eSports Scholarships

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Are there Esports Scholarships for Gamers?

If your team sport is video games, you may qualify for an esports scholarship. Esports scholarships are merit-based awards for people who play electronic sports. Like other sports, esports players compete with other teams. While on a virtual playing field, they have coaches, teammates and spectators.

This takes a high level of skill that many varsity programs seek. Above all since the global esports market raked in 1.1 billion in 2020 according to research by Newzoo. As a result, many colleges award scholarships to field esports teams. These tend to be for gamers who excel in specific games.

Different Types of Esports Games

According to Next College Student Athlete (NCSA), there are gaming scholarships for a wide range of popular titles.

  • Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA): League of Legends (LoL), Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) 2, Heroes of the Storm, Smite
  • First person shooter: Overwatch, Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Paladins
  • Collectible card game: Hearthstone
  • Real-time strategy: StarCraft II
  • Sports games: Rocket League, FIFA, Madden
  • Fighting games: Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat

How to Get an Esports Scholarship?

To score an esports scholarship you may need to meet two sets of criteria. The first criteria is gaming and the second is academic.

About talent, the first thing to do is to wow college esports coaches and recruiters. Many gamers do this by creating an esports highlight video with clips from their best game. They may also need to “try out” for a team.

There are also academic standards to meet. These vary by college and tend to may mean having certain SAT/ACT scores and a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Why Consider Applying for a Scholarship?

An esports scholarship may be useful if your goal is to pursue a four year degree. Many awards are partial and pay from $500 to $8,000 per year. But others are more generous and offer a full tuition or full ride scholarship.

A full ride scholarship may be worth $17,237 at a public college. That’s the total cost of tuition, fees, room and board according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Once you graduate, there are many possible paths to pursue. Esports marketing managers tend to need a bachelor’s degree, so this may be a potential career path.

List of Esports Scholarships

Check out our list of esports scholarships below.

Starfleet Scholarships

STARFLEET is fan club for Star Trek fans. Divided into hundreds of local Chapters, each is named as a different starship or space station. Scholarships are awarded in amounts of up to $1,000 based on number of applicants and availability of funds.

Total: $1000 Awards:  10
Deadline:  June 15
2020

Stephens College eSports Scholarship for Women

Stephens College is home to the first varsity collegiate all-women’s esports team. The college is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), which includes 90 percent of varsity collegiate esports in the country. The six-player team competes in the team-based FPS “Overwatch,” which features diverse and strong female characters.

Total: $2000 Awards:  10
Deadline: 

Harrisburg University Varsity eSports Scholarship

Harrisburg University’s Esports varsity team is HU Storm. The team won ESPN’s inaugural Collegiate Esports Championship in May 2019—became the first college esports program to award full ride scholarships to its entire 16-player roster in 2018.

Total: $2000 Awards:  22
Deadline: 

UCI Pokimane Scholarship

UCI is home to an esports arena with 72 custom PCs and computer monitors, headphones and gaming chairs, as well as a studio that broadcasts matches to hundreds of thousands of viewers. UCI Esports has received a $50,000 endowment from Twitch streamer Imane Anys, known as Pokimane online, to fund an annual scholarship for students involved in gaming and esports. The endowment, which will sit for perpetuity in an investment account and accrue 4-5% annually, ensures one qualified student per year ...

Total: $2500 Awards:  1
Deadline: 

NACE and Skillshot Scholarships

The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) is a nonprofit membership association organized by member institutions and is the only governing body of collegiate varsity esports in North America. NACE works on building the structure and providing the tools for students needed to advance at varsity-level in collegiate esports. It now partners with over 170 schools across the US. Skillshot provides turnkey esports services including organization for online and offline tournaments. Together...

Total: $16 Awards:  10
Deadline: 

Kansas Wesleyan eSports Scholarships

KWU’s esports scholarships range between $5,000-$20,000. The KWU esports team has its own room, equipped with state of the art PCs and gaming amenities. The team competes in four games, primarily in League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Hearthstone.

Total: $20000 Awards:  10
Deadline: 

Southwestern College eSports Grants

Southwestern College, a 4-year private college located in Winfield, Kansas, offers annual renewable grants of up to $5,000 for membership as a “participant” or a “competitor.” Grant recipients are required to maintain a 2.0 GPA. Participants attend all eSports activities. They also assist in managing events, managing streams, doing analytics of players and in-game choices, shoutcasting, plus growing a network of eSports events and the development of the gaming community in the region. Of course,...

Total: $5000 Awards:  15
Deadline: 

Path to Pro Apex Legends Scholarship

Becker College, Team Genji and Helix eSports have launched the nation’s first path-to-pro Apex Legends esports scholarship program. Top performing gamers who newly apply, and are admitted, to Becker College will then be eligible to receive a one-time $5,000 scholarship to the school.

Total: $5000 Awards:  10
Deadline:  April 15

Maryville University eSports Participation Award

The Esports Club at Maryville University provides both a competitive and friendly online gaming environment. Players hone their skills with the help of some of the best players in the country. Players on competitive rosters also get help to prep for the professional leagues from Maryville staff, who have a wealth of LCS, ESEA/CEVO and MLG experience.

Total: $2000 Awards:  10
Deadline:  May 01