell Foundation has helped over 4 million young people all over America. It has awarded over $110 million in Live Más Scholarships and awards. Each year, Taco Bell pays out 100 rewards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for each student winner. The Live Más Scholarship is open to innovators, inventors, and dreamers aged 16 to 24. To be eligible, you must make and submit a two-minute film, animation, or simple testimony telling the narrative of your life’s passion. 

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Taco Bell Foundation

1 Glen Bell Way

Irvine, CA 92618


15. Frame My Future Scholarship Contest

Deadline: March 1st, 2023

The Frame My Future Scholarship Contest is accessible to full-time enrolled in a US college. Your submission must be original and connect to the subject, “This is how I Frame My Future.” It should be a unique presentation of what YOU aspire to achieve in your personal and professional life after college. It can be photography, ink, collage, painting, mixed media, or graphic design. Four students with the most votes will each earn between $500 and $6,000 for the Fall 2023-2024 school year.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Church Hill Classics

594 Pepper Street 

Monroe, CT 06468



16. Wildcat Scholarship

Deadline: February 15th, 2023

California State University, Chico, offers funding possibilities to qualified, accepted Chico State students. Chico State students, both new and returning, can apply. CSU Chico provides a Bachelor of Science in Computer Animation and Game Development. It also has minors in Applied Computer Graphics and Video Game Design. Scholarships are based on educational and career goals in the video game industry, as well as financial necessity. High school students can also apply for the President’s Scholars Program at Chico State.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

California State University, Chico

Kendall Hall, Room 110



17. Gaming Endowed Scholarship, EA

esports scholarships: Electronic Arts

Deadline: Applications for the esports scholarships open 2023 spring semester through the UCF application portal.

Electronic Arts (EA) encourages UCF students to pursue jobs in the video game business. The Gaming Endowed Scholarship strives to diversify the booming gaming industry. The University of Central Florida is well known for its innovative gaming curriculum. This grant honors students who have overcome difficulties or are underrepresented in the video game industry.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

University of Central Florida

Office of Student Financial Assistance

4000 Central Florida Blvd.

Millican Hall, Room 107

Orlando, FL 32816-0113

(844) 376-9160


18. Betty Stevens Frecknall Scholarship

Deadline: Applications for the academic year 2022-2023 are now closed for these esports scholarships. Applications for 2023-2024 will be accepted between January and May of 2023.

This scholarship is in memory of Betty Stevens-Frecknall. It is available to students attending full-time at any accredited institution. The scholarship awardees will each get $2000. To be eligible, you must be a CS/CIS/MIS/IT major with an overall and major GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Foundation for IT Education

205 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 810

Chicago, IL 60601-5902

19. Palantir Future Scholarship

esports scholarships: Palantir Future

Deadline: The application time for 2022 is now closed. More information regarding the 2023 application period will be available on the website later this year.

The Future Scholarship promotes and encourages students from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. The goal is to motivate prospective students to pursue CS and technical degrees. Ten applicants will receive a $7,000 stipend to help with their schooling. Esports scholarships recipients will also interview for a Palantir internship or full-time position in 2023.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Palantir Technologies Inc.

1200 17TH St FL 15 

Denver, CO, 80202

20. Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship

esports scholarships: Adobe

Deadline: The 2023 deadline has passed, but the 2024 application will reopen soon.

This scholarship honors females pursuing degrees in CS or mobile/web development. Recipients will receive $10,000 esports scholarships. They also get a one-year Creative Cloud subscription membership. Recipients will also get to interview for an Adobe internship. To be eligible, you must be a current undergraduate (2nd year or above) or a master’s student. 

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Adobe, Inc. Headquarters


345 Park Avenue 

San Jose, CA 95110

21. Generation Google Scholarship for Women in Gaming

Deadline: The application period for 2022 has ended. Check the website in early 2023 for an update.

The Generation Google Scholarship for Women in Gaming assists students pursuing gaming degrees. Selected candidates will receive $10,000 esports scholarships. The award is given based on leadership, academic excellence, and dedication to equality. You must be studying video game programming, engineering, design, and development, or a related field to be eligible. The application process includes three essay questions.

Google offers many scholarships for related fields. You can look here for other scholarships that can benefit you.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Google Headquarters

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway

Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

(650) 253-0000


22. $2,000 Nitro Scholarship

esports scholarships: Nitro Scholarship

Deadline: December 31st, 2023

Nitro is committed to providing students with the resources they need to manage college funding effectively. In addition, they offer the chance to win a $2,000 scholarship. While these are not official esports scholarships, they are still available to prospective gaming industry students. The award is available to any student attending an accredited college or university. Students can use it for any degree field.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Nitro College

300 Continental Drive,

Newark, DE 19713


23. Gucci Changemakers North America Scholarship

Deadline: February 3rd, 2023

This Scholarship program gives money to undergraduate students with unmet financial needs. It focuses on students from diverse backgrounds who live or study in one of the 12 Gucci North America Changemakers locations. These esports scholarships also focus on students who attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). The award is for students in design and marketing and other creative-related professions. The reward will be up to $20,000 for one year.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Gucci America, Inc. 

