(VENN) – Gaming has moved past a casual hobby – it’s now a veritable career choice. Whether playing competitively, creating videos and articles about gaming, or creating games themselves, opportunities for those who want to pursue gaming professionally are very real. There are even some scholarships opportunities for gamers with the right skill set.

Gaming and Esports Scholarships

Many scholarships are tied to a paricular school or program, but a number are available to anyone who meets the criteria. Here’s a look at a few that are open to a wide range of applicants.

Dr. Randy Pausch Scholarship is for U.S. graduate and undergraduate students currently enrolled in university. Applicants must have intent to enter the game industry in any capacity after graduation with a GPA of 3.3 or higher. Two awards of $2,500 are available each year. 

Karrlin Field Memorial AI Scholarship is available to female students at the University of Advancing Technology who are pursuing a career in computer game development and design. An award of $1,000 is given out annually. 

Mark Beaumont Scholarship is available to U.S. graduate and undergraduate students with a G.P.A. of 3.3 or higher. Students who apply must intend to enter the game industry as a developer. Two scholarships of $2,500 are awarded each academic year. 

Sportsmanship in Esports Scholarship is geared towards current high school students who are active in games and esports. Applicants who play competitively and demonstrate sportsmanship, honor and integrity can win the $2,500 award.

Streamgeeks Esports Scholarship is for students currently enrolled in a U.S. based college with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must submit an essay on their experience with esports and video streaming. The total scholarship is for $1,000.

Trapology Gaming Scholarship is available to U.S. high school seniors and undergraduate students with a 3.0 GPA who are applying to or completing a study related to game design. The total award is for $1,000. 

WomenIn Scholarship is designed specifically for female college students starting their second year pursuing game development or the business of interactive entertainment. Eligible students must have a 3.3 GPA or higher. 10 awards of $2,500 are available each year. 

The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) will also award $16 million in scholarships each year. 

Among college-specific awards, the Path to Pro Apex Legends Scholarship is available to top performing gamers admitted to Becker College. The recipient must be registered with Team Genji, a professional esports organization. Students who win the award are given $5,000.

The Victor Xin Scholarship is awarded to a full-time University of Toronto undergraduate student in the field of Applied Science & Engineering with a minimum 3.5 GPA. The recipient must “demonstrate a passion for esports or gaming through engagement in a leadership role or participation in extracurricular activities.” 

Schools With Scholarships for Esports Players

These scholarships are available for players participating in the respective university’s esports team or club. Depending on the program, students can try out or be recruited to join.

Arcadia University has teams for League of Legends, Hearthstone, Overwatch and Rocket League. It offers up to $25,000 for its competitive esports students.

Harrisburg University offers full ride scholarships to its entire varsity esports team. 

Kansas Wesleyan offers scholarships between $5,000 and $20,000 for its League of Legends players ranked Gold or higher. 

Maryville University provides $6,000 to a participant in its esports program who tried out and made the roster for one of Maryville’s competitive teams, CS:GO, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch

Robert Morris University was the first college to offer an esports scholarship back in 2014, providing its players half tuition and room and board. The institution also hosts competitions offering up to $100,000 in scholarship money.

Southwestern College has an annual, renewable grant of $5,000 available for its competitors or participants. Recipients must maintain a 2.0 GPA and attend all esports activities. 

Stephens College offers up to $2,000 for women on its Overwatch team, no application required. 

University of California Irvine boasts the Pokimane Scholarship, offering one UCI gamer $2,500 each year. 

Content courtesy of VENN