50 Hartz Way

Secaucus, New Jersey 07094

24. Greater Than Gatsby Scholarship

esports scholarships: Greater Than Gatsby Scholarship

Deadline: May 1st, 2023

This scholarship is designed to help the future of visual artists and content creators. Two recipients will each receive $1,000 to assist with tuition and academic fees. To be eligible for these scholarships for gamers, you must major in art, cinema, fine arts, multimedia, photography, video game arts, visual arts, or a related field. To enter, you must submit an essay and original photography.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

Greater Than Gatsby, LLC

18208 Preston Road, Ste D9 #482

Dallas, TX 75252


25. 1 for 2 Foundation Education Scholarship

esports scholarships: 1 for 2 Foundation Education Scholarship

Deadline: February 1st, 2023 

This merit-based scholarship is available for students attending 4-year colleges. The amount is based on the remaining after all other types of tuition aid acquired by the scholar. Recipients promise to “pay it forward” by supporting the education of their fellow scholars. To be eligible, you must have a 3.7 GPA. Students can use this scholarship for a degree in the video gaming field.

Video Game Scholarships Contact:

1 for 2 Education Foundation

4337 E. Grand River, Suite 198 

Howell, MI 48843

Colleges with video gaming programs

If you win a generalized scholarship not specifically for gaming, you can typically use it for a program of your choice. Here are some excellent schools with video game programs.

Game Design Initiative at Cornell

esports scholarships

While it does not provide a degree in game design, the Game Design Initiative at Cornell (GDIAC) is a fantastic way to get into a video gaming career. The program was formed in 2001 and is part of the Department of Computer Science. Cornell University also provides a minor in game design. This minor includes technical courses like technical game design and game analytics.

Full Sail University

esports scholarships
Full Sail

Full Sail University in Florida provides two undergraduate programs and a master’s degree in game design. These programs are unusual because students may study year-round and attend classes monthly rather than on a semester basis. This means they can complete the degree faster than traditional programs. A 20-month bachelor’s degree is available on campus. In addition, the 32-month bachelor’s program is available online.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

esports scholarships

Worcester Polytechnic Institute was one of the first US schools to offer a gaming curriculum. It offers a BS program and a master’s program in Interactive Media and Game Development (IMGD). Students can major in a different topic while minoring in interactive media and game creation. 

Northeastern University

esports scholarships

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, NU offers three Bachelor’s degrees in the field of video gaming. The college offers a BFA in games, CS and game development, and digital art game design. They also provide a minor in game design. NU goes all in, offering a master’s degree in game science and design as well as a graduate certificate in game analytics.

esports scholarships

Other Scholarships of Interest

In addition to scholarships for gamers, there are plenty of other scholarships you may be interested in. Scholarships can be found for nearly any interest or demographic. 

For example, there are scholarships just for minority students, women, men, single parents, and more. You can also find scholarships for students with learning disabilities or autism. And of course, there are specific scholarships for undergraduate students and graduate student scholarships, including doctoral students. 

There is also scholarship money up for grabs among students who identify as Hispanic, African American, Native American, and other nationalities.

So as you search for college gaming scholarships, don’t forget you can combine esports scholarships and scholarships for gamers with other scholarships to fund your higher education! Here are a few other resources to check out:

Scholarships For Minority Students:

25 Great Scholarships for Minorities

Scholarships for African American Students:

25 Great Scholarships for African American Students

Scholarships For Women:

25 Great Scholarships for Women

Scholarships For Nontraditional Students:

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Scholarships For Minority Students:

25 Great Scholarships for Native American Students

Scholarships For Hispanic Students:

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Scholarships For Asian and Pacific Islander Students:

25 Great Scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander Students

Scholarships For First-Generation Students:

25 Great Scholarships for First Generation Students

Scholarships For Mexican-American Students:

30 Great Scholarships for Mexican-American Students

Scholarships For Students with Learning Disabilities:

25 Great Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities

Scholarships For Gifted Students:

25 Great Scholarships for Gifted Students

Scholarships For Graduate Students:

25 Great Scholarships for Graduate Students

Scholarships For Autistic Students:

23 Great Scholarships for Autistic Students

Scholarships For Single Parents:

5 Scholarships for Single Parents

Scholarships For Men:

25 Scholarships for Men

Scholarships For Average Students:

25 Scholarships for Average Students

Scholarships For Full Tuition:

25 Full Tuition Scholarships